5 ways to separate spaces in an open-plan room

4 years ago
3 minutes

Open-plan living is great, but sometimes you might want to separate areas for visual or practical reasons.

We've compiled this list of solutions to help you create smaller and more intimate zones within an open-plan space.

1. Hang a divider from the ceiling

A clever way to separate areas is to hang something that clearly divides your sections, but still maintains the natural flow of the room. 

Suspended chains or bead dividers provide a good solution to this issue, especially if you pick ones that are simple and stylish.

credit: Woodson & Rummerfield

In this modern glam open-plan area, a row of clear Murano glass C-link chains (along with the L-shaped sofa) create a visual and physical barrier between the sitting and dining zones, while adding another layer of understated glamour and eye-catching appeal to the space.

If you want something more deliberate or for it to fill a larger space, then a curtain can offer a decent solution.

Obviously, you’re not looking for something that completely blocks out the sun when you have it drawn, but rather one that continues the bright and airy ambience.

credit: Homedit

 Here, this sheer curtain provides clear separation between the living and dining area, without compromising any of the open-plan nature of the room. 

2. Opt for an art wall divider

Why chose a plain partition when you can have something that doubles as an art piece? 

credit: Prospector

This eye-catching statement brilliantly mixes blocks of wood set in a steel-like structure, creating a sense of occasion as you switch between the living and dining room.

It not only looks fantastic, but provides a clear separation while maintaining flow and light, seamlessly matching the decor of the adjoining rooms. 

3. Use contrasting materials

Sometimes you don’t want any ‘physical’ divisions in a room, like a curtain or art piece — for this try to use contrasting materials to separate the spaces. 

credit: Susanna Cots

Here, the designer has cleverly used an opulent white palette in the kitchen and dining room and mixed it with corrugated wood in the living room. 

This concept has elegantly divided these zones and provides more than adequate proof that you don’t need a physical element blocking the space between sections in your open-plan room.

4. Lay down rugs

If you have a pre-existing structure, then a rug will perform the job of contrasting materials. 

As well as offering visual stimulus and softness underfoot, large rugs can be used to define zones with specific function in an open-plan room. 

credit: BW Architects

The rustic-looking rugs in this industrial-style loft help divide the expansive open floor plan into smaller distinct areas. They also fill the space, making them more intimate and welcoming. 

5. Artfully arrange your furniture

Sometimes we just don’t have the money or time to be implementing the above techniques into our homes. Sometimes, a simple rearranging of furniture will do the trick.

credit: Maria Killam

The placement of furniture can make a huge difference when it comes to creating separate zones in an open-plan area. So, take note of how this large room is clearly split into three distinct zones — kitchen, living area and dining space — by just positioning the coaches and the table in the right way.

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(Hero image credit: Peter A. Sellar)