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How to Make the Most out of an Open Floor Plan

Many homes and apartments nowadays come with an open floor plan. This is, of course, great because it gives a home more versatility. It is easier to move things around and change things up when you get bored of certain placements. But, like all things, there is a downside to it. If the layout is not well thought out, a house with an open floor plan can look cluttered and messy. Luckily, there are many tricks you can follow to ensure that each activity has its place and each “room” is distinct, despite not having walls as divisions.  

TIP #1: Plan Ahead  

dark moody home with a loft

 Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash  

This tip is mostly applicable to those who haven’t moved into their space and have not yet bought furniture. However, it can be adjusted accordingly. Create a floor plan and make it as detailed as you can. Tape down where you want your furniture to go and measure out how big you need them to be. This way, you won’t let the furniture dictate how your space should look. You should always buy furniture that will be best suited for your space and not adjust your space to what suits your furniture best. Everything will fall into place like puzzle pieces if you don’t skip this important step. 

Let’s say you want to adjust your existing space with the furniture you already have, there’s no need to fret! Measure out your furniture and make a floor plan on paper. You can move things around as needed until you’ve found your perfect set up. Do not be afraid of getting rid of the things that you find no longer serve its purpose. 

TIP #2: Create Divisions Using Visual Cues 

large living room area with large glass doors and windows

 Photo by Alberto Castillo Q. on Unsplash

There are certain rooms that stand out because of the fixed elements they have. For example, the kitchen is set apart because of the stove, refrigerator, and sink. The bedroom can also be obviously set apart because of the bed itself. There is usually at least one element in a room that makes the space distinct. For the dining room, it’s the table. For the living room, it’s the couch or perhaps a television. These serve as great visual cues. However, it would be even more distinct with more visual reinforcements. 

Area rugs are a great way to achieve division without having to put up walls. Make sure that the area rugs are the right size for the furniture around it and make sure that the colors are distinct enough from your flooring. Another way you can create a distinction is through shelves. They serve multiple purposes because you can also use them as storage.  

Another way to really ensure that the rooms feel divided is by being disciplined in doing particular activities in the “right” areas of the house. It trains your brain to associate eating with the dining room and not the living room. It helps you develop good work habits when you only work inside your home office and not your bedroom.  

TIP #3: Task Lighting Helps Highlight an Area’s Purpose 

black chair with black standing lamp

 Photo by Vincent Wachowiak on Unsplash 

There are three types of lighting every area should have. The ambient lighting is for the general illumination of a room. The accent lighting is to help highlight certain design elements like artwork or anything you want to put on display. The third kind is task lighting. From its name, task lighting is to assist you in whatever activity you might need to do. Having the right task lighting further reinforces the purpose of certain area of your home. Add a lamp next to your reading chair or on your work desk. Hang pendant lights above your dining room and kitchen counter. Although pendant lights could be considered ambient lighting, they also help with tasks like cooking and eating. These lights really help distinguish what an area is for. 

TIP #4: Use Varying Design Elements 

apartment with red couch, wood dining table, and transparent dining chairs

 Photo by deborah cortelazzi on Unsplash

To further emphasize the zones you’ve created, try using different design elements for different parts of your home. Mix up your furniture styles without clashing them. If you have wooden chairs in your dining room, maybe you can use metallic barstools for your kitchen. If you have a large velvet sectional in your living room, maybe you can opt for leather seating in your home library. 

TIP #5: Embrace the Open Space 

 living room with grey couch, wooden coffee table, and large grey area rug

 Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Yes, you’ve created divisions for a reason, but this does not mean you cannot enjoy your home’s beautiful open floor plan. Do not put up too many high divisions that cut the floor of energy in your house. The beauty of an open floor plan is that everything feels wider, and you feel like you have more room. Space is not wasted on walls. If you must put up dividers, opt for those that can be moved easily so you can put them away when not needed. Or you can also use dividers with holes so you can still see through them. An example of this is a shelf with no backing.  

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