Interior Design for Open Plan Living

The concept of open plan living isn’t a new idea, but bringing it into your home can be a daunting decision. It’s more than just redecorating; it’s a way of life. As with all home renovations, you can’t trial it out for a few weeks and convert back if you don’t like it, it’s a permanent choice. So I’ve compiled my tops tips for designing an open plan home.

Open Plan Home

Open Plan Home

Create zones

The worry for many opting into open living is the idea of mainly staying in the same room. But by splitting it into virtual zones, you’ll get the feel of multiple rooms, just without the walls. Kitchen islands and worktops do an amazing job of splitting the kitchen area off from the dinning or living space without closing it off completely. For the more sociable types try adding stools the dinning side of the kitchen counter to encourage others to join you in the kitchen without getting involved in the cooking. This area can also be used as a breakfast bar so mornings don’t have to have the same formality as an evening meal.

Zones can also be emphasised by a change of flooring. Using a hard wearing laminate for the kitchen and a softer floor in the living space can also help to dispel the feeling that it is just one large space. Just because you may not want carpet in your kitchen, doesn’t mean you have to have hardwood in your lounge. Most people fall into the trap of open plan meaning everything is a compromise, but so long as you stick to complementary shades (more on that later) not every zone has to look and feel the same.

Open Plan Living

Open Plan Living

Encourage movement

Creating the zones is step one, but making sure the layout is friendly enough to move around is just as important. Open plan doesn’t mean that one room has to do it all, although if you are short on space fully combining the kitchen/dining room or dining room/lounge can be useful. Leave plenty of floor space to move between each zone and if possible, avoid seating areas blurring into one. If you can easily join in the conversation on the dining table from the lounge why would you move to join in? Make sure that each seating area has its own purpose to encourage movement between them and really utilise the space.

Keep things cosy

Now this one is very much down to personal taste, if you like your rooms to feel airy and spacious keep things spread out, but if you are trying to create a cosy living room there are a few things that can be done. By moving the furniture closer together and filling any spaces with coffee tables or chic rugs will avoid the space looking empty. I am a big fan of L-shaped sofas in open plan spaces as it really cordons off the lounge area and can fit with any traditional or modern decor. Adding armchairs for additional seating provides a flexible living area can make the space look warm and inviting.

Open Plan Spaces

Open Plan Spaces

Unify the colour scheme

It is often thought that all zones in the same space need to be the same colour, but in the same way traditional rooms can be decorated differently, zones can have their individual style. Unifying the colour scheme can help to link the zones together without blanket painting everything the same. Whether it’s a monochrome scheme you crave or soft, timeless creams and greys the decor can change throughout each zone and still stick to the same colour palette. Whether you are keeping the base colours that same and varying the accent colours throughout, or using different tones of the same shade (which always works well with greys and pale blues) keep in mind that there can be plenty of variation between rooms.

All images sourced from Anthony Mullan who can create bespoke furniture to turn any space into your dream home.