Plan ahead for open living space

By Collette Hanlon, creative director of Home Stagers in Norwich

In recent years open plan living has become a concept for living that many of us aspire to. But do we know how to make best use of the space? Everything from loft apartments, converted barns or simply a terrace with internal walls knocked through. Many of us seem to yearn for larger rooms that maximise light and space! The way we live has fundamentally changed in the last two decades and we want our homes to suit our ever changing tastes but living space has to function well to meet those needs. The major advantage to open plan living is the opportunity to create a more versatile home with the luxury of more light and space. It is however crucial to plan the space well to make it comfortable and to provide adequate storage. This is a key factor to consider when marketing a property with large rooms. Potential buyers will buy into what they see – not what they imagine.Zoning the room into basic areas: ‘living’, ‘dining’, and ‘work’ will help to define the space. These separate zones have to function individually and yet work together to form a cohesive design. Rooms without a traditional focal point within the room such as a fireplace will require another point of interest. Use key pieces of furniture as zone dividers to achieve that feeling of space and unity.Storage is a key element to take into consideration, as it can be too easy for open plan areas to look cluttered with items that have no home. When choosing furniture look for a common thread that knits the different areas together that could be the style of the furniture, the specific material or simply colour. This will ensure that your space has a degree of unification which is easy on the eye. Colour is a fantastic tool for pulling together a room or a look. Texture can really warm up a stark and otherwise cold minimal scheme and can be introduced through a number of materials, not just fabric. Lighting is one of the great modern tools that can define and accentuate the different areas. Low level ambient lighting for the living area can be achieved with table lamps and arc floor lamps can be a sculptural feature in their own right. Accent lighting can be used to highlight interesting architectural detail. The trick is to combine several different types of light to achieve a multi layered arrangement that will work to either demarcate or unify the space according to your mood or needs.Flexibility is the key to open plan living, but the light and the space it offers is the real luxury!

For more information go to www.homestagers.co.uk and www.showhomehomefurniture.co.uk or ring

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Collette on 0800 542 8 952.

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