Your little ones will have the knack of accumulating an array of items, and before you know it; the house is brimming with stuff you never knew you needed (and sometimes, don’t need at all). Everything multiplies the more children you have, and it can be a challenge to create a tidy and peaceful home where the whole family can enjoy spending their time. Therefore, open plan living areas are becoming more popular with families of all sizes; they ensure that you utilise you downstairs space fully, and there’s plenty of room to store all that stuff.
If you’ve knocked through your dining and lounge area, or have an open plan living space already; you might be struggling to organise your things, and still feel like there are sections to the room. The following are some things to consider, and some tips and ideas for those who want the perfect open plan living space for their growing brood.
Making It Multifunctional
It can be easy to get confused regarding a new, larger interior living space, as the area may have to serve several purposes for you and your family. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of what the space will be utilised for before you start decorating and bringing in furniture. It’s time to get out your notepad and pen; write a list of your family members, and why they will be using the room on a regular basis, and begin the planning process.
If you’re going to have a television, sofa, and comfy seating area; you might want to consider putting it towards the back of the house, near the garden end. If you’re sat watching T.V on the sofa next to the window that faces the street; you might feel uncomfortable at passersby peering in at you. However, this could be combated with the use of blinds, or frosted stickers for the window panes.
You’ll probably have the same flooring throughout the space; therefore, you can divide up each area with the use of large rugs. Your sofa, armchairs, and coffee table could sit on top of a rug that complements the colours and style of the furniture. If you have little ones; their toy box and any small seating, could go on their own special rug or mat, so that they have their designated area to play (even though they’re definitely going to spread their stuff out across the space). You don’t need to use a rug or carpet to separate every area in the space; however, you can use them for specific areas, and they can help to add comfort and warmth to cosy nooks and places where you want the family to relax.
If you want an area to be designated to dining; invest in your table and chairs; keeping the house’s character in mind. Your dining area will become a section without any help; you can browse for furniture here and have some fun decided what would look best in the room, and how you plan to arrange your table and chairs. You can give the table its own lighting; perhaps a little lower down from the ceiling than the rest of the room, which is another great way to separate the function of each place in the room. If you plan to pop a desk, desk chair, and computer in your open plan space; find a nook or a corner to place the furniture. You can create an office section using shelving or bookcases, and sliding your desk and chair in between them.
Try not to clutter your open plan living area too much, with too much furniture; you can help the space look tied together with the use of colour and style choices regarding the smaller pieces of furniture in the room. Larger items, like your sofa and dining set, can stand out a bit more as this will help to add character and give them their own designated area. Carefully planning your furniture choices will help the whole family make the most of the downstairs, and it will be the ultimate multifunctional space; perfect for each of your loved ones.
Keeping It Comfortable
A large room can sometimes feel stark and a little cold; there’s so much space to fill, and you’ve worked hard not to make it feel clutter and overwhelmed by all your family belongings. Therefore, you’ll need to strike a balance, and utilise lighting and soft furnishings to soften the edges. You’ll have already added that cosy rug to your T.V area; now you can add even more comfort with the use of cushions and throws to snuggle up with (especially with autumn upon us). Be mindful of fabric, colour, and pattern choices; these another way to tie the room together, and also give each section its own personality and function.
With a ceiling light over the dining area; you can warm up the rest of the room with floor and table lamps; consider extra lighting in the centre of the room, as it’s likely to be the furthest point away from any natural, window light. You can have some fun with your lighting too; they don’t just have to be functional items in the room. Add a characterful animal lamp to the play zone for your kids, and treat yourself to stylish desk lighting so that you can get on with work without squinting. Take a look at some lighting options here and get some interior inspiration. Fairy lights and festoon lights don’t just have to be for festivities; they make a decorative addition to fireplaces and dull shelves all year round; they’re versatile too, and can be moved to different areas with ease.
Warm a large window up with heavy curtains, and keep the opposite window different with Venetian blinds. As long as there’s plenty of light allowed to enter the room, you can experiment with how to dress your windows to make the space feel connected and warm. You’ll soon get into the swing of gathering together your interior accessories, and the right furniture to utilise the open plan space. Remember; there are no set rules, just organise things so that they work for your family, and if they don’t, you can simply rearrange things.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.