How to Enhance Your Open-Plan Living Spaces

The open, free-flowing floor plans offered by many of today's homes offer a wide range of lifestyle possibilities. To make the most of your space, use light, layout and designated 'zones' to create deliberate layers.

Define your zones

The relationship between different zones can be manipulated by varying degrees, to emphasize their separation or integration. Changes in floor level, floor finish, ceiling condition, furniture arrangement and many other devices can all contribute to this fine-tuning.

Create layered views

Look for opportunities to create layers within each space to give an illusion of depth. Layering using changes in color, furniture arrangement and flooring, especially when there are multiple rooms that all flow together. 

 The home in this image illustrates the layer idea. You can see across a dining area (first layer), through the kitchen (second layer) and to a garden beyond (third layer). 

The home in this image illustrates the layer idea. You can see across a dining area (first layer), through the kitchen (second layer) and to a garden beyond (third layer). 

Use natural light as a highlight

Sunlight coming in through skylights or large windows can accent spaces, giving them a sense of separation and depth while at the same time maximizing the sense of space in an open floor plan. This does need done properly to avoid too much daylight, which can be overwhelming. 

Islands as separation

In open plan kitchens, an island creates a defined space and purpose from adjoining rooms. It also helps outline other areas connected to the kitchen.

For more tips on how to make the most of your home's open environment, read this article on Houzz