Five ways to create a broken-plan living space for the whole family

Are you struggling with an open-plan living space if you’re work from home? Here are five ways to create a ‘broken-plan’ living space for the whole family.

As restrictions look to remain in place for the next few months, many of us are continuing to work from home. So it’s important to add boundaries to your living and work zones.

To help you, Nick Acaster from Rugs Direct shares his tips for breaking up your open-plan living area so you can get back some personal space.

It can difficult to switch off when you work from home

Your home has been incredibly important this year. Not only has it been your safe space, but it’s also served as an office and school as well. And while usually you’d be able to leave your work behind at the end of the day, you might be finding it difficult to switch off when you leave your home workspace.

Add the extra distractions from your family while you’re working and you might be desperate for a little bit of space. 

If your home has an open-plan layout you won’t have designated zones for specific activities like you would with separate rooms, making it much harder to find some personal space.

This is why broken-plan living spaces are becoming more popular. Here, I’ll be explaining the trend and how you can achieve it in your home. 

What is broken-plan?

Broken-plan designs make use of subtle and temporary solutions, like rugs and shelving, to help give the feeling of distinct zones. If you love your open-plan living space but would like certain areas to be more private, broken-plan is the ideal option.

With a few clever design tricks, you can break your room up without compromising on style, and I’ll be discussing some of them below.

1) Consult your family first

Before deciding on how you’ll break up each area, it might be a good idea to talk to your family first to see how they use the space. Do your children play in a certain area of your lounge? Do they need a separate space to do their homework? Would they like a cosy reading corner?

Asking these questions at the beginning can make the whole process much easier, and ensures that the finished product will be something the whole family will love.

2) Focus on flooring

Flooring is great for creating the feeling of distinct zones without interfering with the overall flow of the space. If you’ve got wood flooring or tiles all the way through your living area, consider swapping your lounge floor for carpet instead. This will help to separate the space between your cooking and relaxing areas. 

If you don’t feel like changing your flooring completely or you’re working with a smaller budget, a few rugs can do the trick. Just place one in your lounge area to create the feeling of a separate zone, as well as give your space a cosy, relaxing feeling.

Rugs can be an incredibly stylish way to dress up your living space. Plus, as they’re available in a wide range of textures, colours, and designs, you’ll easily find one to suit your home décor. 

3) Use storage solutions

If you like the idea of breaking up a space with a physical boundary, but walls would be too permanent or expensive, open shelving can be a great option. This is an ideal solution if your home office is next to your lounge area, as it will help partition the room up and will give you some extra space to store all your books, files, stationery, and accessories. 

To avoid making the room look too dark, leave some spaces in your shelving open to allow light to flow through.

4) Rearrange your furniture

You could consider rearranging your furniture slightly to help break each zone up. This doesn’t have to be a dramatic change but moving your sofa so it faces away from your kitchen or office space can give the illusion that it’s a separate area. Plus, you won’t be looking at your home office while you’re trying to relax at the end of the day. 

Similarly, turn your desk to face away from your living space to avoid any distractions from the family while you’re trying to work. This would also be a great place for the kids to do their homework without being distracted by the TV!

5) Embrace colour

To keep the space looking cohesive, open-plan areas of your home may have the same colour palette. But, to help define different zones, you could utilise this colour palette in various ways. For example, you could dress your lounge in one colour, your kitchen in another, and your office space in a coordinating hue.

As long as these colours complement each other, you can keep the space looking harmonised while creating recognisable boundaries between each area.

The colour palette you choose depends entirely on your style. If you like calming spaces with muted décor, pale and pastel tones can work well. However, if you’re a bit more adventurous, bold and bright colours can look great. Create a mood board of colours and experiment a little before you start so you can find the perfect tones to suit your style.

Working from home can come with lots of distractions. But, by following the tips above, you can help break up your open-plan space to avoid distractions and help you unwind and relax at the end of a busy day.