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How to Design the Perfect Open Plan Living Space

With the average size of a family home shrinking by two square meters over the last decade and more people than ever now living in flats, maximising space in the modern home has never been more important.

One of the most popular ways to make a property feel bigger is to knock down walls and create an open plan living space. A shared area for cooking, dining and relaxing may look stunning in show homes and interior magazines, but in reality it can be a challenge to create a space that offers the look and flexibility that people desire.

As fitted furniture experts, Strachan understands the problems that open plan living can throw up and knows the clever living room design solutions that can make it really work.

It’s all about zones

While knocking down unneeded walls to create an open plan aesthetic may seem simple, making it work is somewhat more challenging. It’s all too easy for your home to end up feeling cold, confused and uninviting when mixing multiple rooms into one. To solve this, it’s important to create distinct zones within the open space.

Capri lounge in Imperial Grey & Dove White

Capri lounge in Imperial Grey & Dove White


Defining different functions with large pieces of furniture can help break up the space into usable areas without losing the overall sense of spaciousness. Fitted shelves, for example, are a great way to mark out the boundary between a dining area and a living room, whilst at the same time providing valuable storage for books, DVDs, crockery or glasses.

Go with the flow

Successful open plan living also relies on how natural the flow is from one area to another. For example, cleverly designed cabinets and shelving in a fitted living room can be helpful guideposts, leading effortlessly from the lounge into a dining area, home office or kitchen.

At the same time, it’s these pieces of furniture that provide space to keep everyday essentials organised and any unsightly equipment hidden away, which is a vital part to achieving the open plan dream.

Clever storage solutions

Interior design publications may be full of idyllic shots of minimal space, but living in an open plan home requires much more thought. For every wall you take down, you lose valuable shelving and cupboard space. Therefore, homeowners need to consider where they’ll store all their possessions in an open plan home. Unless you’re a model of minimalist living, clever storage is essential to keeping your home looking neat and uncluttered.

Fitted lounge furniture with clever storage

Fitted lounge furniture with clever storage


The answer to achieving this lies in bespoke furniture. To make open plan living really work, fitted storage such as cabinets, bookshelves and home entertainment units are crucial. Providing they’re expertly designed, living room wall units will blend seamlessly into any lounge design.

TV rooms and home cinemas are always a popular choice but there’s nothing worse than allowing the screen to dominate an open plan space. Specialist home entertainment storage can really help to balance your lounge design without compromising on those modern comforts. Additionally, ingenious integrated fitted furniture solutions with timeless classic designs can provide exceptional storage for the clutter of every day life, leaving surfaces and floor space clear.

Less is more

Once zones have been defined, it’s also imperative to maintain a unified look and feel. Sticking to a simple colour palette will make this easier. This can be achieved by choosing one wood finish for your fitted furniture combined with a contrasting accent colour. You can then use this contrast colour as a theme for accessories and soft furnishings. You can also feature wallpaper in more than one zone to tie the whole scheme together.

Dijon Walnut finish shelving units in lounge

Dijon Walnut finish shelving units in lounge

If you’re looking to design a living room, an open-plan kitchen diner or achieve your dream of a lounge-cum-home office, our simple rules above will help you stay on the right track. Then all you need to do is bring in our experts at Strachan to create beautiful storage that will keep your space looking tidy and elegant. Get in touch with our team for more information or to organise a free, no obligation consultation.

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