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.

So I ask myself the question what “home” means every day.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as possible to find their own answer to this.

Join my creative world on Instagram @nhdotdesign or find out more about me

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.

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Pro tip:

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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Simply, a space that feels like home.

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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.

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    Pro tip:

    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.

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    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.

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    Don't miss this:

    Learn how to create a harmonious colour scheme with my complete colour guide for your home.

    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.

    With these design principles it’s easy to design an open concept home that’s both functional and stylish.

    Thanks for reading!
    If you enjoyed this post, follow along for more interior design tips and inspiration on my Instagram @nhdotdesign and sign up for my Welcome Home Letter.

    Take care, Nadine

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