How to design an open concept home that's both functional and stylish
Designing an open concept home can be challenging but once you understand the principles and thought processes it all makes sense.
In this guide I’ll take you through all the essential steps to design an open concept home that is both functional and stylish.
What you’ll find here
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Hi, I’m Nadine
Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.
I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.
Define the different zones
One of the most important steps in designing an open concept home is defining your zones.
Since an open concept home has multiple functions and spaces, it’s important to create a sense of separation while still making sure there’s a red thread.
I know, I know, that already sounds complicated and time consuming, and while the latter is true, the former definitely isn’t.
Any good design starts with functionality, and zoning your open concept home is no different.
Write all the different functions you have in each room on separate post-it notes and you can easily move them around on a print-out of your home’s floor plan.
Writing it all down also helps to understand how many different activities happen in each zones, making it easier to understand how big each zone needs to be.
For example, having a living room that also doubles as a guest room, workout space and office means things need to move around to accommodate all these activities while still looking great.
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Consider flow and foot traffic
It all goes back to functionality, always. So consider the flow and traffic in your open concept home because it will affect how people move around.
The number 1 rule is to always keep the flow between doors and windows free, but that’s also a very common sense approach.
When it comes to other walkways it can be difficult to know just how much space you need. After all it depends on how you’re using the space.
A good width for any walkway is 90-100 cm.
For example, the distance between kitchen cabinets and an island should be bigger than 90-100 cm because 2 people should be able to stand behind it other cooking, prepping or opening cabinets.
Learn how to style any room in your home like a pro with my Styling Secrets guide.
Choose a cohesive colour scheme
Choosing a cohesive colour scheme is important when designing an open concept home because it creates a visual flow throughout the space.
Now you may be wondering what a cohesive colour scheme even is?! I’m glad you asked!
The short answer is this: 3 colours that work harmoniously with each other. And that can really be any 3 colours, depending on your personal preference. I love a neutral colour base and then adding colour through accent pieces and textiles.
Colours are also a great way to visually create different zones in an open concept home.
With paint, wallpaper or elements like acoustic panels you can separate areas from each other and make an open space look more cozy.
Bring in texture
Texture in an open concept home adds depth and dimension, especially if you choose a neutral colour scheme.
Use furniture, rugs, curtains, accessories or wall treatments like wallpaper, wood or moulding to visually separate areas from each other.
Take care, Nadine
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