Open floor plans are a trend that seems to be on the rise these days. The more open the space is, the freer the whole area appears. Connecting the kitchen, the dining room and the living room, open floor plans are basically three rooms brought together to achieve the concept of one large room. Simple as it sounds, these trendy ways of approaching a lifestyle require dedication and planning. There’s more to open floor plans than simply demolishing the walls that separate the three mentioned rooms. In order to bring out the full experience of this open space and avoid it looking bleak, boring and dead, pay attention to the advice that follows.
Keeping the Rooms Divided
While the entire concept of an open floor plan is a large common room, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is not properly separating the rooms. Although the three are all a part of one large open space, properly marking borders between the kitchen, the dining room and the living room is somewhat necessary.
The separation of the “rooms” in question boils down to creating visual distinctions between them, with a hint of an occasional physical division. Follow the hints below, to achieve that complete, separate look.
- A bit of open space between room transitions will go a long way in creating that “divided feel”.
- A vast majority of any room boils down to the walls and the ceiling, which can serve as a means of separating them appropriately. Different finishes on walls and the ceiling can create that distinctive look that you should be aiming to achieve. Be careful however not to mismatch the colors – in fact, going with different colors will provide too much of a ‘funky’ look. Instead of experimenting with colors that may and may not be matching, when approaching your open floor plan design, try and stick to a single color in a variety of shades – this will keep the “rooms” separate, yet provide enough distinction.
- Floors, much like the ceiling and walls should come in different shades of the same color. Keep in mind, though, that kitchen will benefit the most if you opt for tiles – both aesthetically and functionality-wise.
- When it comes to separating your open floor plan rooms, think accessories and other trivialities – each of the target rooms benefits from different style choices; for example, a lava lamp (perhaps of the same theme color of your walls and ceilings) is perfect for a living room, but might seem like an odd sight in a kitchen. Pro tip: opt for a different material theme for each of the makeshift rooms in your large open area.
- The last thing that comes to mind when you think ‘open floor plan’ are doors. However, bi fold doors can do a world of good for an open area – not only do these provide an adjustable visual separation, but also a tweakable amount of privacy – close the doors when you feel like working or studying in your dining room area and open them to provide the open feel yet again.
The ‘Open Feel’
Although achieving a solid open floor plan may mostly boil down to keeping the rooms open, while providing the separate feel, the amount of effort you’ve invested into planning it all can easily be ruined by overcrowding the large common area with too much stuff.
Think about floating your dining table on a rug, but leaving the surrounding area clear; not only to provide the feeling of openness, but also for the sake of functionality.
A living room without a couch isn’t really a living room, but if the things feel crammed, this piece of furniture will do you no good. Focus on leaving enough empty space in front of the couch and opt for a medium-height small coffee table if you can, but if your open floor plan simply isn’t spacious enough, a low, broad one will work just fine.
Open floor plans may seem like an easy idea to implement, but rest assured that you’ll need to invest quite bit of effort in order to create that feeling of openness. Follow these guidelines, use expert advice and you are on your way to have a relaxing and open environment in your home.