5 smart ways to create separation in an open floor plan

December 28, 2020

Learn how you can make the most of your open floor plan

Open floor plans are very inviting and offer a lot of design and decoration opportunities.

But while they offer great flexibility, open floor plans can also be overwhelming and often lead to an unstructured, unorganized look to your home.

Less privacy between rooms means a lot is going on in one room at once, and this can be a little chaotic. It can also be hard to escape clutter and mess in an open floor plan space — a mess in one “room” is a mess in your whole house.

The shift to working from home has made things harder. With an open floor plan, it can be difficult to have privacy and be able to focus while doing video calls, studying, and working.

Here are five ways to help bring more structure and purpose to your open floor plan space:


1: Create “rooms” using colors 

Using color to define space is a powerful way to visually create separation in an open floor plan. You can incorporate colors in wall hangings, decorations, rugs, paintings, or furniture. 

It’s important to make sure the colors complement each other well so nothing clashes. 

Our top tip: include different shades of the same colors in the different zones to create a cohesive look throughout your home. 


2: Use rugs 

Placing a rug underneath several pieces of furniture helps to create separation in an open floor plan and connect them all to one purpose. Rugs can also be used to define rooms with a specific function, such as a living room or dining room.

The bare space between rugs creates a line between the different spaces. Rugs are also a great way to minimize noise caused by hard floors that carry more easily in an open floor plan. 


3: Rearrange your furniture 

The arrangement of your furniture can make a big difference when separating zones in an open area. Why? Because our brains associate close grouped furniture with a distinct purpose.

To help create more separation, create furniture groupings that make sense to the function of each area you’re trying to create.


4: Use a decorative divider 

A visually appealing divider—such as a fold out screen, a bookcase, or a large free standing art piece—can help to create separation in an open floor plan, both visually and physically, by dividing two areas with different functions. 

A lot of people are now working from home and have had to create an office space in their bedroom or living room. A decorative divider is the perfect way to separate your office space from the rest of your home, and help you avoid feeling as if you’re living in your office. 


5: Use lighting 

Different lighting is a clever way to create separation in an open floor plan. Lighting can help to separate different zones within a large, open space. Placing different but complementary lighting fixtures in different areas of your home will help create a visually different space with a different purpose. 

Having different lighting for different rooms is also important for your wellbeing. You may need better lighting in your office space to avoid eye strain, but whereas the lighting in your TV area could be more subtle and relaxing. 


Read more: 

5 simple rental decor ideas to personalize your apartment or house  


Remember to always check with your landlord 

Decorating and modifying your space is exciting, but there may be some restrictions for your rental property. Your lease agreement will detail what modifications are allowed. Always check with your landlord before making extensive changes—or you could risk losing your security deposit or being charged a fee. 


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