Large open plan living room and kitchen

Open Plan Living Is Out - Defined Living Is In

Open plan is forecast to become less popular in 2022 following a rise in the need for privacy, thanks to the pandemic. Long gone are the days of sterile-white interiors, minimalism, and spaces that blend seamlessly into one another. All hail the revival of spaces with designated purposes and more vibrant décor. 

With more adults requiring a quiet spot to work from home, and young people craving a space to chill out, open plan accommodations need to become more defined.  However, it’s not cheap to put up walls, and it would be relatively difficult to put things back to normal when trends change again. 

So, here are my top five tips for transforming an open plan home into a defined living space, without making structural changes.

Modern living room interior design with pastel colour furniture

Pops of colour

In small, open-plan properties, painting pops of colour can dictate the lay of the land, without sacrificing an iota of liveable space. For example, painting a rectangle in a contrasting colour to define where your desk and office space resides. Or, painting an archway above a vanity table; it’s not quite a walk-in wardrobe, but it contributes to providing an allotted personal space. 

Open living space bedroom and living room with various large house plants

Room dividers

Unlike putting up stud walls, room dividers are a cheap, decorative and instantaneous way to create closed-off spaces in an open plan home. The most wonderful thing about room partitions is the ability to move them around, so you can open and close spaces quickly and easily. If you want something a little more permanent, consider Japanese sliding doors and fusuma.

Large open plan modern living space with a sea view


If you’re ready to commit to adding rooms to your open-plan space, consider windows instead of solid walls. The addition of walls inevitably has the potential to block out natural light; window partitions offer a degree of privacy while retaining the same bright and airy feel of open plan. 

Large modern bedroom with white furniture with pops of colour and house plants

Furniture placement

Use furniture to recreate the crisp, clean lines usually created by walls. For example, you could position your couch(es) around a coffee table and/or TV as a central point. This gives the feel of facing into a room and creates a perimeter to walk around. Similarly, bookshelves and desks can be cleverly placed to section off an office space. Creating these invisible divides is a cost-effective way to define your open plan home, without emptying your bank account.

Modern open plan kitchen and dining area

Contrasting colour schemes

Remove the fluidity of neutral colour schemes and make a statement using bold, contrasting colours to define each part of your living space. Fortunately, vibrant colours are predicted to be trending in 2022, so now’s the time to have some fun with your interior design. Of course, if you’re not prepared to paint your living space, you could reflect your new colour schemes in soft furnishings like curtains, rugs, throws, and scatter cushions. 

If you’ve been inspired by the latest trends, and you want to discuss your upcoming ventures, get in touch with the team at Maidenhead. We’re always happy to help!

Posted on January 28th 2022

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