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6 Design Tips on How to Renovate an Open-Concept Floor Plan

April 13, 2021
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Open-concept floor plans for communal spaces such as kitchen, living room and dining room have become a norm in modern homes. With an open concept, homeowners can prepare dinner while keeping an eye on their kids in the living room, and it's perfect for social gatherings.

Encorp Strand Residence, Kota Damansara by Airhost

Interior Firm: Airhost

However, given that it is a shared space, it may be difficult to segment each area and to block out noise.

Here, we have come up with some design tips to help you create a warm and welcoming open-concept floor plan that you and your whole family can enjoy!

Tip 1: Colour code each zone

If you want to create a distinction between your living zones without ending up with a jarring, disconnected scheme, decorate each area with different hues. In this modern home, an apple green sofa and sage green chairs define this living area, while turquoise accents dominate the dining area. Finally, pops of blue create a cohesive link between the two spaces.

Encorp Strand Residence, Kota Damansara by Airhost

Interior Firm: Airhost

Encorp Strand Residence, Kota Damansara by Airhost

Interior Firm: Airhost

Tip 2: Segment the area with different flooring materials

In an open-plan space, you can mix and match flooring types to separate various zones. Take design inspiration from this apartment where patterned tiles have been used in the kitchen area, blending into warm wood floors found in the living room and dining area.

Casa De Luna, Penang by EMPT Studio

Interior Firm: EMPT Studio

Casa De Luna, Penang by EMPT Studio

Interior Firm: EMPT Studio

Alternatively, use rugs (a cheaper option) to segment each area. As a guide, the rug should be no wider or narrower than the furniture that's placed on it. Always make sure there is a small border of flooring visible at the edges to create the illusion of space.

Casa De Luna, Penang by EMPT Studio

Interior Firm: EMPT Studio

Tip 3: Add a partition

In an open-plan studio or small space, a half-wall works in segregating the space without blocking out the light. Take design inspiration from this modern home where a chic dining area has been created on one side of this wall, while the other side supports the TV, which faces out into a cosy living area.

The partition can also help to absorb sound and reduce noise levels in the dining area, especially when someone is watching the TV.

The Light Collection 3, George Town by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd
The Light Collection 3, George Town by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd
The Light Collection 3, George Town by Vault Design Lab Sdn Bhd

Tip 4: Elevate your flooring

If you are not into a partition or room dividers, you can create a split-level floor to discreetly zone off different areas. For this modern home, the designer added an elevated deck to create a cosy entertainment area. It automatically creates an invisible wall and a step down is used as a transition into an elegant living room.

Kota Kemuning by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation
Kota Kemuning by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation

Tip 5: Use furniture to distinguish a space

Furniture arrangement is important in an open concept floor plan as you can create a different zone and separate functional spaces using furniture pieces. Here, the open-plan space is divided into thirds thanks to carefully arranged fixtures – a workstation that doubles as a dining area separating the kitchen and living room. It also helps to minimise noise produced in the entertainment area and the busy culinary space.

Fera Residence @ The Quartz by Amaze Design Sdn Bhd

Interior Firm: Amaze Design Sdn Bhd

Fera Residence @ The Quartz by Amaze Design Sdn Bhd

Interior Firm: Amaze Design Sdn Bhd

Tip 6: Create a focal point in each area

A large open-plan living room can easily lack of character so adding a standout design feature helps define the space and makes it homey. For example, you can decorate your living room with a statement piece of furniture and hang an oversized chandelier in the living area. Don’t be afraid to give functional zones personalities so think about using eye-catching fixtures as a way to anchor each area.

Hanna Home, Jadehills Kajang by MIL Design & Construction
Hanna Home, Jadehills Kajang by MIL Design & Construction

Looking to renovate your dream home?

Open concept spaces are great in theory, but knowing how to bring your ideal design to life can present a bit of a challenge. We’re here to help! Request for a free quote here and we will recommend you up to five reliable interior firms based on your budget, style preference and needs.

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