How to Define Your Open Concept Area

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

We all love watching HGTV stars knock down walls to transform a space but the part of the design process that is typically left out is how you make that newly opened space still feel cozy. The "open concept" has a lot of beauty in that it brings people together while in different areas but it can also bring some unique furnishing challenges as well.


I wouldn't call our home layout an open concept, but we still have a room that is too long to be one area yet is without natural segmentation. This is a problem I see all the time that can bring the design process to a halt.


Here are a few tips to help you segment your open concept in a way that still has an inviting feel.


Use Area Rugs

An easy way to divide a room is to simply use multiple area rugs. This helps the eye distinguish the separate flow in a subconscious way. The key when using this trick is to make sure your area rug is large enough for the space plus furniture. Too small of a rug will dwarf the whole space. An area rug doesn't always have to be large enough to fit all sides of the furniture but in the case of segmenting a room it's a good rule of thumb.


Float The Couch

So often it is assumed that the couch needs to be anchored on a wall. The fear is that the room will feel smaller if you float it in the middle but on the contrary, it typically will make it feel more spacious since there is more than one flow of traffic. It is also awkward to have the seating too far away from the TV or fireplace. Floating your seating additionally allows for a side table or credenza which can add more depth of decor.


Use Hard Furniture Lines to Segment

In the case of the picture above, we placed the loveseat with its back to the adjacent space so that it established two distinct areas. From this angle it would seem that the two chairs could trade spots with the couch but since there is a dining room directly behind this space, the two chairs wouldn't create enough of a defined line. It's best to use larger pieces of furniture to help segment an area, especially ones that have pretty backsides. Another great tip for floating couches is to place a blanket on the backside which will serve as a point of interest from the adjacent room.


Don't let that extra space go to waste. Define the function of the space through a little rearrangement and enjoy!


Sincerely,

HMD

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