The open floor plan layout featuring a large open space and plenty of light is high on the wish list for home buyers and renters. But the open floor plan layout isn’t easy to pull together. It may lack warmth, intimacy and privacy if improperly laid out. It also might seem daunting to figure out how to arrange furniture with no defined areas.
It’s easier than you think to layout an open floor plan in a way that is stylish and functional. The first step is to imagine which zone will be your living, office, dining kitchen and bedroom area. Once you have a general idea of your zones, check out these gorgeous open floor plan spaces for 12 ways to rock an open floor plan layout.
Arrange your furniture away from the walls
To make the best use of a large, open space, float your furnishings in the middle of the room. Use the wall area as the “hall” to move from one section to another. Image: Gaile Guevara
Create a “room” with an area rug
When you’re dealing with a large, open floor plan, designating an area for dining, sitting or working can be confusing. Adding a large area rug as the landing spot for your living room arrangement or dining area creates a defined, visual room within an open space. Image: Moloney Architects
Repeat a favorite element in each open floor plan section
A successful open floor plan features several “rooms” that tie in with each other. To create a cohesive look, use a key element, like the brass light fixture over the dining table of this setting, repeated in the brass legs on the chair in the living area of this open space. Image: Kimberly Peck
Go with a cohesive color theme throughout
Paint the large open space in the same neutrals throughout, but choose an accent color that repeats in every section. In this gorgeous loft space, whites and greys are the neutral with various shades of seafoam blue as the accent color, repeated in the kitchen island base, sofa throw pillows and dining room wallpaper. Image: Blue Ladder Studio
It’s all about flow in an open floor plan
Flow is defined as how one moves through a room both physically and visually. In Feng Shui, flow also includes the movement of energy like air and light in a space. To create flow in an open floor plan, allow for ease of movement througout the room. The most ideal flow for a space involves movement through the room in “s” shapes instead of in a straight line. Follow the path in this image from dining area to living space, fireplace and back around and you’ll see how you can meander through the room effortlessly. Image: Gaile Guevara
Address the floor and ceiling, too
To create an interesting and dynamic open floor plan, you’ve got to break up the large, empty-box effect. Anchor the floor for an intimate feeling by adding richly textured rugs or flooring in areas. Once the floor is addressed, look at how you can bring the ceiling down in certain areas for a more intimate section. A good way to do so without losing the large, open space feeling is by a large hanging pendant or group over your dining table, kitchen island or living room. Image: BW Architects
Decorate with multi-function furnishings
If you float your furniture away from the walls to maximize your space, make sure you choose furniture that can be accessed from all sides, like the floating island in this image that features a bookcase on one side. This adds functionality to your open loft space and if you’re dealing with a small studio size, expands your room. Image: Amitzi
Paint a focal wall in a rich, contrasting color for depth
To warm up a large open floor plan and define your areas further, add a contrasting color wall. A good way to add a striking focal wall to an open loft includes wallpapering a section, painting a wall in a rich color or adding contrasting-color cabinets in the kitchen. Image: Kimberly Peck
Use round furnishings to soften an open floor plan
Since most open floor plans are rectangular and feature angular elements, adding round furnishings and accessories breaks up all the sharp angles. This boxy modern loft was softened up with a round dining table, a round footstool or pouf, round side table and a large, arching floor lamp. Image: Homewings
Add a room divider for privacy
Being able to close off a section occasionally with a creative room divider adds function and intimacy to the large open loft space without permanently closing the open floor plan in. Check out more creative room divider ideas. Image: Allen-Kilcoyne
Decorate your open floor plan with modular or movable furnishings
The beauty of an open floor plan is that the space can be anything you want it to be. Don’t commit yourself permanently to a single layout. Choose lightweight furnishings, modular pieces that expand and separate and furniture on wheels that can be moved and changed around easily. Image: Destination Eichler
Break the open areas down further
When you set up your open loft into general spaces like a living area, dining area or kitchen, think about how you can break the space down further to maximize use. For example, this small kitchen’s island was placed perpendicular to the cabinets to divide the space into two zones – cooking area and eating/breakfast spot. Image: Chorazak Studio
When working with an open floor plan layout, visualize where you’ll place the most important zones of your space. Once you’ve decided where your living room, bedroom, dining and kitchen areas are, use these 12 open floor plan layout ideas to add maximum function and style to your modern loft space.
Want to see how you can take a small open box and turn it into a fabulous small and open floor plan? Check out the 10 tiny coolest studios we’ve seen.
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