In the past, homes were built with clearly defined rooms, each separated by four walls and a door. And while this comes with its benefits, it also tends to make a home feel dark and closed in.
To solve these problems, the open concept home emerged. Open concept living means plenty of light and a large, open space. You walk through the front door and you can see the entire living space in one sweeping glance.
This type of home is desirable for many, but it isn’t without fault. An open floor plan isn’t the easiest to design, the lack of separation between rooms can make it feel impossible to create a sense of privacy or intimacy.
That said, you don’t have to be an interior designer to create a beautiful home. If you have a few tips to draw from, you can create an open concept design that’s both functional and attractive. Read on to learn everything you need to know!
1. Area Rugs Are Your Best Friend
One of the easiest but most effective ways to create “rooms” within your open concept design is to use area rugs to define spaces.
Let’s say your dining room and living room occupy one large space (a common occurrence in open floor plans). You can ground each section with a large rug, creating separation between the two.
The key is to choose rugs that complement each other but aren’t exactly the same. Remember, you want the spaces to feel different without clashing, as they’re technically in the same room.
2. Repeat Colors and Patterns
If you’re looking for a safe option that will still produce a stylish design, repeating colors and patterns throughout your home is the way to go. First, choose a color that you enjoy – unless you’re going for an adventurous design, it should be somewhat neutral.
Blue and gray, for example, make excellent options for your repeating color. Once you have your color, use it throughout your home without making the entire house that color.
You could use the same color on your front door, your kitchen cabinets, and your dining room chairs while using complementary colors with the remaining items. The idea is to create cohesion without making the rooms feel identical.
Similarly, if you have a particular pattern or texture that you like, use it in each room. Now, the throw pillows on the couch don’t have to match the drapes in your bedroom. Focus on coordinating items that are visible in a single view.
3. Keep Paint and Trim Consistent
There are plenty of areas within your home where you can express yourself and show personality, the paint and trim are not among them. The trim should be the same color all throughout your home.
And, as tempting as it may be to break up a room with different paint colors, each wall should be one color only. Yes, even that extremely long wall that stretches from the front door to the back patio.
Be sure to test samples in each area of the room when painting a long wall, as it will look different depending on the lighting.
4. Create Symmetry With Furniture
When you’re adding larger furniture pieces to your space, symmetry is key. The easiest way to do this is to double up on your sofas, placing one on each side of the room. If you have an indoor plant on one side of the fireplace, add a complimentary plant to the other.
Pro tip: be careful not to push everything up against the walls. It’s easy to think that this will make the room feel more open, but it will have the opposite effect. Keep the majority of your pieces away from the walls. The only pieces that should be against the wall are bookcases and other items used to break up long walls.
5. Add Warmth With Lighting
Every home needs lighting, but because an open concept home has a tendency to feel a bit cold, lighting is even more important. Lighting will help to emphasize different spaces while adding warmth to your home.
There are a few different types of interior light, each of which should be included in the design. These are ambient, task, and accent lighting.
The first to address is your ambient lighting, as this will provide illumination to the entire room. In a kitchen or dining room, this can be a pendant light or chandelier, while recessed lights are typically a better living room option.
Task lighting is your floor and table lamps, as well as any additional lighting that makes performing specific tasks easier. Last, accent lighting should be used to draw attention to the focal point of each space. This brings us to our next point!
6. Create Focal Points in Each Space
Each room or space in your home should have a focal point that sets it apart from the other spaces. Maybe this is a large piece of artwork in the kitchen or a gorgeous set of french doors you got from Renewal by Andersen windows & doors in the dining room.
In previous points, we talked about creating cohesion between the various areas of your design. This is where you’ll give each area personality. The special decor pieces you choose will help to define each area as its own room.
Your focal point can be anything you want, from vintage finds to DIY projects, as long as it draws the eye and defines the room.
Bring Your Open Concept Floor Plan to Life With These Tips
Designing an open concept can be tougher than you think. Without any defined areas, it can be difficult to arrange furniture in a way that feels welcoming and adequately divides the space.
Using these tips, you can design your space with confidence and get the most out of your open concept home.
Looking for more tips and ideas for designing your dream home inside and out? Be sure to check out our blog!