Advice • Tips • Inspiration

With an emphasis on family and space in new homes being built, open-plan living has become a standard feature when it comes to designing a new home. While the term “open-plan” brings to mind large, cavernous spaces that need to be filled with furniture, for most homes this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, these spaces are designed to be functional and suit all aspects of family life, while still creating an atmosphere of comfort and style. It can feel daunting to have to decorate one large space that functions as three separate areas, but we have some tips to help you create the perfect open-plan space for your home.

Identify the Zones


    – Identify each area of the space by strategically placing furniture and accessories. The kitchen is immediately obvious, often separated from the dining and living spaces by an island bench.
    – The dining area is best positioned close to the kitchen to make food service easier, and the dining table itself serves as a room divider between the kitchen and living areas, clearly identifying the dining space as a meals area.
    – Using rugs in certain areas, such as the living space, further defines the area and separates it from the rest of the room without it seeming completely divided.
    – Buying a modular couch for the living area will also clearly identify a seating area and outline the space as its own. The long lines of the couch will also be a room divider of sorts, without an actual wall being there, and placing a buffet or console behind it will also function as an area border.

Interior Styling


    – Choose a neutral colour palette throughout the entire room to keep the flow of each space seamless. The room doesn’t have to be bland and monotone though! By incorporating different tones and shades in each area there will be subtle separation between the zones. A lighter couch with similarly toned cushions will keep the living space bright and airy, while dining chairs upholstered in a darker shade or made from a darker material will create a more structured dining space.
    – Using materials such as timber and stone through the space in key areas will help tie each area together. Benchtops, flooring, and accent furniture pieces that are made from the same material will create a cohesive style without seeming too coordinated.
    – Avoid using furniture that is too high so that the eye is drawn throughout the entire space without any visual obstructions.
    – Consider incorporating a feature wall behind your television to further enhance the feel of a lounge “room” without walls. A focal point draws the eye towards the area and gives the impression of a defined space for relaxing.
    – Don’t feel the need to fill every blank space or you’ll end up with one big cluttered room. Allow for empty thoroughfares and walls to add to the open feel of the space.

Indoor/Outdoor Living


    – If your new home has an alfresco area, ensure the floor plan allows the open-plan space to flow seamlessly outside.
    – Including stacker doors that can be completely opened up will create the illusion of another room that’s part of the indoor floor plan.
    – Keep large furniture pieces away from the doors that open out onto the alfresco area so the space feels continuous as you walk from indoors to outdoors.
    – Adding some greenery around the area where the indoor opens out to the alfresco space will make the spaces blend together flawlessly and placing more greenery in the outdoor space will enhance this seamless transition

By using these clever tips, your open-plan space will feel welcoming, warm, and spacious, and will suit you and your family’s lifestyle perfectly. For more open-plan living design inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today and take a look at our large range of designs.

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