Open concept designs can be a breath of fresh air. After all, living a life without walls gives you a freeing feeling while at home. Consider this your chance to design a space that can be used to its fullest. This is also an opportunity to flex those creative muscles as you go about deciding where you want things to go and the flow from one area to the next. Here are some ideas on how to do exactly that.
1. Central Seating
Consider anchoring a large space, such as a living room, with a central seating area like a large sectional sofa. Choosing a stand-out colour for your sectional will also brighten the room and it will become an inviting focal point for visitors.
Speaking of colour, don’t forget its significance when decorating around your home. If you have white cabinets in a kitchen consider adding bright accents to the room with red chairs or seat cushions. Vivid accenting is a great idea for any room that appears to be unfilled.
Of course, there’s something to be said for using your cabinets as a focal piece. If you go that route, consider a dark stain to give an elegant finish to your cabinetry while adding a warmth and welcoming appeal to the room as a whole.
3. Multi-Functional Furniture
Multi-functional furniture helps to keep an open living space clutter free. Think of ottomans that open up to store knick knacks, shelving that separates a living room from a dining room or even a pull-out bed if you feel you would be hosting guests. The possibilities are endless when it comes to using your furniture in different ways, especially when you want to keep your place looking both clean and functional.
Whether you want to create a modern look, if you're going for rustic charm, or something totally different, you'll want to create symmetry in the furniture placement of your rooms. One idea to try? You can double up sofas in a room and then put a smaller dining room table plus chairs nearby to give your room symmetry.
Consider adding little accent pieces around larger furniture to give added contrast where necessary. You can take this a step further and add bar stools around your kitchen island and place the sofas adjacent to the island. The result is a large gathering place where people can talk, drink wine and make dinner while entertaining all at once!
5. Sight Lines
Professional interior designers often stress sight lines within a home. Keep in mind how people are likely to move around your living space as well as what is visible from each part of your room. You’ll want to keep certain areas private and others public.
Large shelving units can be used to cover sight lines. For something more unique, stacking crates or boxes to wall off sections is a good (and modestly-priced) alternative. Rugs are a relatively foolproof way to delineate conversation areas from other areas where people are less likely to congregate.
When it comes to lighting for an open concept floor plan, the possibilities are endless. Of course, natural light is always best but you can make an additional statement by adding pendant lights, recessed lighting or even a few floor and table lamps. Just be sure to consider the purpose of the room. For example, if your floor plan includes a dining nook, consider a small strategically placed pendant light to create a pool of well-lit space.
7. Corner Nook
Don’t forget the art of creating a cozy corner. If you have a well-lit corner off your kitchen, for example, turn it into a breakfast nook. Put some plants on the window sill or mount a small shelving unit and place a desk and chair below this to create a home office where you can work while your partner has their morning coffee.
Here’s an inventive idea: glass sliding doors being used to divide up a room. These are becoming popular in very modern homes. The option to use a glass partition of some kind allows you to separate a larger room into a smaller space without obscuring sightlines or being an opaque obstacle.
The other nice thing about glass is it allows your rooms to retain an airy quality and is especially well paired in rooms dominated by concrete, stone or wood. Smaller glass dividers can be substituted if you’re not able to use one big glass door. Most of these partitions can be moved around or removed entirely with little effort if you ever wish to re-purpose them elsewhere in your home.
Finally, when considering what furnishings to use remember that with an open floor plan it’s important to use interesting patterns and textures in your home decor. This will keep people attuned to the details of your room’s accoutrements. It will help to create themes for each space within your ‘islands’ of furniture, as well as make it obvious where one visual partition ends and another begins.
Open floor plan design can be exciting and visually stunning if you go about it correctly. Don’t be afraid to sketch out ideas to try to visualise your home’s layout. Give it some thought, play with colour, lighting, and movement (where people are going to naturally congregate as well as where they are likely to walk). Most of all, have fun!