Tips and Ideas for Open Plan Living in St. Louis

Written by Brittany Allen

tips and ideas for open plan livingOpen-concept floor plans are trendy for many reasons. It opens up small spaces, provides great sight-lines, and gives your home a sense of cohesion, even when the space is being used for multiple purposes.

However, organization is critical. You don’t want to clutter up your space because it would defeat the purpose of the open plan. You also won’t have any “private” spaces, so it’s important to have plenty of storage to keep things like paperwork and pantry items out of sight. Having enough cabinetry and drawers will be a concern, so putting a little thought into this beforehand is advisable.

Plan For Several Distinct Areas

To give your open-plan design some separation and make it feel like several rooms instead of just one, plan groupings of furniture, lighting, and rugs to delineate the space.

Using Flooring And Rugs To Delineate The Open Plan Design

Different types of flooring can be used to separate distinct areas within the open plan, but if you don’t want to have too many types of flooring, area rugs do just as good of a job and might be a bit more versatile. For instance, you might decide to reconfigure the room at some point, and if so, having too many flooring styles might make it a bit more challenging. The idea is to break up the cavernous space with textures, colors, textiles, rugs, and furniture that provide visual separation, even though there are no walls.

Lighting Ideas For Open Plan Living

Lighting can help you achieve this also; and notably, the height at which you place your lighting can completely change the space. For instance, you might set your dining room lights lower, because you tend to sit, more than stand when you are using it.

A living room might have a higher ceiling or lights that are less decorative because you tend to use more lamps while you’re in there.

A kitchen would need more task lighting, so it might need to be a little bit brighter and less ambient than your living room.

tips and ideas for open plan living

Using Rugs To Create “Fake” Rooms

Area rugs are a great way to separate one grouping from another. They give you a focal point to place your furniture around and an anchor for that “room.”

For instance, if you have a big rug in the center of your living area, you would use that as an anchor point for your couches, your chairs, and your tables. Everything anchors to that rug in a way that it doesn’t feel like your stuff is just floating in empty space.

Same goes for your dining room table. You would want to choose something that really anchors that table and those chairs to that spot in the room. You’ll be able to walk in and say, “that’s the living room, that’s the dining room,” and it’s all going to flow nicely.

Are Rugs Not Your Style? Here Are Some Alternatives

If rugs are not necessarily your thing, you could achieve the same kind of aesthetic using lighting, furniture, or perhaps some functional pieces of art.

Color Blocking

If you’re going for a minimalist vibe, you could achieve this with colors. For instance, the living room is this color, the dining room is a shade darker, and then the kitchen’s back to a lighter shade to make you feel like you’re stepping from one space into another – even though it’s all technically in the same room.

tips and ideas for open plan living

Playing With Ceiling Heights

If the dining room or one of the spaces had a lower ceiling height and then it opens back up as you move into the next area, it would definitely make it feel like you’re in a different space.

If you have high ceilings throughout, you might choose to lower the ceiling in the dining room, for instance, to make it seem a little more intimate and like another room entirely.

Changing Things Up In An Open Plan Design

In our experience, an open plan is something that a lot of people want these days. However, if you’re thinking about changing anything, it’s a little more complicated because anything you want to change—be it the paint color, the flooring, the lighting, or the ceiling heights—is going to have an impact on the rest of the space too.

Are you looking for great tips and ideas for your open plan living design? We’ve got plenty! Call today to set up a free consultation with our designers. 

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