tips and tricks6 min read

How to decorate an open-plan kitchen and living room

Open plan kitchen decorated by @homebytheharbourside in Beige 01

WordsFrankie Marqueé

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Sure, there’s still call for broken-plan living – cue a rabbit-warren style cottage packed to the rafters with provincial charm from its flagstone floors to its thatched hat. But there’s no question that modern living has favoured the knocking-down-of-walls approach.

Open-plan kitchen-living rooms are the beating pulse of many homes. They’re made for bringing people together because they often combine two of the main activity hubs of your home – where you cook and where you kick back. Here’s how to decorate your open-plan living room and kitchen; from creating 'zoning in' areas and cozying it up to avoid cold chasm feels, to unifying it through soothing paint colors...

Open-plan kitchen and living room decor ideas

There’s plenty to consider when decorating an open-plan living space, but these are our top five points to keep front of mind.

Use rugs to create zones

A rug isn’t just a statement of style, it’s a statement of intent and therefore, helps you zone your room like an expert.

Put a rug under a dining table and chairs and you’re proclaiming this is a separate zone to the rest of the space; this is my 'dining room’. As our lead color specialist, Tash, says: “We all feel very comfortable in squares. You’ll naturally see that you'll put your furniture into a square formation; it helps us mark out 'zones' and rugs are ideal to help you do this."

“We all feel very comfortable in squares. You’ll naturally see that you'll put your furniture into a square formation; it helps us mark out 'zones'.”

TASH BRADLEY

Whichever zone you decide to demarcate with a rug, it’s also going to help knit your room together, so that away from the softness of the living room, there’s still texture going on. That’s why a rug or maybe a runner, is a great open-plan kitchen idea too. Especially if you pick up on a color used on your sofa or a pattern from a cushion cover. It’s going to feel more connected this way.

Open plan living room decorated by @bethathome in White-02
THE RUG HELPS DEMARCATE THE LIVING SPACE IN THE HOME OF @_BETHATHME
Kitchen decorated by @Molly_gatcum in Black-01-Blog
THE DINING TABLE AND LIVING ROOM ARE CLEVERLY SEPARATED BY THE RUG @MOLLY_GATCUM

Opt for open shelving

Even in smaller open-plan spaces, say in a studio apartment, there’s still going to be a decent amount of wall space to fill. You’ve got options – gallery walls, linear art displays, wall lighting, but open shelving is a guaranteed way to fill a void and to also section up the space.

By its very nature, open shelving is not going to take away from the airiness of the room either. Instead, it’ll just soften it, add another focal point, and create an opportunity for self-expression through books, photos, ornaments and plants.

Open shelving doesn’t have to be limited to your walls. Peel a bookcase away and use it as a room-separating device. Go for a mid-height one and you can pop a lamp or vase on top and treat it like a console table.

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