Creating Dedicated Spaces in Your Open-Concept Floor Plan

Posted by Lee-Ann Young on Tue, Feb 18, 2020

How to Create Dedicated Living Spaces With an Open Floor Plan Featured ImageOpen floor plans are a great way to enjoy airy and uncluttered living. With that said, you may be having some difficulty creating designated spaces in your wide open floor plan. Deciding how your home should transition from a sitting area to a dining room can sometimes be tricky, but if you want to enjoy an open-concept design while still having distinct, distinguished spaces, here are a few tips to help get you started!

Use Neutral Tones

If you use neutral tones like white, grey, and beige as the foundation of your colour scheme, you can create clear-cut spaces based on the secondary colours of your choice. For example, if your combined den/office has khaki walls, you can use gold accents for the den portion and blue accents for the office section. This will create visual division while still allowing you to enjoy an open feeling. 

Copperhaven Havana Open Concept Dining AreaDesignated Seating Areas 

Having dedicated seating areas is especially important if you like to entertain guests. Should they perch on the sofa while they make small talk? Should they sit at the island while you prepare dinner? Giving your guests a clear place to sit in an open-concept space is easy. Arrange chairs, stools, couches, armchairs and loveseats wherever you'd like your guests to congregate.

Use Rugs for Scope and Scale

Area rugs can be used to trick the eye and give a sense of size and scale to rooms that don't naturally have them. For example, if you use a wide rug that covers a large surface area in a big, open den, you're going to make the entire place feel grand. On the flip side, if you want a cozier feeling in the exact same den, you can use a small rug with chairs huddled around it to suggest intimacy and privacy. Since you won't have walls in an open-concept space to define the scope of a room, you'll need to define it yourself!

Create a Feeling of Symmetry 

This is a subtle way to distinguish one room from another. By "closing" it within two halves, you'll naturally make it feel like a complete space, but you won't need any doors or partitions to physically wall it off. You can still enjoy a free and breezy look - you'll just need to create a symmetrical design with something like double sofas on either side of a coffee table. 

Riverview Austin Open Concept Loft AreaMake a Statement With Your Furniture 

One of the easiest ways to define a room is to put the right furniture in it. Libraries have bookshelves; dens have armchairs and ottomans; home offices have desks and storage cubes. If you want to create specific zones in a blank and open space, think about the kinds of furniture that you can arrange in it. How can you block off a conversation nook? How can you arrange a flowing feeling between the kitchen and the dining room? 

Divide Areas In Clever Ways 

You don't need walls to divide living spaces! There are many fun, creative, and impermanent ways to achieve the same effect without resorting to an expensive renovation. For example, you could invest in room dividers or fabric screens to give your rooms definition. Room dividers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, so you can buy a beautiful oriental shoji screen for your flex room or a wacky and colourful divider for your child's nursery. 

Mind Your Lighting 

Lighting can make or break a room, and when your room is a large open space that stretches across a lot of square feet, it's more critical than ever to get it right! Ideally, you'll have different lighting arrangements for each section of the space. Centralized lights aren't your friend here; they'll make it feel like one big communal space instead of separate individual ones. Instead, buy lamps, sconces, arc lights and pendant lights that can be arranged for specific aesthetics in specific areas.

Work Around Your Anchor Pieces 

"Anchor pieces" can be everything from fireplaces to feature walls. Simply put, they're the biggest or most eye-catching aspect of your interior design. A good rule of thumb when dealing with anchor pieces is to use them as the linchpins or centrepieces of the space; since they're going to attract attention no matter what, it just makes sense to design the room around them. This is particularly helpful when you're working with open floor plans. Anchor pieces can set the tone for the entire level or floor. 

Consider Your Angles 

There are two ways to handle open spaces. The first is to deliberately create lines and corners to divide the area in an unmistakable way, and the second is to avoid sharp angles completely so that one area flows into the next. Both methods have their pros and cons, so it'll be up to you to figure out which works best for your home. If you're concerned about distinct and individual spaces, the first might be more attractive to you, but the second might also hold appeal since you wanted an open-concept floor plan in the first place! 

Cavanagh Havana Open Concept Main Floor

These are just a few ways to decorate and accessorize your open-concept home. However, you shouldn't feel limited by these suggestions! The great thing about an open-concept design is that it's the perfect medium for experimentation, so don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and try new things!

Click here to subscribe to our Home & Lifestyle newsletter!

Topics: interior design, downsizing

Subscribe to the Pacesetter Blog

Follow Pacesetter

Click here to download the 5 Critical Questions guide now!

Recent Posts

Click here to download the Edmonton Area Guide now!

Browse by Tag

see all