With today's ever-changing and busy lifestyles, open floor plan concepts are very much a thing. Offering an effortless flow from kitchen to dining to living and with multi-use spaces within rooms, it's a preferred interior style for many families and households. This blog post offers a few good tips, ideas and suggestions, so you can get the best out of your home's open floor plan.
What design styles work for open floor plans?
An open floor plan actually works with any interior design style. Many homes these days are designed from the get-go with an open plan layout, particularly with the dining, kitchen and living room areas as all one large space.
Modern and contemporary spaces lend themselves well to open plan living, as does an industrial interior style. All of these designs adopt clean and open space floor plans and have a more sparse, non-cluttered aesthetic. Clear lines of sight and lots of natural light are the corner stones of open plan design.
What is a contemporary interior design style?
Contemporary interiors adopt the current fashions and design trends. It's known for clean, crisp and sleek lines with an abundance of natural light and open space. Simple shapes with a blend of textures like wood and stone may be present.
The colour palette is typically muted with the occasional contrast through black and white and other shades. Furniture is simple with straight lines and geometric forms.
Is a contemporary design style good for open plan living?
Yes, absolutely! In fact an open and spacious floor plan is a hallmark of a contemporary design plan.
With its sleek lines and light airy aesthetic, an open floor plan is perfect for contemporary interiors. An open kitchen that flows into a dining and then living room that's sparse, yet warm and sophisticated with large windows is a wonderful example of contemporary open plan living.
What is a modern interior design style?
Modern design emerged in the early 19th century and is shaped through a heritage of clear spaces, function, geometric form, cohesive flow and clean lines. It references an era that has passed and in particular, the mid-century modern phase tends to be more popular in modern interiors. Although modern and contemporary share similar elements and features, there are still distinct differences.
How do you arrange an open floor plan?
Work with natural light and it's important not to feel compelled to fill the lovely open spaces completely. Create designated areas - living rooms can be achieved with an area rug, matching sofas and a coffee table or floor lamp by a window.
A kitchen area can house a dining table, or if space allows, you can create a separate dining area with a table and matching chairs between your living space and kitchen. Keep furniture away from the walls as this creates walkways and a broader perception of space and open-ness.
Why are open floor plans a good idea?
Our way of life has changed significantly over the years and we tend to have homes that share spaces and are multi-use. Gone are the days when you're hosting a gathering and someone is stuck in the kitchen while guests are in the 'good room'. Many people are downsizing and high density living is on the rise. Apartment living and smaller footprints are perfect for open concept living.
Whether you're empty nesters, have a young family, have furry friends for family members, or are a student home, an open concept design plan works within any house and for any household.
How do you define spaces in an open floor plan?
Defining living spaces and independent rooms within your open floor plan is really pretty straight forward. Keep a simple colour palette to avoid clutter and excessive busyness.
- Dining room - this can be an area off to the side of your kitchen and leading into a living space. Simply create a space for a table, chairs and include an overhanging pendant lamp or unique lighting to help define the 'room'.
- Add some artwork to wall space to help define a dining room space
- Living room area - create an entertaining space with an area floor rug and a conversation seating arrangement that's easy to access and where you can sit and relax with family and friends.
- Light can offer perceived designated rooms as well.
- Hang a pendant lamp over a dining table
- Place a floor lamp beside a couch or ottoman for an intimate living room area
- To divide spaces in a small open plan apartment, floor to ceiling storage shelves and open book cases are a great way to define rooms. Make features out of storage options and walls.
Can I make my open plan living room feel cosy?
Making a large space feel cosy can be as simple as bringing in lush texture and a few soft textiles. A luxurious sheepskin floor rug and snuggly throw blankets tossed over furniture, within the designated living room area will add instant cosiness.
A Wilson and Dorset Sheepskin Shaggy Bag is the epitome of cosy for any living room. This coupled with an intimate 'conversation' or seating area that invites people in and offers a warm, welcoming vibe will have your open plan living room transformed into a lovely, cosy space.
Consider your lighting options as well. A lamp or dimmer ceiling lights will offer a warm ambience as well.
How can I make my small living room feel bigger?
Paint colour and lighting are excellent ways to space feel more open and larger. Ensure you have single colour throughout with a white ceiling. Lighter and pale shades will offer a more airy and open vibe since they reflect light well.
Utilise the natural lighting where possible and hang mirrors to create a more open plan feel. Choose a sleek and simple sofa and be minimalist with decorating. Don't bring in too many accessory pieces that may fill the room up too much. Pull furniture away from walls and ensure there is walking space between furniture so the room feels bigger.
What are some key features to an open layout?
Open floor plans can sometimes feel a little confusing when it comes to decorating. Where to begin? The following are key elements of a well planned large open space.
- Keep the spaces clear and open - it's tempting to fill the open areas, but it's important not to.
- Create a focal point or particular feature in each defined area.
- Clear lines of sight and continuity will provide a cohesive flow.
- Use a large floor rug, lighting and furnishings to designate, and define spaces, such as your dining room, kitchen area and living area.
- Be clever with the colour scheme - consider a more neutral and coordinated approach for ease of flow.
What colours work well for an open floor plan?
This is really a matter of personal preference. Depending on the natural light that flows into the living areas and kitchen areas, you'll usually be better off with a cohesive colour theme throughout.
If wall space allows then you could consider an accent or feature wall in a different shade. However, artwork is a great way to bring colour and pops of interest into an open floor plan. The best school of thought is a fairly neutral palette and build in your colour from there.
Depending on the flooring you have, whether it's wood, polished concrete or carpet, a neutral colour scheme will work. Tie the wall shades into the flooring for a cohesive flow that's easy on the eye. You can break things up with clever furniture placement, floor rugs and layers to add interest.
In conclusion, an open floor plan is a way of life for many households these days. Larger houses may have a great room, den or basement for additional space - especially great for a teenage home. It's still easy to separate rooms and define areas within an open plan, so that everyone has their place to just 'be'.