This post is contributed.
Image via Unsplash
Whatever the space you have, be it a tiny apartment or a spacious family home, an open plan layout has definite advantages. Not only does it increase the square footage available to you through removing walls and doorways, but it also improves the flow of light and gives an airy, sociable feel – and there’s definitely a reason it’s become a standard feature of modern design. The secret to making an open plan space work well for you really lies in careful planning, and in understanding exactly how you use the space and how it needs to function to enhance your lifestyle. You need to fit several functions into one seamless space, and there’s definitely an art to that.
Understanding How To Zone Your Space
Open plan spaces run the risk of feeling quite cold unless you take some steps to zone out the space that you have and create different feels at certain points of your scheme. You can do this with low level dividers such as shelving units or a breakfast bar to separate the kitchen from the living room – this allows the connection and flow of open plan living whilst also ordering the space nicely. Modular seating units or duresta sofas can also work for this purpose. Use lighting to create a cosy corner for relaxing with a statement floor lamp or a dramatic cluster of pendant lights over the dining area to create a mood of intimacy.
Switch Up Your Flooring
If you do go for open plan design, you have the opportunity to get creative with your flooring finishes. You can mix and match different types of flooring within your space to create separation with some pretty creative results – such as combining hexagonal ‘honeycomb’ tiles in a kitchen or hallway area with engineered wood floors in your family room space. The one rule is to pick styles and tones which complement each other and give a sense of flow.
Make The Stairs A Feature
Curiously, even in open plan living spaces, the stairs often remain walled off and enclosed, but done right, your stairs can actually become a very striking feature – staircases with glass panelled siding, ‘floating’ steps and LED up lighting not only look amazing, but further enhance the flow of light through the room and if the space below is dark, they also allow light through from upstairs. Think about stairs as a design enhancement rather than an obstacle or something which has to be purely functional.
Introduce Glass Dividers
If you do wish to keep some internal separation and have a way of closing off spaces and yet still crave the light airiness of an open plan design, you could also consider using glass doors or sliding glass panels to keep light flowing through your space. Crittall windows are a very popular design choice that give a sleek, industrial look to a space. If you feel an area needs privacy, such as a home office, then you can opt for obscured glazing to give all the benefits while still maintaining separation.