Many open plan rooms need to serve more than one function so it is important to think carefully how to organize the layout of the room so that you maintain balance and harmony. There are many different ways in which to define distinct areas, you could use furniture, lighting or flooring or perhaps a combination of all three.
When choosing furniture avoid designs that are compact in the fear of making the room look overcrowded, generous proportions will avoid awkward empty spaces. Open plan living can support bold design statements both in scale and colour. Choose sofas carefully, different scales and shapes, armless or high sided, L-shapes or straight ones will all affect the visual flow of the space in different ways. Think about creating zones by grouping pieces of furniture together, large or small depending on how you anticipate the space to be used. The higher the furniture the more intimate the space will feel, whereas low backed furniture gives the sense that each group is still part of a larger space. Similar style furniture in different colours can also define areas and can give each zone a unique character.
Flooring is an easy way to define distinct spaces with rugs on a hard floor around which furniture is placed. However there are more creative ways such as mixing different types of flooring and if they are a combination of hard floors then the line between them can be curved and can be a feature in their own right. If carpets are to be used in conjunction with hard floors then these should be sunk to ensure that both flooring types are at the same level and avoid unsightly bars and strips, which could also be a potential tripping hazard. Changing the colours of the flooring, or in the case of tiles and wood, changing the pattern of the layout can also define areas within a large room.
Lighting will also help separate zones, especially at night-time and it is important to carefully plan the lighting. Different areas should be operated separately for both ceiling lights and lamps to make the room feel cosy for a small group or open and friendly when there is a larger group. Decorative lighting in the floor or indeed under floor lighting in the case of glass floors can create quite stunning divisions in spaces.
Open Plan living, fills a room full of light and space as precious inches aren’t lost to walls and doors, but the interior design still needs careful consideration to ensure that it functions well whilst also looking stylish and interesting.