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Open-plan living – the 4 things you need to know

Open-plan designs are one of the mainstays of modern interior design, becoming one of the most sort after features buyers look for in a new home. But there are some practical considerations to make when it comes to getting the most out of an open plan area, so we’ve put together the four top things you need to know when planning an open-plan interior.

1. Think about how you will use the space

Taking inspiration from the beautiful pictures you see of open-plan spaces you find online and in magazines is fine, but remember it’s you who is going to be living there. So think about how you will use the area, for example would you like a separate, quiet seating space, away from the main living area to relax in while the rest of the house watches TV?

2. Break the open area up into zones

Nicola Taylor, one of Opun’s interior design trade partners, says “open-plan areas are most successful when they’re chopped up into zones — lighting, different types of flooring and rugs, wall coverings, screens, bookshelves… a good interior designer will help you get it just right” One great way to compartmentalise a home while maintaining an open-plan interior is to use a split level design to separate distinct areas of the room, such as having a mezzanine kitchen that looks down upon the dining area.

3. Lighting

One of the most important considerations to get the most from an open space is lighting, keep task lighting and ambient lighting on separate circuits. The types of light used can also help to break the space up into distinct areas, think about using recessed LEDs to illuminate the kitchen, but use low-hanging pendant lamps above the dining table to set it apart.

4. Use an interior designer

Whether you’re designing a new open-plan space or want to get the most out of an existing one, an experienced interior designer will ensure the space works best for how you will use it. Nicola says “I work with Opun just like all other trade partners, offering an interior design service. Set up a consultation and I’ll visit your home, take a brief, discuss your ideas and come back to you with a quotation and the costs. Then Opun can start making things happen!”

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