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Designs for Open Plan Living

Loft and warehouse looks are growing in popularity throughout Australia, because of their bright, contemporary feel and multifunctional uses. Open plan living with high ceilings and minimal walls creates an expanse of free flowing connectedness that makes your home feel generous in size and character.

Honing this vast area can be a challenge though. How do you make your home feel inviting? How do you fill the space smartly without overcrowding? Follow our tips to plan out the right moves.

Guide the Eye

Every step counts when decorating your open plan area. Use design cues, like colour and texture, to guide the eye around the room. For example, splashes of timber on the armrests of your sofa could link to the same timber window frames and wooden dining table. These little ‘dot to dots’ will unify the space and diminish a feeling of chaos.

A wow factor is essential in a large space. Pick something cheerful to impress guests and round up your design aesthetic into one big bang. An amazing mantle, accent wall or an oversized industrial antique are great choices.

Add Warmth

Expansive rooms can feel cold and uninviting, if care isn’t taken to cover surfaces with pops of texture and comfort. Pick accessories that ooze relaxation. Layer nooks with deep armchairs, velvet throw cushions, cable blankets, and balmy indoor plants. These tiny touches add interest to a large space and help fill the area with life.

Floorboards in warm golden tones will create an even flow throughout the area and help add warmth, whilst large rugs distinguish entertaining and living spaces. Don’t be afraid of choosing heavy pile, which adds a subtle height difference to your flooring.

Of course, clever heating is a must. Cannon Gas Log Heaters emit adjustable heat to areas as large as 80m2. The Powerflue range has the flexibility to be installed on any wall – they can be vented horizontally from the back or side, vertically under the floor or through the roof. In a multi-storey apartment, they can even be fitted up through an internal wall or out under the floor. Cannon models can be styled to sit comfortably in any style of home or apartment, from modern through to classic.

Lastly, fashionable wall hangings add charm and coziness, and may assist in dampening sound – a constant battle in a shared living / dining region.

Add Light

A sweeping floorplan, free from dividing walls, will require plenty of light to bring the area to life. First, make use of natural light with skylights, floor to ceiling windows or sliding doors that look out onto a courtyard or city view.

The natural sunlight creates a connection with the outdoors to emphasise the best qualities of an exposed living zone. Without natural light, you’ll feel the chill and darkness from an abundance of shadows and dead space. 

For ambient lighting, use a layered combination of lamps, ceiling lights, spotlights and the flicker from a fireplace, to produce a well-rounded glow. Style tip: pendant clusters strung from a high ceiling at differing lengths make for a stunning centrepiece that can also create the illusion of high ceilings.

Don’t Over-think

Trust your instincts and choose big, bold furniture and shapes to fill the space sensibly. Chunky patterns, plush modular lounges and long coffee tables are all on point.

Think about how you can utilise the area to its best advantage. Custom made bench seats with hidden storage, or reading corners made up of clever shelving, will help take advantage of the angles and dimensions of your space. 

Minimal hanging areas for artworks means you can select a single oversized artwork to hang proudly on view. Alternatively, group a collection of photos, memorabilia and smaller artworks together for a gallery of mementos stretching across the entire breadth of the wall.