Design secrets for creating an inviting open plan living area

Find the perfect balance between space and intimacy

Open plan living has been a popular trend for more than a few years now. It enhances the feeling of space and light, improves the flow throughout the house, and brings the whole family together.

But wide, open spaces can feel cold and uninviting if you’re not careful. To make sure your open plan living area feels fresh yet cosy, copy these four essential tips that property stylist Amy Smith followed when she recently renovated her Manly home.

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1. Start with cohesive flooring between all rooms

Amy opted for oak floorboards throughout her home, which extended from the kitchen into the living and dining spaces. Having a key element that ties all the rooms together creates continuity and flow, while turning a vast space into a more intimate one. Lighter coloured floorboards with warm undertones give off a homely vibe.

2. Create cosy spaces with furniture

While open plan living has the benefit of each room blending into one large space, defining each area is still important. Without walls, you’ll need to get creative with your furniture. Rugs are a great way to distinguish different spaces. Face your couches towards the fireplace to create a clear boundary around your living area. For the ‘dining room’, a feature light over the dining table makes for an eye-catching focal point.

A fireplace is great centre piece for a living room
(Credit: Getty)

3. Add a fireplace centrepiece

Rather than revolving your living room around the TV, a fireplace is not only striking, it’s more welcoming, too. It draws you in and is the perfect centrepiece to gather around. A natural gas fireplace is an ideal choice for families as it’s safer (no open flames), a time-saver (no need to fuss with wood and stoking the fire), and more environmentally-friendly.  

4. Pull it all together with well-chosen details

Materials and accessories chosen with care are the difference between a room that’s practically functional and one that exudes a warm, inviting ambience. Amy brought in neutral, earthy tones and natural materials like sandstone around the fireplace, cane baskets and wooden décor pieces to create an environment that felt like home.

For more ideas on making your home more comfortable with natural gas click here

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