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Decorating an open plan living room

Open plan living is a dream for many homeowners but achieving the look you want can often throw up design problems. Check out these tips for opening up your living space and gaining a functional and stylish home for all the family.

Decorating an open plan living room

Decorating an open plan living room

Open plan living design ideas

Be aware, it's not for everyone
Before you embark upon open plan living, remember that there are some issues. If you’ve got a young family, you might miss having a quiet corner to escape to with a good book. Open plan living spaces are known for being noisy so consider how much privacy you want. Additionally, rooms that have been opened up can lack intimacy, so before making the transition, consider your current lifestyle and whether open plan living will suit you and your needs.

Create zones
To make the most of a large room, think about dividing the space into different zones. Designer Gordon Whistance recommends giving each area of your room a distinct purpose. So the chill out zone could consist of a sofa and TV for relaxing; the practical zone could be your workspace with a desk and shelving; and the eating zone could have a dining table and chairs for family meal times. Make sure you factor in storage space for your open-plan area as well. It’s not easy to hide clutter in an open plan room, so they tend to suit tidy people. Further differentiate between each zone by investing in a piece of stylish wall art or a statement mural for one of the areas. The mural will act as a show-stopping focal point, giving your room a heart and that particular area a personality. For more advice take a look at our inspiration gallery, 12 ways to create a living room focal point.

Stick with a pale living room colour scheme
Avoid dark colours within your scheme and opt to paint walls in pale tones that will expand your room. Painting your ceilings white also helps to enhance the feeling of space, making your ceilings feel higher. However, be aware that open plan rooms can feel cold so consider painting an accent wall or investing in bright accessories and rugs to help make your open-plan living area cosy.

Consider clever storage option
If opting for an open plan layout involves knocking down a wall, you’re going to lose extra storage space as cupboards and shelving could disappear. Consider other storage options for your open plan living space – such as choosing multipurpose storage or even relocating some of your items to other rooms in the house. For more tips, take a look at our article on living room storage solutions.

Clever lighting
Decorate walls with light reflecting, metallic wallpaper that will open up your room, enhancing the feeling of space. You can also make your room feel larger by enhancing natural light or by being clever with your choice of lighting. Spot lights can help highlight features within your colour scheme or wash walls with brightness to increase the sense of space. Also, consider using different types of lighting in each zone to help set an individual mood for each area.

Think about using reflective glass to give your room depth and interest. Invest in statement mirrors to bounce light into the space and if you’ve got a fireplace, consider using reflective tiles to make the surround an eye-catching focal point.