Open floor plans have been a hot trend for at least five years—people knocked down walls to create open concept living areas that easily lead to dining areas that lead into kitchens. But as we’ve all been forced to spend more time and do everything in our homes, that trend is starting to shift.
The dialogue in floor plans and furniture plans has shifted since the introduction of COVID-19. Now, people are looking for more personal, secluded space within their homes. The questions I am hearing more and more is how do you create these spaces when you have an open floor plan?
I’m sharing my top 5 tips to help you create some seclusion and peace in your home, even in an open concept floor plan.
Most homes no longer have the Victorian staple of a parlor or sitting room, but there is a lot we can learn from them. These rooms were designed to facilitate more than one conversation at a time—by thoughtfully arranging the furniture these rooms were able to accommodate more than one group of people.
Because open floor plans mean that we’re living with a minimal amount of walls, our living spaces have large footprints. This lends itself to using your furniture to create multiple functions in one space.
Think about setting up multiple seating areas in one space—this can transform a large room by creating a multi-function space and offer people a bit more privacy. A sofa can back up against another sofa, or a small dining room table can be added to a living room that can become a working space, creative space, board game table, or whatever will be useful to you and your family.
Another way to create privacy in an open floor plan home is to establish alcoves and reading corners. Sometimes in open floor plans, long hallways are used to connect spaces—take a closer look at the hallways in your home. Is there somewhere that you can add a lamp, a chair and a small table or a built-in of some kind to create a small alcove?
You should also look at your window spaces—if you have a rounded window or octangle window area, can you build in a bench or window seat? These spaces allow people who are trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy home to have a bit of privacy and “me” time.
An added bonus is that these spaces will allow you to fill in negative space in your home.
Adding doorways and building out full rooms is a huge undertaking. A pocket door can be a more affordable solution to adding a little privacy to your space. If you’ve never heard the term “pocket door” it’s a door that fits flush into the wall—you’ll often see them used for closets and bathrooms.
Keep in mind that the door needs to fit into the wall so you need to ensure that you have enough wall space and that there are no obstructions in the wall.
We have a tendency to designate certain spaces as specific functions—dining rooms are for dining, offices are for working, bedrooms are for sleeping.
But with multifunctional furniture, you can have rooms that do double duty. You can invest in specific pieces that are meant to transform—think a dining hutch that flips open and functions as a writing desk—or you simply find ways to use a piece of furniture in more than one way.
You don’t need to be too literal with your furniture. Just because something is a “console” or a “dining room table” doesn’t mean that is the only way it can be used—get creative with furniture pieces and how you use them.
For example, since I started working from home, I switched out my nightstand for a console table and now it doubles as a desk.
Hear me out—I know a lot of people hear “room dividers” and they run in the other direction. But they have come a really long way. They come upholstered, wallpapered, and in stylish fabrics, prints, textures.
They are great for adding an additional layer into your room and have the added benefit of giving you a bit of privacy and creating a noise barrier.
If you have an open concept floor plan you don’t have to immediately start putting up walls to get a bit of privacy in your home. The use of furniture, alcoves, and even room dividers are stylish and affordable ways that you can create separate spaces for quiet moments alone.