Create an open plan living area without removing a single wall!
In 2014, 39% of home renovations changed the layout of the spaces renovated. Interestingly, most renovation altered the kitchen, living and family rooms. Gone are the days where multiple rooms, formal dining areas and segmented living spaces are sought after. Today we want functionality, flow, space to interact and engage and so we’ve given precedence to the easy going open plan living.
When it comes to renovations though, creating open plan living isn’t always so simple. It’s hard to remove walls and beams without compromising the structural integrity of a house. This ends up becoming lengthy, expensive and often quite difficult.
But before you despair, some clever changes to the interior of you living areas can actually give you the open plan feel and you don’t have to knock down a single wall!
AIM: Create the open plan feel in a space that is not structurally open plan
Step One: Strip the Room Back
Dark wall colours, complex wall paper and heavy curtains clutter a room and make it feel heavier, smaller and the boundaries more defined. Paint the walls a light, neutral colour and change curtains or window coverings to a neutral, light fabric or swap them for light blinds.
Step Two: Remove Bulky Furnishings
Heavy furnishings affect the feel of a room and when you want to create a light and airy feel, these are counterproductive. Replace them with smaller, more refined and minimalistic pieces to free up space. If you can’t bear to get rid or move some of these, painting them a neutral colour so they blend into the wall space can have the same result.
Step Three: Shift the Furnishings
Create more free space and more flow by aligning furniture with walls and framing the room better. if you have two couches or sofas create an L shape against two adjacent walls and place a coffee table in the centre of the room. This way, there’s more floor space and the furniture helps to open the room up rather than closing it off.
Step Four: Play with the Illusions
Create the illusion of a connected, more open plan space using some clever tricks. Open windows and doors to bring the outside in and place small greenery pieces to connect the two. Air flow actually contributes to the perception of a space significantly. The next trick is to use mirrors to create a perception of a bigger space. Place them at eye-height above couches or sideboards and make sure they are opposite neutral coloured pieces or walls so the light reflects and bounces.
And once you’ve done those four things, you should have a transformed space that feels a world more open, fresh and spacious than it did before.
Give it a go and tag us in your photos on social media - we’d love to see how it works for you!