10 Tips for Small Open-Plan Living

10 Tips for Small Open-Plan Living

One-room open plan living can be the bane of a city abiding flat life. How can you make the most out of the space? We have some simple tips that can help create all the space you need, without compromising on design.


  • 1. A Floating Living Room Layout

  • Are you struggling to come up with a picture-perfect layout for your living area? Why don’t you consider floating your sofa in the centre of the room instead of placing it up against the wall, to open up the traffic flow and create a welcoming multi-use space.

    If your living in a studio, then sometimes there's no wall to use anyway, making a floating layout a necessity.

    Floating furniture Layout

    Image Credit - Studio McGee

  •  2. Create Rooms Within the Room

  • Rugs can be a clever way to create clearly defined functional boundaries within an open plan space. Think of them as walls, partitioning off different zones within one room without the obstruction. You can get more ruck hacks for small spaces here.

    House and Garden rugs create boundaries

     Image Credit - House and Garden


  • 3. Be Clever with Colour

  • You can make a room look bigger and more spacious by simply being clever with paint and colour.

    It’s generally known that lighter colours are more reflective and make an area feel more open and airy. Painting the wall trim a lighter contrast to the wall itself, makes the wall appear further back, once again creating the illusion of a bigger space.

    Always remember that lighter rooms look brighter, bigger and more inviting. You can refer to our Colour Psychology blog to find out how colours in the home affect our emotions.

    Light and contrasting colour to expand a space

    Image Credit - The Every Girl

  • 4. Textures and Materials

  • Shine shine shine! Metallic, glass and gloss accessories can all help to utilise the light available and add stylish hints throughout the home. Going glossy in your open planned space with shiny surfaces will reflect light streaming into the room and maximise the space.


    Matte and Metallic Homeware Accessories

     Image Credit - Refinery29


  • 5. Round Dining Tables

  • Round tables are remarkably versatile when it comes to an oddly shaped living space, enhancing both your dining experience and dining area. Great for creating an intimate and social entertaining space, even if there isn’t much of it. A gloss, glass or light wood finish will assist to keep your space feeling open and fresh.

    The perfect companion for your circular table is a round rug to be positioned underneath it.

     Round Tables in Small One-room Spaces

  • Image Credit - Fresh Design


  • 6. Mirror Mirror On the Wall

  • Mirrors can make your room look much larger than it really is. A tried-and-true method is to place mirrors across from your windows. Not only does this reflect the outdoors, which will make the room look bigger but it will also reflect the natural daylight, engulfing the space with more sunlight.

    Mirrors reflect artificial light as well, which will bounce light across your space during the night, making it appear larger.

    Another effective tactic is to angle your mirrors toward a central point to give the illusion of depth. Mirrors don’t always have to be placed on the walls though, they can be used as glass table-tops or cabinet doors to make spaces feel larger.

    Mirrors make a small space look larger

     Image Credit - MyDomaine

     7. Lighting

    Look for the light! Natural light is a top feature people desire in a home. Windows and sunlight immediately open a small space up, naturally connecting the room with the outdoors, no longer limiting your space.

    You can boost the brightness in a room with artificial light that will enhance the natural light already coming through.  

    Large Windows for Natural Light

    Image Credit - Decordots


    8. Say Bye Bye to Curtains

  • Curtains are not only old-fashioned but they are bulky and can make a room feel more enclosed. Shutters and blinds amplify a room, opening the space up promoting airiness, whilst also impacting the overall aesthetic and ambiance.

    Choosing light-coloured shades, such as white wood or light coloured vertical blinds, reflects the tones into the room and allows you to make the most of your room’s size.

    Shutters and Blinds to create more space

     Image Credit - The House that Lars Built


  • 9. An Oversize Rug

  • Sounds counterintuitive but using one oversize rug for the entire floor space will make the room look and feel bigger. It will draw the eye wider, across the full width and length of the room, making it appear larger than it really is. Using a rug that is too small for the space will simply accentuate the lack of square footage.

    Shop our oversize rugs here.

     Oversized rug to enlarge a space

     Image Credit - Crush and Nooks
    ug Choices (Top to Bottom) - JADE, RAE, ZULY


  • 10. Less is More

  • Not enough space for it? It’s so important to think outside the box in these situations, don’t feel obliged to fit a dining room & living room within the one space. There are many clever ways to ditch the dining table, without having a tray on your lap.

     Ideas on how to utilise small spaces

    Image Credit - Service Central 

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