Open plan living areas are now more common than ever, especially in Australia where at-home entertaining is a mainstay of many people’s lives. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular - they offer you the opportunity to combine your kitchen/dining/living areas into one shared, multifunctional space that’s comfortable and encourages social interaction.
However, just because you’ve got a lot of room to work with doesn’t mean that they’re easy to style. If you want a stylish and functional open plan living area, make sure you avoid these 6 styling mistakes.
1. All Furniture Up Against The Walls
People often feel compelled to push all of their larger items of furniture, such as sofas and dining tables, up against the wall. If you’ve chosen the right sized furniture for the space, there’s absolutely no need to do this.
Moving them into the centre and providing walking room around them will make the space feel more natural. Don’t worry too much about ‘cutting off the room’. Just because it’s called open plan doesn’t mean you need to have a cavernous, empty space at the centre.
2. Different Zones Aren’t Defined By Anything
The point of an open plan living space isn’t to have one giant room, but rather to allow you to seamlessly transition from one area to the other. You don’t want the space to feel like a huge town hall interior.
Seperate zones should be defined to help anchor them and give them a sense of purpose. Putting a rug down in the living room, moving a sofa across the space or hanging pendant lighting above a carefully positioned dining table are all great ways to do this.
3. The Different Zones Don’t Speak To Each Other
Because they share a common space, the separate zones of your open plan living area should speak to each other when it comes to styling and furniture. You want them to be similar enough to seem coherent but different enough to differentiate themselves as discrete areas.
Careful planning is essential here. What you’re aiming for is for things to appear effortless while simultaneously feeling harmonious and resolved.
4. The Decor Is All Too Similar
There’s a fine line between harmonious coherence and soulless uniformity. For example, buying an entire set of matching furniture from the one store might seem like a good idea, but it can come off feeling forced and charmless. Make sure you take the time to find the right blend of designs and materials.
5. It Seems Incomplete & Empty
Minimalism is all well and good, but you don’t want your open plan living area to remind people of an empty airport arrivals lounge. Make sure you have enough furniture, decor and art in the space to make it seem vibrant and lived in.
6. The Furniture Is Too High
A low sofa across the room can help to define the zones without dominating the space. High backed sofas, on the other hand, can cut off the space and are often far too dominant. If you do want a sofa with a headrest, try positioning it against a wall and use another styling method to help define the space between the living and dining areas.
Thinking of building a new home that features an open plan living space? Now that you know how to style one properly, we can help turn your open plan living dream into a reality. To find out more check out our great range of home designs
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