Summer Restyle: 5 Tips for Open Plan Living

The long-awaited summer has finally arrived.


As evenings grow lighter and temperatures begin to climb, it’s the perfect opportunity to optimise your space by channelling the principles of open plan living. Whether it’s a modern metropolis you call home or a quaint and cosy cottage, these top five tips will inspire your summer styling decisions and get you thinking more openly about your home.

Some of the most arresting open plan spaces are based on thoughtful designs that encourage effortless living. However, there’s no need to invest in a complete redesign to achieve an open plan feel. With a few straightforward tweaks, you’ll evoke a sense of space, simplicity and tranquility in moments.


1) Let There Be Light



Sliding glass doors are a practical and elegant way to let the sunshine pour into your home this summer. However, if you’d like to welcome natural light by making subtler changes, investing in a few mirrors is a great quick trick.

Choose a variety of shapes and sizes and dot them inside, near the garden. By bouncing the light from outside and reflecting it onto the walls of your home, mirrors will create the ultimate illusion and enhance the open plan effect, making your house feel much more spacious.

The best open plan living spaces take advantage of both natural and artificial light. For rooms with a dining table or breakfast bar, hanging a handful of elegant light fixtures is another way to give your rooms balance. Experiment with rich bronze and decadent gold tones for ultimate luxury, or pare things back with dainty silver fittings and crisp white light.


2) Play with Zones and Tones



Merging rooms together with a clever and cohesive colour palette is a sure-fire way to give your property a more sophisticated, welcoming atmosphere. Blend two rooms using similar fittings and furnishings to create a sleek, immersive space.

Selecting neutral tones for paint, wallpaper and flooring is a versatile way to effortlessly transition from one room to another, then you can add a splash of personality by jazzing up the space with bright cushions and throws.

If you’d like a little differentiation between each room, why not colour code your furnishings? Navy cushions in the living area can make way for cooler blue tones transitioning into the kitchen – creating an effortless divide without compromising on the modern open plan feel.

Not all rooms have to be included in an open plan space. If you’d prefer to zone off sections of the house for a more intimate feel, a separate cinema room or snug is a great way to break away from the hub of the house and relax in ultimate comfort. Funky beanbags and warm lighting will help transform the room into a casual, cosy den.


3) Invest in Flexible Furniture



According to Homedit, if you’re working with a larger, rectangular room, corners and L shapes are the perfect way to create a homely atmosphere. An L shaped sofa will not only vary the shape and structure of the room, it will make your guests feel at home and avoid the ‘furniture showroom’ feel.

Inviting armchairs and plush floor cushions can be moved around quickly and with little effort – another way to make your space more dynamic when entertaining.


4) Be Sneaky with Storage



While a few key pieces of framed artwork will instantly breathe life into freshly painted walls, tidying away smaller items will help maintain the simple, sophisticated effect of open plan living.

To combat the clutter, veer towards vertical storage solutions like stacked or floating shelves. Not only are these practical and subtle in concealing day-to-day mess, they can be sleek, effortless design elements, tying the space together and making it feel like home.


5) Blur the Boundaries



Create a welcoming outdoor haven by updating your garden furniture this summer. Stylish outdoor dining tables are ideal for bringing the family together for an al fresco lunch, while sun loungers or wicker chairs add a playful twist to any outdoor space – perfect if your garden is a suntrap during the summer months.



Balconies provide another great opportunity for blurring the boundaries between inside and out, so don’t neglect yours! Add a couple of chairs or occupy bare corners with potted plants and lush succulents. Not only will they add detail and colour to an otherwise empty space, the leafy green tones and natural shapes will blur the boundaries between interiors and exteriors.

An example of open plan living at its finest, the stylish and spacious Tregarthen in New Polzeath sleeps up to 10 guests. Short breaks start from £1100.