Open plan living has become an extremely desirable and sought-after house design. Many homes are no longer restrained to the usual room layouts that are split up by walls, instead possessing a much more open plan layout that is contemporary and sociable. To make the most of an open plan living space, a lot of thought needs to go into the design and layout of the space. It's important to give areas of the room purpose rather than having a sporadic array of furniture that looks lost and uninviting! There are a few useful tips to avoid this, so keep reading to find out how to furnish open plan living areas.
What is Open Plan Living?
This type of space involves the absence of some or all internal walls to instead display one large and open room, often incorporating different living spaces into one. Some homeowners choose to convert traditional house layouts, which are split into different rooms, into one large room. Alternatively, many modern homes have begun to feature open plan living in new house designs.
Is Open Plan Living a Good Idea?
Open plan living suits some but not others, it's largely down to personal preference. For families who love spending time together, with parents wanting to be able to keep an eye on the kids watching tv whilst they stir up dinner, this type of space is ideal. Living open plan is also brilliant for those who like to entertain – it's a much more sociable space that allows hosts to continue to interact with guests no matter where they are.
On the other hand, for families that like to have their own space or even couples that like to have their own space, open plan living can make this a little difficult. Keep this in mind when deciding to create or move into an open plan living space.
Location of Different Areas Within Open Plan Living
Open plan living spaces often incorporate a living room area, dining room area, and kitchen. The first step is to work out where each area will go. Thinking practically, the dining room table and chairs should be close to the kitchen, which then usually deciphers where your living space can be.
Clever Furniture Placement
Different areas within an open plan living space can be defined by the clever placement of furniture. For a lounge area, you can often section this space off with the placement of a sofa. Sofas tend to be directed towards a window or a television against the wall, leaving the back of the sofa facing the rest of the open plan space. This can act as a subtle partition between the living room area and the rest of the open plan room.
Alternatively, storage units and bookshelves can act as a stylish and practical alternative to walls. To work out where would be best to place these pieces of furniture, picture where a wall would be if the spaces were defined by walls, and place them here. The brilliance of this is that you are still getting the benefits of open plan living whilst still being able to define different spaces.
Area rugs are another fantastic and easy way of defining areas within an open plan space. Place several of the same rug to provide a distinction as to where an area starts and another begins, or get confident by mixing and matching to create more of a statement. Not only do rugs help to give an open plan space definition and style, they also really tie a space together and provide wonderful comfort and warmth. A brilliant benefit for an open plan space that can be harder to heat! Check out our post on the benefits of area rugs to find out just how much they can offer to your home.
How to Decorate Open Plan Living Rooms
Photo from Dulux
Wall colour is extremely important in any space, but it can have a huge impact on an open plan living room. 'Colour blocking' is a great way of differentiating between different 'zones' in a living space – Dulux have created a useful guide on how to utilise creative colour blocking to make the most of an open plan space. Having one wall colour can be stylishly minimalistic but you run the risk of losing definition between the different areas of your open plan living space.
Deciding on the type of lighting to put in an open plan room can be a little daunting, but done right, it can help to bring a space together whilst also separating different zones. Avoid using the same types of lighting for the whole space as this can really make your living space feel lifeless and a tad boring. Instead, use different types of lighting for different areas. For example, place low-hanging ceiling lights above the dining room table and spotlights over the kitchen island. Check out Houzz's advice on the various ways of lighting an open-plan room!
Hopefully you have gained some useful tips on how to furnish open plan living in your home. With these under your belt, reap the benefits of a sociable and contemporary open plan living space!