How To Nail The Open Living Space Trend

Whether better interaction between public spaces (how often do chefs say they love still being part of the conversation in an open plan kitchen living room?), better flow between areas of the home or more light, open-plan living areas have many benefits


Feeling cramped inside your own home is everyone’s worst nightmare. Your home should be your personal space, your hub to recharge your energy, relax and feel safe. This is where open plan living comes in handy.

How does open-plan living benefit you?

Open-plan living provides huge amounts of flexibility within an inviting and social space. It also enhances spatial perception, which means that it helps your apartment or townhouse (or any smaller space) seem that much larger and breathable. When you remove interior walls and partitions, natural light floods the space, reducing dark corners and bland areas of the room.

How do you make spaces flow seamlessly in an open-plan home without losing its unique character?

The use of rugs beneath furniture groupings can be a good technique in denoting zones within a larger area. Overhead lighting such as decorative pendants can also be used to visually draw your eye towards the centre point of a defined space, such as dining or living areas. Ensure that there is enough floor space around groupings of larger furniture so that people can move freely in the space.

Tips for making an open-plan space feel inviting and intimate:

A good technique in creating warm and intimate spaces is to allow for sufficient low-level ambient lighting within zones such as table and floor lamps. It is also important to create smaller areas within areas so the overall space doesn’t feel too vast and cavernous. Use of soft furnishings and tactile textures will also entice you into the space.

Don’t neglect the wall surfaces – use of artwork and wallpaper can add an extra layering which makes any space feel more homely.



How is furniture size an important factor in an open-plan living space?

It is always important to select items which are appropriately scaled to the room. Within a larger space, especially if there is a generous ceiling height, furniture should be grounded and not too spindly to balance the room volume. Avoid placing large solid objects in the centre of the space that might obstruct your view across the room. Remember, your eyes are drawn to the largest pieces first, so make sure nothing is overly prominent.

Are there some rooms that shouldn’t be open-plan?

It may seem obvious, but we have seen some spaces ignoring this rule. Your bedroom and en-suite bathroom should ideally not be open-plan. Privacy is key in such intimate spaces, and open-plan will negate that entirely.

Use room dividers or bookshelves strategically to help create a separation between the different areas. Dressing rooms are also difficult to keep tidy all the time, so these are best to keep separate from living and entertaining spaces.

How do you transition from an open-plan space into a private space?

If you are wanting to maintain an open plan master suite in the same room as the living space (or you have a studio apartment and this is unavoidable), we would strongly suggest keeping the en suite as a separate partitioned room.

How do you transition from an open-plan space into a private space?

The area where a transition or transformation takes place, such as the area between an open-plan space and a private space, is referred to as a liminal space. This is the perfect opportunity to place a console table with lamp or artwork in the hallway to create a pause moment and visual link to transition from your social to private zones.

Are there any problems with open-plan living? How can they be avoided?

Open-plan living often means that there is more echo in a space, because it is so much larger. The sound doesn’t get dampened as much. When working from home, for example, hearing other people in the home talk or watch TV can be incredibly distracting.

Acoustic layering through the use of soft furnishings such as rugs is a good way to manage and absorb sound. A decorative screen/fretwork used as a room divider can create a private space or nook while maintaining a visual link to the rest of the space without introducing solid partitions. Discrete sliding or folding doors could also be used to close off certain areas when required, such as a kitchen, study or dining room.