Designing Open Plan Spaces

Open plan homes are increasingly popular, not least among those who are fortunate enough to have a warehouse space to convert for living. As with any floor plan, there are benefits and disadvantages to be had. On the one hand, you're likely to have uninterrupted views, no dark and dreary hallways, and wide open spaces. On the other, it can be tricky to create feelings of privacy, and planning a whole house colour scheme can be overwhelming. 

Using our design board below, let's walk through a few key elements that make an open-plan interior work. 


Colour scheme Here, we've taken a base of black to ground our colour scheme, and interspersed it with red, purple, and yellow. You'll note that the red and purple are both deep and dark - sophisticated, rather than girlish. They're anchored by industrial black metal and wood throughout, in keeping with the industrial nature of the building. 

Why does this scheme work? Yellow and purple are complementary colours (on opposite sides of the colour wheel), while red and purple are analogous (next to each other). The warm tones echo those of the walls and the concrete floor. If the walls had been a cooler white and the floor a more blue-grey, a blue, green, and orange scheme might have suited better.

Confused? Don't know what colour your place is? Maybe you'd like a helping hand 

Zoning We've used lighting to create different zones in this open plan room. The round industrial chandelier echoes the shape of the table below it, and the lamp in the corner illuminates a spot for reading. The large rug underneath the sideboard identifies that area of the room as separate from the main lounge area. The large art works further define the different zones of this space.

What's Missing

Design boards have their limitations. For example, we can't tell the size of this room! And we can't show all the furniture to scale (if we could tell the scale) without making it too hard to see detail up the back there. 

So here's what's missing from this room: Probably another rug, up in the lounge area. And additional seating, which in our imagination is low-line and black. Side tables would be in glossy black metal, or vintage with chipped enamel paint in black, red, yellow - no blues or greens here please!

 A long, low shelving unit (black, metal, double sided access), extending from the left wall toward the centre of the room,  dividing the lounge from the dining area. This could be a good place to display indoor plants, coffee table books, or design objects. The higher the shelving, the more privacy for each room - something taller (or even a moveable screen that doubles as an art work) could be ideal.

And what's not

I know what you're thinking: Where's the TV? The objects chosen for this room - particularly, the luxe purple sofa - should give you a hint. This is not the space for putting your feet up and watching Gilmore Girls for the 50th time. The people who live here use the space for entertaining, but they're thinking of records and cocktails rather than netflix marathons.

How do you live?

Can't image life without a put-your-feet-up sofa? That's exactly the kind of information we consider when we design your room! We don't believe in cookie cutter, matching furniture suite, one-size-fits-all design. You deserve something special, whether we're doing custom furniture, a full makeover, or giving you the tools to do it yourself.