Open-plan living has revolutionised the way in which we interact in a modern home environment.

If you've never heard the term, open-plan living refers to a style of home that breaks down barriers - quite literally. Rather than the kitchen, dining room, and living room being individual spaces, open-plan living removes the walls and create one vast family hub where you can spend time together without feeling cramped or confined.

Gone are the days when one poor soul was segregated in the kitchen to cook dinner while everyone else bundled into a separate living area. Fast forward to the modern interior layouts available today, where you can cook up a storm in an open-plan kitchen while also enjoying the latest Netflix binge along with the rest of the family.

But for all the benefits gained by bringing everyone into the same open-plan space, it’s important to perfect the space to ensure your open-plan layout works in perfect harmony. Here are our tips on the two most important aspects of open-plan living: zones and space.


Zone out

First up, even though open space is the goal, in practice you’re still creating individual 'living zones’ within the floorplan. Each living zone will have a focal point - like a feature wall or pendant lights - so that each zone makes an impact. Dividing the room into logical living zones for eating, relaxing and perhaps working from home keeps it cosy and functional at the same time.

You can create and define your zones using rugs and clever placement of furniture.

To create the living room, arrange two separate sofas around the edges of one rug. The back of one couch should be facing the kitchen, as in open-plan homes the kitchen is usually 'behind' the living room. The couch placement in relation to the kitchen also helps to create the natural walk-ways you will follow through the home. It's important not to over clutter this space as open-plan living is ruined by having too much stuff!

Your dining table is a hero feature that makes it very clear you're entering the dining room. You can either place another rug in your dining space or create a contrast from the living area by leaving flooring exposed. Positioning your dining table close to the kitchen is a no brainer, but in an ideal world, it too will also be near patio doors. That way you can spill out onto an outdoor entertaining area, especially during summer. A feature pendant light is a great way to make a dining area shine and softens the effect of high ceilings in an open space.

If you have a home office nook, keep it close to the kitchen for regular cuppas and snack breaks, and ideally near a window for good natural light and to help keep you feeling inspired. Keep your back to a distracting TV.


As well as using rugs and furniture to divide up the zones, consider the canvas offered by your walls. By splashing specific walls with a lick of paint or stylish wallpaper, you can create a feature area that further marks out individual spaces that have different daily uses.

Creating distinct zones gives the whole layout an attractive look that also makes sense in terms of functionality. It's important that each space has it's own room feel, which can be achieved through styling. For more living room ideas, or to get a look at different kitchen spaces, check out our lookbook here.


Go with the flow

Even though you’ve marked out individual spaces within your open-plan layout, it’s important they feel connected. If you place furniture away from walls and position the back of sofas towards the centre of the room, you can create clear ‘corridors’ between individual zones. This makes it easier to move through the room and encourages positive Feng Shui.

Think about repeating signature details within each space that tie the individual ‘rooms’ together. For instance, if your dining table is oak wood, pick up similar wood tones in your living area coffee table. Consider using metallic or textural stone accessories throughout to add a pop of luxe.

While it’s good to have a cohesive, neutral palette, introduce bright pops of colour or bold geometric patterns with your rugs to offer a touch of personality and character. Circular or oval-shaped side tables, pouffes and dining tables can help soften the angles of a big rectangular box floor plan. As can rounded mirrors and curved floor lamps that reach over individual ‘rooms’.

Modular furniture mounted on wheels can be a clever and versatile way to reinvent your space and gives you the ability to switch things up as needed. Entertaining? Great, you can quickly move everything around to add space to cater to your guests. 

If you’re looking for more interior design ideas featuring open-plan living, visit one of our award-winning display homes, or check out our style gallery, where you can save and organise all your favourite Metricon home designs.

Alternatively, check out our amazing open floorplans to see these open concepts in action. We're proud to be an Australian new home builder focusing on bringing you open-plan homes. Find us in Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide.