Open Plan Interior Ideas

Open Plan Interior Ideas for Any Homeowner to Love

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Many modern homes are designed with open-plan layouts. It is a relatively new trend that sees a living space transformed into a flexible arena that flows from one zone to another. Typically, a kitchen, dining area, and living space will all roll into one, eliminating the need for walls and maximizing the impact of light and spacious innovation. Yet, if an open-plan zone is executed poorly, it will lead the house's whole mood in a downward spiral. To avoid that and optimize this design choice, this guide has some ideas explored below. 

1. Decluttering Recommendations

The first step is to declutter and invest in storage solutions. Open-plan spaces are vulnerable to mess because there is a vast area to fill. Without storage, clutter will pile up rapidly and depreciate the intended impact. To keep everything clean, tidy, and thriving, try strategically installing a few shelving units or bookcases. A chest of drawers, a cabinet, or a dresser will help with important paperwork and general bits and bobs. 

2. Picking a Theme

Themes are about more than just deciding on a color scheme. They bring the open-plan area together and set the tone for the whole interior. Whether it is through your choice of plants, picture hangings, or lighting, consistency is great, but variety is better. 

3. Separating Zones

A straightforward approach for separating the various zones is creating imaginary boundary lines in your mind. Drawing these out in a sketch as a point of reference lets you envision where everything should go and how all the parts fit together. Assign a purpose to each corner and use your ghost walls to pinpoint where the furniture should sit. Just because there are no physical boundaries doesn't mean you cannot create metaphorical ones with your layout choices. Use bookshelves, sofas, kitchen islands, and plants to blend one space into the next. 

4. Using Furniture to Your Advantage

Alongside your imagination, you can also use furniture to your advantage. When the zones are mapped out, breathe life into the vision with pointed pieces of furniture. No eating space is complete without a set of dining room chairs, and the right table can successfully accentuate a zone in the best ways. Similarly, a living space needs a unique seating arrangement like these sofas, do not just to enjoy but also for comfort and distinction. 

5. Impactful Lighting Tips

Rely where you can on natural light for maximum impact. Of course, there are attractive reasons why pendants, overheads, and even wall lamps are a good path for this type of downstairs space. Yet, natural light is one of the most sustainable and decoratively consistent design choices for spaces. Bold, sliding doors and striking windows will bring all the natural light you need. 

However, it is still sensible to incorporate some warmer lighting for both evenings and the darker, cold months. Try out a tall corner lamp or a fairy light wall hanging. Spotlights are more sustainable, fun, and customizable than traditional ceiling light options.

6. Keep the Noise Disturbance Down Low

Open zones have a lot of attractive qualities, but one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is handling the noise. For example, if someone is cooking in the kitchen area, the person in the comfort zone trying to enjoy a movie is going to suffer. So, how can you mitigate this issue? Soft flooring, big cushions, and even acoustic panels will all help. In the absence of doors, try large and substantial furniture items in key places to absorb noise too. 

7. Flooring and Rugs

Which flooring do you pick will make or break these types of spaces? The most common method is to have the same type of flooring, for example, wood or carpet, throughout the space. Alternatively, changing the format between the zones creates more of a physical distinction but does not run as smoothly. Whether you opt for hardwood or soft carpet, you should never underestimate the power of finding the right rug. It will be the perfect color, size, texture, and shape to finish off an open-plan zone. 

Open-plan interior ideas are personal to each house. With everyone having a personal design preference, the open plan can work for every style and mood. Though they are a staple of modern interiors, they require significant planning and maintenance. Remember the storage, focus on warmth and always have a blueprint to work from. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.