How to improve your open-plan living space

Barclay Reclaimed Wood Dining Table and Coffee Table

You may have come across our polls on Instagram and Houzz, and you may have contributed to the debate too. If not, why not take a look and be part of a community that enjoys discussing trends in interior design?

We asked a question that we thought would elicit a lot of response – and we weren’t wrong! Possibly one of our most controversial questions yet: is it over for the open plan living room?

We Asked, You Answered

The answer was no, it is not over with the majority of people still in support of an open plan living room as a great solution for the modern home. But, there were a significant group of people that said yes, it is over for the open plan living space.

What surprised us was the lack of ‘don’t knows’ or ‘unsure’. And we think that this shows the love or hate relationship we have with this style of living. With this in mind, we take a look at an open plan living room and how to create a cohesive space with industrial style furniture that works.

Styling an Open Plan Living Room

Open plan living spaces can be fantastic IF they are styled well, but can look and feel cavernous and characterless if not. Great styles to use with this kind of open living are the farmhouse style – no chance of large farmhouse furniture pieces swamping the space – or the industrial style, one that is synonymous with loft living.

Maddox Reclaimed Elm Dining Table and Coffee Table

So, what hints do we have?

  • Define spaces – just because it is open plan living doesn’t mean that you cannot define spaces within it. But instead of walls, use room dividers such an industrial style display unit. This open shelving unit allows for light and vision to pass through, but zones an area at the same time.
Maddox Industrial Reclaimed Elm Display Unit
  • Think big – an open plan space can accommodate some of the larger pieces of furniture that catch our attention, and do so with ease. For the farmhouse style, there is no denying the importance of the dining table. The heating heart of the home, a large farmhouse dining table works well as it too can be an object that denotes the use of the area. In other words, it is a piece of furniture that allows you and your guests to ‘make sense’ of the open plan living space. (HINT: industrial dining tables work just as well too!)
  • Create a focal point – any room, open plan or otherwise, can seem cavernous and featureless if there is no focal point. They can be a fixed object, such as a splendid fireplace or, for an open living you may want to introduce something else that acts as the defining statement of the room. Living room décor can provide the semi-permanent focal point you are looking for;
    • Expose the beams – paint metal ones black as use these are a frame to the room
    • Be creative – use old windows are a room divider
    • Create a feature wall – and create one that really stands out! From large print wallpaper to super-bold colour, the feature wall can be even more gregarious in an open plan living space

Open plan living is, admittedly, not for everyone. BUT, we think with the right reclaimed furniture and style, it is a space that is cosy, practical and uber-stylish.


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