9 Ways to Create Zones in an Open-plan Home
Whether you love open-plan living or simply need to use a room for more than one purpose, here’s how to create zones to make it work
Try designing each zone differently, starting with the wall treatments. Here, the walls are decorated in contrasting ways, with industrial-style exposed brick in one zone next to tiles and painted cabinets in the kitchen area.
There’s plenty of visual ‘white space’ around each area, so the overall look is relaxed and bright. Too many zones in too small an area can just feel cluttered.
Rugs are a great way to zone a space. Here, they create a visual cue that the living area is separate from the kitchen area. The relaxing and dining zones each have a different look, but complement each other at the same time thanks to a simple and pared-back colour scheme. You don’t want your zones to clash!
Furniture grouping and angling can easily create clear areas, such as with these two seating zones. Lighting, rugs and colour schemes bridge the areas and keep them separate at the same time. Each zone also has a clear focal point: the fireplace in the centre of each space. This is a good way to create one zone for daytime and one for evening.
The location of lighting has a big part to play in zoning. Dining tables traditionally have a large feature light overhead and it’s a wonderful way to create a break point between one space and another.
Sliding doors allow the best of both open-plan living and compartmentalisation. Close the doors to contain the bathroom or slide them back to allow freedom of movement between the areas during the day.
Find out what you need to know about going open-plan
This open-plan space is zoned visually with different floor levels. Using different levels, or even just different flooring, gives a lovely clear sense of ‘rooms within a room’.
Here, the relaxed, pale neutrals throughout create a seamless flow but with clearly separated areas.
These glass doors divides the sleeping area from the seating zone in this compact flat. If the doors were solid, it would break up the space too much, but the light filtering through to the bedroom from the seating area, even when the doors are closed, and the view from the bedroom to the living room and beyond, means there is a flow between the two at the same time as demarcating each zone.
Read about the growing trend for ‘broken-plan’ living
This is a clever way of compromising between the needs of the little ones in the house and the adults. The sofa area is traditional, smart and understated, while the children’s play area is colourful and fun, and both coexist very happily in the same space. Again, a rug is a great anchor for the sofa and grown-up space.
Check out 10 genius ways to store kids’ toys
Not all open-plan spaces are large and expansive. This ingeniously designed studio flat is a superb example of one-room living. The ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ home office in a cupboard can be stowed away when not in use. You don’t want to be reminded of your paperwork while you’re relaxing and watching TV.
See more of this space-smart studio flat
How do you make open-plan living work for you? Leave a photo and share your tips in the Comments below.