Create an Inviting Open-plan Space

27 July 2018

Interiors, Kitchen, Living Room

Australians are a casual bunch, so it’s not surprising that we love open-plan homes so much. This informal style of living with fewer walls and maximum light perfectly suits our appreciation for an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. One of the downsides of an open-plan home is it can feel cavernous if not furnished or decorated well. The question is, how do you design an open-plan home so that it feels warm and inviting?

Define ‘zones’ with furniture

An open-plan space without clearly defined areas is confusing to navigate and use. Despite the absence of walls for blocking off spaces, you can still create ‘zones’ in other ways. Furniture and its placement heavily influence how a space is perceived and functions. The backs of sofas and couches can form an organic divide between the living area and the kitchen. If you are worried about the back of the sofa being unsightly, dress it up with a console table. Similarly, use backless bookshelves or screens to divide an open-plan space into different areas. This will provide a visual stop and create a sense of intimacy without defeating the purpose of open-plan living.

Add a rug

Another way to create zones is by introducing an area rug. The rug defines the size of the zone and also helps to tie all the furniture together. Make sure to place furniture on or bordering the area rug to show that it belongs to the same zone.

Soften lighting

Open-plan homes often have plenty of natural light pouring in during the day, but to make the space feel cosy at night, invest in some soft ambient lighting. Lighting that is too cool or bright will make your space feel harsh and cold. A warmer light that disperses evenly throughout the space will make your home feel much more inviting.


Appeal to the tactile senses by adding furniture or decor objects made from natural or upholstered materials to counterbalance the clean, sharp modernity of open plan design. Objects like a velvety suede armchair, a reclaimed wood side-table, or hand-woven straw baskets will make the space feel much more lived-in.

Foster community

When entertaining guests, you want spots which facilitate conversation. Have enough comfortable seating so everyone can gather together to make the most of the communal space. Make socialising a priority by ensuring seating is close enough together so people don’t have to shout at each other to be heard.

Follow these tips and you can create an open-plan home that makes the most of the space without missing out on that cosy, homey feeling.

Visit an Andersens store near you for more ideas and help with your interiors.

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