A good number of homeowners have embraced open plan living designs, and for a good reason. Open plan living is not only simpler, but also provides excellent air and light flow.

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It also gives you the freedom to select and arrange your furniture as you wish, another reason this design is gaining traction among many new homeowners.  You however need to choose the best open plan layout and design for your specific needs. With dozens of open plan living layouts to choose from, identifying one that works best for you can be a challenge for beginners. A number of factors (e.g., practicality, lifestyle, intended use, etc.) should be considered before settling for a specific layout. It is only by choosing the right design that you’ll get to enjoy the freedom and style. Outlined below are a few of the most commonly preferred open plan living layouts

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1. Invisible Walls

This layout entails having a clear thought-out plan of how each area will be used for. This thus means you’d have to imagine where the walls separate the rooms.  As peculiar as it may sound, working with invisible walls will help you create imaginary rooms where everything should go, especially furniture and equipment placement. What each of these ‘imaginary’ rooms/spaces will be used for will also determine the setup arrangement as well.  Invisible walls are advantageous in that, they optimize air/heat circulation while making the home more practical and efficient. 

2. Broken Vs Open Plan

Commonly referred to as a semi-open plan, a broken plan takes advantage of both open and partitioned plan for improved flow and privacy. Broken plan is the most recommended option for family life as it offers both of the worlds without sacrificing privacy and flow. Many families prefer this plan as it offers teenage spaces, quiet zones, home offices, and grown-up living rooms. 

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3. Keep It Simple

A well-thought-out plan will include ways to close off specific spaces when required. Depending on the purpose, pocket or sliding doors can be used to help ‘partitioning’ much easier. Many homeowners use bifold doors for they are more practical, take less space, and easier to install. You however shouldn’t add lots of doors or walls, as this will erode the idea of an open plan layout. If possible, consider using glazed sliding doors and walls to keep specific zones separate while still allowing light to pass through.  Partial walls would also be an excellent option, especially where you need to keep the kitchen and dining space separate. Some people choose to use partial walls and glazed doors for improved flow and privacy. 

4. Create Zoned Spaces

Room dividers can come in handy especially where spaces feel too large or cold. You don’t necessarily have to install dividers unless necessary, certain features, such as breakfast bars or islands can serve the purpose quite well. These island units can also double up as additional storage spots/spaces for eating, doing homework, or work. 

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Partial walls can be constructed to provide/maintain a sense of flow and create zones too.  Stud walls, in particular can be installed spanning half the room or height of the main walls depending on how your intent to use the space. Partial walls may also be used to help break flooring types for the various spaces. If you however do not wish to erect walls between rooms/spaces, you can then use storage units for partitions. Storage units provide a simple and flexible way to partition spaces as needed, and can be pushed in/out or rearranged to create more space. 

Freestanding stoves, double-sided and central fireplaces are an excellent addition for dining and living rooms. They help make the home livelier especially with the vast undivided space. It would however be advisable to plan which and where the fireplace would be placed when designing an open plan living layout. 

5. Decorating Open Plan Spaces

Decorating an open plan living layout is relatively easy and straightforward.  First, you’ll need to break up the expansive wall with different colors.  Consider painting a light or bright color for the kitchen area to separate it from the other rooms. Experts also recommend using warm and convivial shades for the dining and living area as well. Choose different color themes for each wall or even ceiling. 

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Combining different flooring types can also help improve the homes aesthetics as well.  Consider timber flooring for the dining and living room, luxury vinyl tiles for the kitchen, and carpet for the living area and bedrooms. The varying flooring shades can serve the purpose of breaking the space too. As mentioned before, the shape and layout of the room can define how it should be decorated and organized. L-shaped rooms, for example, can be used as the kitchen area. This is because they help break direct view of the kitchen from the living or dining room. Separating the kitchen area from other rooms means you won’t have to worry about dirty pans and pots in the sink.  It also improves privacy when preparing meals, especially when there are guests around. 

A good number of modern homeowners today prefer open plan living to partitioned apartments.  Broken living plans are also a common preference for families too.  This is because they make a room/space seem bigger while allowing natural light through. Open plan living also encourages family members to live in harmony, bringing them closer.  The setup also means you can monitor and keep your kids safe.  it is thus the perfect plan for families and family events.