Open floor plans have become a mainstay in modern home design. These spacious layouts foster a relaxed lifestyle that combines cooking, eating, and lounging. However, designing these multifunctional spaces can be a challenge. To help, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to open floor plan design.
DO: Create Distinct Zones
Do carve out spaces for different activities within the open layout. This could be a reading nook, dining area, or TV lounge. Use furniture arrangements, rugs, or lighting to help define these areas and their purpose.
DON’T: Forget About Flow
Don’t obstruct the flow of movement around the space. Keep pathways between different zones clear. Your layout should guide people through the space naturally.
DO: Use a Cohesive Color Palette
Do use a cohesive color scheme throughout the space to maintain a sense of unity. You can still differentiate areas by varying the shades and tones of the chosen palette.
DON’T: Neglect Lighting
Don’t rely on one source of light for the entire area. Incorporate a mix of overhead, task, and ambient lighting to create a flexible and inviting space.
DO: Incorporate Similar Materials and Finishes
Do use similar materials, finishes, and textures to further enhance the cohesiveness of your open floor plan. Consistency in these elements will subtly tie the space together.
DON’T: Overcrowd the Space
Don’t overcrowd your open floor plan with too much furniture or décor. The beauty of an open floor plan lies in its sense of spaciousness. Maintain plenty of open areas to preserve that feeling.
DO: Use Rugs to Define Areas
Do use rugs to help visually define different zones in your open floor plan. They can anchor a space and make it feel more intimate.
DON’T: Ignore the Power of Sightlines
Don’t forget about sightlines. Consider what you see from different spots in your open floor plan. Are there any areas you’d rather hide? Any views you’d like to emphasize? Position furniture and décor with these sightlines in mind.
DO: Consider Acoustics
Do think about acoustics, as open spaces can be echoey. Soft furnishings and rugs can help absorb sound, while room dividers or bookcases can help deflect it.
Designing an open floor plan requires thoughtful planning and attention to detail. But when done correctly, these spaces can deliver a harmonious blend of functionality, flow, and aesthetics. Remember these dos and don’ts, and you’ll be well on your way to creating an open floor plan that is both beautiful and practical.
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