Open living has been incredibly popular for the past few years. It is a wonderful way to create a real centre in your home where everyone is able to come together. However, it can be far too easy to “zone” off different areas of the room and end up with a space that is not cohesive and does not flow too well. Here are some of the things you can do to bring your space together once more and make it feel more cohesive.
Use Colour Accents
With a wide-open space like what you get with open living, you need to make sure that you are populating it with the right colours. It can be tempting to fall back into the “zoning” technique and using colour to allocate, say, an area each for cooking, dining, and relaxing. However, this can interrupt the flow of the room, something that is very much against the principle of open living.
One way that you can link everything together is with the use of colour accents. You might have chosen a neutral for the majority of the room, but a nice colour will bring it all together uniformly to create a great space for you to relax in. Try to scatter this accent colour around as best as you can. For example, if you have some yellow ceramic in the kitchen, try to find some items in a matching yellow to put in the sitting room area. Small things like this are going to create a more cohesive area.
Create Lines to Follow
A great way to create a sense of cohesion within a room is to create lines within the room for the eye to follow. These are an old interior decorating trick, and it is surprisingly easy to do. Firstly, you want to pick something that might make a statement and draw the eye. For example, a piece of art is a great choice, and it could hang in pride of place in the sitting room area.
You then pick an item that is nearby, and is going to carry your eye there. Examples here could involve another smaller piece of art, or maybe some fresh-cut flowers. You then place something else to continue the chain. Ideally, you want to keep linking items and creating a line like this until you have crossed the room. Your eye is then compelled to follow along this chain, and if the room is L-shaped you could be inspired to move further in and see what else awaits. It really is a simple yet effective trick for you to utilise within your home.
Remember the Details
In addition to colour accents, you can place small other details around the room that can really help to tie things together. For example, if you have rattan table mats on your dining room table, why not see if you can use rattan somewhere else in the room?
With an open-plan living space, everything always has to be about making the right connection at the right time. Though several household operations might take place here, you want to make sure that this is a place where everyone can come together as one. Therefore, you need to make sure that there are little indicators here and there which help to show that this is indeed one cohesive space. The devil will always be in the details, and the smallest of things can really help to make it feel like one room instead of two or more just sharing the same space.
Arranging the Furniture
You also need to ensure that the furniture has been properly arranged so that the flow of the room is not interrupted too much. Some create their own open-plan room from an existing floorplan, others opt for it straightaway, but either way you choose it because that is the style of room that you feel will fit in with your lifestyle the best. Therefore, you also need to make sure that you are properly maintaining the flow of the room and treating it as one space.
It is fine to have a few little areas sectioned off compared to the others. For example, island counters are incredibly popular in open-plan kitchens. They give a little more counterspace, and allow for someone in the kitchen to face out into the room instead of having their back to them. This then means that they can engage in conversation and anything else that might be happening in the room.
If you have children, you might also want to set up some sort of play area for them. You obviously might want to keep this relatively contained so they do not spread across the room, but arranging the furniture properly here means that you will be able to get a clear view of them as they play. This might be preferable to having them in a separate playroom, especially if they are quite young.
Create the Space That Works for You
When it comes to open plan living, you really need to focus on creating the space that works for you the best. It is one thing to just cram all of your living room and kitchen furniture into one space, and quite another to plan a functional room where everything flows nicely.
Remember that it might take you several goes to get a layout that works best for your family and this is absolutely fine. You have all the time in the world to work out what the optimal set-up for this type of space might be, and it really might require some careful thinking or even new furniture. Start today – think clearly about the space that you have and what some of your existing issues with it might be. It could be more straightforward than you think, or you might have to play around a little. However, with some hard work you should soon have the open-plan living space that you have always dreamed of.