There are certain projects where open-plan living just makes sense – lofts, garage conversions, modern villas… But, even amongst townhouses, urban apartments and grand new build mansions, the style has been incorporated more and more. Whether better interaction between public spaces, better flow between areas of the home or more light, open-plan living areas have many benefits.
We have all the expert advice from simple open plan living room ideas to how to handle a much more complex open plan kitchen-dining-living room situation.
What is Open Plan Living?
Open-plan living gives easier access to different rooms in the house, including bedrooms and dining rooms. A typical open-living concept involves having the dining area between the kitchen and living room area. This includes setting up tables and chairs, giving you a chance to set up a minibar or small desk nook.
Benefits of Open-Plan Spaces
Open-plan living provides huge amounts of flexibility within an inviting and social space. It also enhances the perception of the space meaning smaller rooms appear bigger than they really are. Through removing interior walls, natural light makes its way throughout the home more easily which reduces “dead” spaces (like weird blank walls) and dark corners.
Creating Defined Fluidity
The use of rugs underneath furniture can be a good technique in defending rooms within a larger area. Overhead lighting such as decorative, modern chandeliers can also be used to visually draw your eye towards the center point of a defined space such as dining or living rooms.
The most important tip here is to create easy movement. Circulation is crucial when designing open-plan living spaces, so there is clear floor space to move freely around larger furniture.
Executing an Inviting, Intimate Space
A good technique to create warm and intimate spaces in open plan living is to allow for efficient yet low-level ambient lighting within areas using table or floor lamps rather than overhead lighting. It is also important to create smaller areas within areas so the overall space doesn’t feel overly large. Use soft furnishings (pillows, throws, rugs) and tactile textures (like dark or light wood flooring. See more on flooring below.) to help invite your guests into the space. Don’t neglect the walls! Using artwork or creating an accent wall with tile or stone can add extra layering which makes any residence feel more homey.
Consistency is important for any room design. If a room is designed with different floorings, it can create a segregated appearance by being less cohesive. Open-plan living needs a seamless design with consistent flooring to create an integration of different spaces. This is also vital for transitional areas, including doorways and corridors. Choose a flooring that easily improves every space in your home that you’ll love no matter where it lays.
It’s important to create smaller areas within your open areas so the space has depth. It’s good practice to arrange furniture in a way that allows an invitation point. If the back of a sofa is in the middle of a room and visually heavy (as in the center point), consider placing an attractive table behind the sofa. This communicates with the space beyond and serves as a surface to layer with pictures, memorabilia, etc.
Open Plan Home Ideas for Other Spaces
Comfortable living and dining rooms aren’t the only areas suitable for an open concept. As more homeowners create their own retreat, an open concept bedroom with a walk-in closet and bathroom is popular. A free-standing wall hiding a walk-in wardrobe behind has become more common than a walk-in wardrobe with a door, for example.
If you are trying to incorporate open plan living into your home, contact our interior designers at Surfaces PCB! We can help create inviting, seamless room designs with backsplashes, tile & stone, wood flooring, accent colors and more to get the design of your dreams for your living room, kitchen, bathroom, or any area of your home. You can also visit our 12,000 square foot showroom in Panama City Beach to shop our extensive products. Contact us today at 850-249-4557 to talk with our team!