How to do open-plan living

There seems to be no shortage of design solutions for small spaces, but decorating a large, open space for comfortable living is just as challenging. Many open-plan rooms need to serve more than one purpose - House & Garden decoration director Gabby Deeming considers how to achieve this while creating a harmonious, well-planned interior.

Take it away, Gabby...

Three top tips

  1. Choose sofas carefully: different scales and shapes - armless or high sided, L-shapes or straight ones - affect the visual flow of the space in different ways.
  2. When floor space is limited, carefully planned wall and ceiling lights are a smart idea. Bear in mind that the decoration in one area will set the tone for everywhere else, so choose a harmonious scheme.
  3. Don't be afraid to use just one type of flooring throughout. Gone are the days when cooking and living areas in a shared space were divided with an awkward strip of linoleum in the kitchen giving way to carpet as it merged with the sitting area. If flooring needs to be practical, use wood or stone, and add rugs for comfort in the living areas. 

Other things you may find useful: White roomsWallpaper ideas |  |  |  |  |  | Patterned floor tiles |  Window seats | Fireplace ideas | Feng shui | Design Ideas: Stylish Mezzanine Floors

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