Zone Room Using Furniture

How to Zone a Large Room Using Furniture

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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An open-plan living space can be a fashionable design choice. Ideal for large groups living together, they can work to foster a sense of community and collaboration not seen in traditional home layouts before.

However, open-plan spaces do come with their unique disadvantages. The lack of distinct borders or defining markers between different areas of the space can be confusing and even overwhelming for some. While the wide, unbroken view can create a sense of disorder or even messiness. Zoning a large room properly is essential if you want to make your open-plan living space an enjoyable place to be, and furniture is the perfect tool to do this with. Read on to find out how.


Sofas are ideal for mapping out areas of your space. They can create effective, solid borders, while their orientation can direct the gaze and create concentrated focal points within specific sections.

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What kind of sofa will work for you depends entirely on the space itself and what style you are trying to implement. So first, look at a living room furniture sale and the different kinds of sofas on offer. Then, map out a plan of your space, in your mind's eye and on paper, with measurements to see what piece will suit you best.  


For example, free-standing shelves, like bookshelves, can be a bold choice that, if executed correctly, can look striking and be incredibly effective at zoning and separating your open space. Use them to create borders and clear lines of separation.

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Shelves have several additional benefits. They are relatively easy to move should you change your mind or want to refresh the space, and they offer storage options from both sides if you've gone for an open back shelf.


Islands or floating worktops are a far more permanent solution than shelves or even sofas. However, they can add real stability and steadiness to a space, distinctly designating specific zones and drawing boundary lines.

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Islands are perfect for zoning out kitchen space and have the added benefit of providing more surface area and storage space.

Sideboards and Consoles

Sideboards, side tables, and consoles are quick and easy solutions for zoning an open living space. They are arguably the simplest and most practical way to do so and can certainly be the cheapest. Ease of movement means you can chop and change as you see fit, creating a variety of divides and zones to suit whatever your particular needs at that time may be.  

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Open-plan homes and living spaces may not be as popular as they once were, perhaps due in part to an increase in people working from home. However, it is important to know the techniques involved in zoning them out and defining clear boundaries and lines. It can teach us a lot about how to manipulate and maximize available space effectively and demonstrates the importance of using furniture beyond just as an inanimate object to sit on.  

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.
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