Defining Open Plan Living Spaces
Open Plan living has become popular in new homes. Open plan living combines the kitchen, dining and living into one large space. It is great for utilising space; especially in apartments where there is not a lot of space to work with. In some cases, like studio apartments there may only be one or two rooms in the entire apartment. We look at ways to define each space within open plan living.
Using furniture to define space
Whether it is built-in or stand-alone, shelving is a great way to define space. Shelving can form walls that divide spaces, these spaces remain connected but are also separate. We have this IKEA shelving in our office. We have it against the wall, but it would look great between two open spaces like the dining room and lounge.
Open plan spaces can be cluttered with stuff if they do not have adequate storage. If you plan on altering your home to be more open plan, make sure you include storage space. Try and think where you’ll keep your vacuum and cleaning supplies. If you have kids, where will you keep their textbooks and stationary. The IKEA shelving unit above is great for book storage. Buckets could be added to the selves to organise stationary or craft supplies.
The image above is of a renovation to a bungalow. The couch between the living space and dining area defines each space in the room.
Wall and floor material changes
Most architects don’t get involved with the finishing touches of a project. We leave it to Interior Designers or the client to decide. But a simple way to define a space is with a large rug. A rug below couches can define an open space. It can create a focal point. Other options are changes to the materials or wall colours within the room. Check out some paint inspiration from Dulux here. You may also have tiles in the kitchen and dining areas that stop where the living room starts.
Things to avoid
Try to group spaces together. The lounge could include a reading nook, or the kitchen could contain a space for a computer. In the living space, try to create a connection to the outside. Indoor / outdoor space is great for entertaining! Check out our tips on Outdoor Living Spaces.