September 27th, 2013

How to Determine Proper Room Layout in an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are enticing, aren’t they? Wide, airy spaces provide versatility in determining room layout; the possibilities are infinite. Designing without walls gives homeowners lots of freedom and good options. However, there is such a thing as too many good options. This adage rings especially true when you don’t have a clue where to start.

This is what happened with my client who struggled to create flow on the main floor of her condo. One of the main challenges she faced was designing around a corner fireplace in the living room. This room is her primary entertaining space with its roomy sectional and generously sized television, but the original room layout did not take full advantage of the living room’s potential.

Room Layout Corner Fireplace
In most cases, the fireplace tends to be the room’s focal point, except here where the room’s sole purpose is entertaining and watching TV. The solution was easy!

Floor Plan Room LayoutThe sectional has been flipped so that now it’s positioned to visually “enclose” the space. Next, the television was unmounted from the fireplace and placed on an attractive media console made of weathered wood. The new floor plan (shown above) is more conducive to the homeowner’s lifestyle, and creates both a primary and secondary focal point.


See how intimate the new room layout feels?

Another important trick in creating the perfect room layout is the proper use of area rugs. The best size rug is one that’s large enough to hold all the furniture pieces. This further delineates the space from the others and reinforces the idea that this room within a room serves another purpose.

Here’s the secondary focal point: the fireplace. This area plays a supportive role in the room layout by serving as an additional seating area or a cozy place to read a juicy novel.


Want a peek of the area behind the sofa?

Of course you do…


See how you can recognize four very distinctive areas: the kitchen, breakfast area, living area, and neighboring sun room? This is all achieved with proper room layout.

Are you currently experience this same design dilemma? I promise, once you’ve mastered space planning you can move on to fun stuff like paint! Here our foundation is neutral with pops of color. This is a ‘safe’ way to go if you like to change things up pretty often. For a warm, neutral space that plays well with other colors, consider Natural Tan by Glidden paint. No tricky undertones here.

For more color ideas, see Kate’s post here on the blog about Choosing the Right Neutral.

More questions or comments about your tricky floor plan? Leave them below in the comments section. I’m happy to help!

I have been sponsored by the Glidden® brand paint for PPG to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.