10 Tips For Small Open Plan Living

We thought it would be a great idea to bring back this old blog post; we've been having many questions recently on how to maximise a small space. So we decided to update this post from December 2018.

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.



  • Floating furniture Layout

  • Image Credit - Studio McGee
  • 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; this will open up the traffic flow and create a welcoming multi-use space.

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



  • House and Garden rugs create boundaries

  •  Image Credit - House and Garden

    Rugs can be a smart 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.



  • Light and contrasting colour to expand a space

    Image Credit - The Every Girl

    You can make a room look larger 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 more space. Always remember for an optimum effect, select soft tones that brighten a room and make it look bigger.

    You can refer to our Colour Psychology blog to find out how colours in the home affect our emotions.


  • Matte and Metallic Homeware Accessories

  •  Image Credit - Refinery29

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



  • Round Tables in Small One-room Spaces

  • Image Credit - Fresh Design

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

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



  • Mirrors make a small space look larger

  •  Image Credit - MyDomaine

    A mirror can make your room look more spacious than before. A tried and tested method is to place mirrors across from your windows. Not only does this imitate the outdoors making the room look bigger, but also further reflects the natural daylight- engulfing the space with more sunlight. Mirrors reflect artificial light as well, which bounce across your space during the night, making it appear larger. Another powerful tactic is to angle your mirrors toward a central point giving an 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.


    Large Windows for Natural Light

    Image Credit - Decordots 

    Look for the light! Natural light is one of the top features people desire in a home. Windows and sunlight immediately open up a small space, naturally connecting the room with the outdoors, no longer restricting your space. You could further boost the brightness in a room with artificial light that will enhance natural light already coming through.



    Shutters and Blinds to create more space

  •  Image Credit - The House that Lars Built
  • Curtains are not only old-fashioned but also bulky and can make a room feel more enclosed. Shutters and blinds amplify a space, opening the space up- promoting airiness, impacting overall aesthetic and ambience. Choosing lighter shades, such as white wood or fabric blinds, reflects the tones into the room and allows you to make the most of your room’s size.



  • Oversized rug to enlarge a space

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

    Sounds counterintuitive but using one oversize rug for the entire floor will make the room look and feel more prominent. 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.



  • Ideas on how to utilise small spaces

  • Image Credit - Service Central 

    Not enough space for it? It’s essential to think outside the box in these situations- don’t feel obliged to fit a dining and living area within the one space. There are plenty of clever ways to ditch the dining table without having a tray on your lap.


    Check out Lori's blog from Room For Inspo for further inspiration on how best to work with small spaces, and bedrooms in particular. You can read it here