Whether it be a sleek city centre apartment or a rural barn renovation open plan is the latest big thing in contemporary design. The feeling of space, flow and clarity has been utilised by most architects and designers who believe spacious and well thought out living is a key indicator for a good standard of life. This is most certainly a valid and logical opinion. With open plan living however does create the dilemma of identifying and segregating space. How do you distinguish between a dining area and lounge area? How do you create a cosy living room space? How do you position furniture with no walls to lean against? These are all challenging questions unique to this style of living but, worry not, the answers lie below…
Although open plan properties may not have many walls, by distinguishing different spaces with the clever use of colours, textures and furniture, you can create a less obvious yet highly logical layout for the home. A simple way to define different spaces is by changing wall and floor coverings. For example, create a warming feature wall in your living room, a tiled area for your kitchen and a rugged area for your dining room. To further define spaces use furniture to create different areas. For example, buy a hollow shelving unit, Japanese style screen, bar table, venetian blinds or wall hanging to position between the couch, dining area or kitchen as a subtle, moveable and in keeping room divide. Not only will these help to create a feeling of logic they are also versatile and mobile which means, if you fancy a change, you can very easily alter the layout of your home.
Let It Flow
Although in the previous section I have explained how to segregate the area, as this is an open plan space, it is also important to maintain and enhance a sense of rhythm and pattern throughout the various areas of the house. The most simple and effective way to do this is by repeating texture, colour and form. For example, before you begin to decorate take time to consider a colour and material scheme for the home. If you have a lot of stainless steel in your kitchen area, for instance, echo this in your dining room and lounge by adding stainless steel vases, chair legs, mirrors or frames. Furthermore, if you would like to use reds and pinks in your home why not paint a feature wall in your lounge area, dress your dining table in matching crockery and buy coordinating bar stools and kitchen utensils for your kitchen.
Whatever overall style you wish to create the rules to effective open plan design is simple. Firstly, create specific spaces by cutting off areas with furniture and adding carpets, tiles, feature walls and curtains. Alongside this bring the space back together by repeating pattern, texture and colour throughout the various areas of your home. Together this will provide you with a perfect balance between a beautiful open plan property and a warm and welcoming home.