Making the Most of Your Open-Plan Space

So, we’ve chatted about how to tackle the shoebox apartment, but what about the other end of the spectrum? Working out how to mould your large spaces in an aesthetically-pleasing fashion can be just as tricky as dealing with cramped hidey-holes. After all, when you’re given so many options for furniture choice and placement, you can start to feel a little overwhelmed.

Some of the most common mistakes amateur home decorators make when presented with a large space is the inability to create flow and focus, and instead, ending up with an awkward, clunky mish-mash. Thankfully, with open-plan homes being such a huge interior trend at the moment, expert designers have come up with plenty of tips and tricks to help you navigate your way around all that space in the most stylistic and functional ways possible. Let’s take a look…

Divide your space up and create separate living zones

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s incredibly important and should be approached in a strategic manner. Delegate your zones, leaving a gap of at least 800mm between each one, and then artistically mark them out using any of the following stylish elements:

  • Oversized rugs
  • Beaded curtains
  • Decorative screens
  • L-shaped sectionals
  • A console table
  • A beautiful daybed

Just remember – while you certainly want to give a sense of separate living zones, you don’t want them to feel like entirely different countries! Ensure everything ties in: choose a colour theme and maintain it throughout, and echo your textures and styles in each zone.

Pull furniture off the walls and forge cosy arrangements in the centre of the room

In small spaces, you don’t have much choice but to push your furniture up against the wall in order for your guests to actually move around the room. Large spaces, on the other hand, have much more fluidity and freedom, and can actually start to feel quite sterile and isolated when you shove everything up against the walls.

Instead, opt to group your furniture closer to the centre of the space according to each item’s allocated zone. If you are working with a living area, leave room to walk around behind your sofas. If you’re in the kitchen, try incorporating a beautiful timber island bench to break up the space. You can even employ this tactic in the bedroom: while traditionally, most bedheads are designed to be placed tight against the wall, large bedrooms allow you to get creative with multi-purpose bedheads where one side serves to support the bed and the other acts as a bookshelf or storage space.

It’s important to note that when choosing to centre your furniture, you can’t abandon your walls altogether. They still need a bit of lovin’, so fill them up with striking artworks, such as a neat grid of framed prints, or install some elegant floating shelves.

Inject a sense of cosiness with the right décor

One of the biggest problems with open-plan spaces is the challenge to create that highly-coveted ambience that invites guests to relax and enjoy the environment. However, this needn’t be the case. Occasional chairs are ideal in big spaces – simply position them in bare areas to create reading nooks (complete with an ottoman, if you wish), or pop a matching pair against a wall separated by a large mirror or piece of art. Additionally, you can fashion an intimate corner for two by erecting a small card table complete with elegant seating and mood candles.

We also suggest bringing some life into your open-plan space with tall potted house plants. These are especially handy in rooms with high ceilings, as they help to fill that vacant vertical space. Scatter these in lonely corners, or frame windows with matching greenery (this way, your plants are bound to receive substantial sunlight as well).

And there you have it - with just a few savvy styling secrets, you can craft an open-plan space that ticks all the right boxes.