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Open-Plan Homes: 4 Ways to Make It Look (Way) Neater

November 28, 2018
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The lack of structure (read: walls) and supposed rules within open layouts can make it a daunting space to decorate. On one hand too little elements can make the space look sparse and empty. On the other, build it up haphazardly with too much stuff, and your home can come off looking like a junkyard.

But that shouldn't stop you from opening up your space! It's a matter of knowing how to outline functional areas for a neat, coherent look. So, keep these 4 essential tips in mind:


1. Define zones

If you have a single, large open plan living room or main communal room, it would benefit from having clearly defined zones to provide structure and a cleaner outline.

Separate functional spaces from one another with larger or narrow furniture pieces like a bar, media cabinet or great dining table.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia
Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: Nu Infinity

Alternatively, slim partition walls are a great way to demarcate various spaces if your open-layout home is smaller.

In addition, consider custom carpentry to fit and even out the room shape, especially if there are odd angles, dead spaces or very high ceilings.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia
Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: Matt Design

However, easiest and quickest way to define or cordon a space would be with a rug or two that can outline the different zones in the room and at the same time, add warmth.


2. Set a theme

An open plan living room will often lead into several other ‘public’ spaces within the home like the kitchen and dining area.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: Landmarc Sdn Bhd

These areas will typically also be visible from the living room, thus it is essential that the design flows well from one room to the next.

To create a natural movement between the spaces, it's always a good idea to set a unifying theme to the space.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Choose elements that are compatible, such as; complementary colour themes, materials, and patterns, etc.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: IQI Concept

But note that these elements don’t have to be uniform.
For instance, if you have a blue-coloured theme in your living room, a somewhat related nautical décor style may be suitable for your kitchen as well.

You may also display similar art pieces in these spaces or choose different textures or patterns for fabrics in each space, in one colour of different gradients.

3. Opt for natural materials

Walled-up layouts tend to exude a cosy, warmer vibe, thanks to its warmly because of its closed structure.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: IQI Concept Interior Design

On the other hand, open layouts can come across as cold, especially if it is laid out like a loft and fitted with materials like steel and cement.

Of course, this aesthetic is linked to industrial décor, but if it isn’t the design or look you are after, try ‘warming’ up the space with natural materials.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia
Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: Design Geeks

It would add a cosy and homely feel and if you do want to maintain the industrial look, but with a touch of warmth for balance, do opt for wood materials with raw character i.e. minimal finishing and natural grains.

4. Embrace the freedom of open layouts.

An unencumbered space can be the perfect canvas for more creative interior design.

Open Plan Layout Tips Malaysia

Interior Firm: Transcend Urban Sdn Bhd

Instead of trying to solve it, embrace the free space and take full advantage of its layout! You can experiment with different types of décor styles and mix things up beyond the usual contemporary, Scandinavian or modern décor for a unique look.

You can also tailor the look of your home by compartmentalising with unique nooks, cabinetry, and platforms.


You've got the ideas - now it's time to make your open-concept home happen!

Seek a professional eye to make the most of your open-concept layout. We can help you connect to the right one, based on your budget and renovation needs! Plus, all recommended IDs would be eligible for the Qanvast Guarantee, which safeguards 50% of your renovation deposits up to RM50,000, whichever is lower. Start now by submitting a request for quotes here.

Meet interior designers. Get quotes. Based on your requirements, we will recommend you up to 5 firms with the Qanvast Guarantee. Get Free Quotes

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