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One of the main reasons that people move house is that they don’t have enough room. But what about when you are really happy with your location and don’t particularly want to move away?
Instead of moving house, you should think carefully about what you actually want. More usable space doesn’t always mean greater square footage; smarter design is often a better way to get what you really want and an open plan living space usually ticks all the boxes.
Here’s how to design a space you’ll love.
Choosing Colors and Materials
Before you do anything, you should think about which rooms you are combining and where you can find cross over with materials. For example, if you plan to create a kitchen, dining and living space, you need to find a way to design continuity into each part of the room. Choosing a material or color that runs through the design is usually the best way to achieve this.
Going for a neutral color for the whole room is a good place to start because you can add details to take you between the spaces. So, let’s say you choose granite countertops for your kitchen, you might also choose a small granite coffee table or maybe you go for a more subtle link with granite coasters. You could also match the shade of the granite when you choose soft furnishings.
Smart Furniture Placement
The next problem to solve is where you put your furniture. L-shapes are a great place to start as they are open but will naturally separate out the spaces in your open plan. So, putting an L-shaped corner sofa in, facing a corner will create a seating area and reflecting that by putting an L-shaped kitchen counter in the opposite corner will balance everything out.
The key to smart furniture placement is always function first. You need the space to flow with your lifestyle, which means that you must plan the whole room in one go. Walk through the space – preferably while it is empty – and think about how you move. You don’t want to be squeezing past furniture, but equally, you don’t want to use furniture that is so small, it feels out of place. Planning is vital!
Zoning with Lights and Rugs
Using your furniture to create zones within your open plan is a good idea but you can tie spaces together using lighting and rugs. For example, placing a pendant light above a dining table will create a gorgeous pool of light while you eat; similarly, an overarching standing lamp is one of the best ways to create a reading nook and highlight your favorite chair or place to sit.
Rugs are also great for creating zones as they pull pieces of furniture together and add a splash of color too. Oversized rugs that your furniture sits on completely are the best option. If you gather your furniture around a rug, it can feel smaller and less cohesive.
A seamless open plan living space always gives a lighter, brighter feel so take advantage of this when you plan. You’ll be surprised by what knocking down a wall or two can achieve!