Open Floor Plan Ideas: Tips For Arranging Furniture For Open Floor Plans

15 August, 2018

Arranging furniture in an open floor plan can be tricky—you want to preserve the open space that makes the room unique while still providing flow, order, and stability.

The typical open floor plan includes a single open space for a kitchen, living room or great room, and dining room, all without walls to indicate where one room ends and another begins. Your goal in arranging furniture for an open floor plan is to create aesthetic and functional boundaries between each space while preserving overall cohesion. To design a beautiful, grounded look in your home, start with these ten open floor plan ideas.

1. Choose A Cohesive Color Palette

Before getting started, select a base color, like cream, gray, or tan, that can be carried throughout each room. Paint adjacent walls the same colors and include accessories throughout the space with similar and matching hues.

2. Match Floors, Walls, & Ceilings

Along with matching colors and textures, use the same flooring, ceiling, and wall treatments throughout the space as much as possible. For example if you choose to have a matte finish on the walls, make sure that you don’t use a shiny paint or finish on the ceiling. If you have polished wood floors that are naturally more shiny, you might want to use a shiny finish on your wall and ceiling paint. This will build cohesion, underscore the open layout, and create a blank canvas to fill with decor and furniture.

3. Separate Spaces With Furniture

The best way to separate your living room is a well-placed indoor sofa. Heighten the effect by adding a console table with accessories that match the adjacent space. By adding a table you can help visually create a separate space, and provide areas for organization as well. While your whole house can be an open floor plan, creating separate spaces within the floor plan can help foster conversation and relaxation.

4. Build Around Anchor Pieces

Choose an anchor piece for each separate area: a kitchen island, dining room table, and large sofa are traditional. Arrange each of these pieces either perpendicular or parallel with each other to build clean lines and create a balanced, thought-out look.

5. Define Spaces With A Rug

Placing a large rug in your living room will create cohesion within the space and mark it as separate and distinct from the rest of the room. Use rugs to create multiple conversation spaces within the open floor plan. Under the dining room table is another great place for a rug. This can help the space feel warmer and protect your flooring from your chairs. It can also help separate the room from the rest of the house and establish a space for dining.

6. Create Focal Points

Another great way to separate open floor plan spaces is by placing a focal point in each area. For example, use sofas or luxury chairs to point the eye to a fireplace or antique furniture piece, invite natural light into your kitchen with a large bay window, and add a chandelier over your dining room table to make the area seem more formal.

7. Consider Viewpoints

What do you want to look at while you’re chopping vegetables or sitting on the sofa? For example, you may want to position the kitchen island so that it looks into the living room, where you can see the TV or keep an eye on your children. If you have large windows with a great view, this is another great alternative focal point.

8. Plan Travel Paths

As you decide how to arrange furniture in an open floor plan, consider how people will get from one part of the room to another, as well as to stairs and doors. Create clear and open paths of travel that aren’t obstructed by furniture, houseplants, or other decor.

9. Vary Light Fixtures

Use different (but matching) light fixtures in each space. Bright overhead inset lighting is perfect for the kitchen, while you might want more elegant fixtures over the dining room and dimmable lights and lamps for the living room.

10. Break The Rules

Don’t be afraid to blur the lines between rooms a little bit—as long as you still have clear boundaries. Place a built-in bookcase next to your kitchen cabinets, position luxury armchairs near a kitchen island or dining room table, or build a bar into your living room.

These open floor plan ideas and furniture arrangement ideas will get you started on designing a beautiful, functional space in your home.