King Penthouse, Living Room
Creative Open Floor Plan Solutions
Open concept living has been around for decades and is more common than ever with open floor plans on the rise. But for many, it can be confusing and challenging to balance such a large space with multiple functions and still make it feel harmonious.
We enjoy open concept designs for so many reasons! Open floor plans allow for maximizing natural light, maintaining sightlines, achieving openness, and making hosting and socializing easier.
So, we’ve put together this blog using our own work where we revamped and reworked open floor plans to suit our clients and their needs better. Keep on reading for some creative ideas!
Design Solutions at a Glance
001) Identify travel paths.
This helps you place furniture and determine the appropriate scale of furniture without placing items in areas with high foot traffic. Aim for a minimum of 3’ between paths of travel to be able to move around comfortably.
002) Create zones by defining areas.
This is achieved by using furniture, finishes, and fixtures. Using a rug under a sofa in a large room will be the base layer when building your zones. Adding a pendant light over a dining table is another quick method to define specific spaces.
003) Consider how each space flows into each other.
Adjacencies and relationships are important to consider in open floor plans. Spaces such as kitchens and dining rooms should speak to each other while maintaining their own identity and purpose.
Functional, Custom Millwork
We are big fans of going the custom route wherever possible. Custom millwork is perfect for open floor plans because it allows you to maximize space and functionality while getting creative. Ready-made furniture can be great but doesn’t always tick off all the boxes. By going custom, you’re able to control and build exactly what you need for you and your space. Adding in built-in millwork allows the space to feel more purposeful as opposed to just buying random furniture and trying to make it work. This is especially true in much smaller spaces.
In our Winnett Residence project, our clients had a long, narrow, and open-concept living space that they wanted to serve as both a living room and permanent workspace after the pandemic.
We knew we wanted to delineate zones without making the space feel closed off. There was an existing fireplace hook-up, allowing us to design and install a peninsula fireplace as a natural divider. The peninsula gas fireplace is low and transparent on 3 sides allowing for light to filter into the space.
Winnett Residence, Study
also serves as a surface making hosting and entertaining easy.
With this solution, the fireplace clearly divides each area of the room while maintaining the open concept look and light, bright atmosphere. One side of the fireplace defines the den while the other side defines the living room.
Our Winnett Residence project also features more custom millwork solutions. On the opposite side of the fireplace, we designed built-in millwork shelves near the front of the home, acting as a small den/work area.
On the opposite side of the room on the TV wall, we designed a custom bench system along the wall with hidden and open storage while seamlessly offering additional seating. The bench system is finished off with blue cushions; The cushions are removable allowing our clients to access the extra storage underneath when needed.
Console Backing and Conversation Area
Sometimes, custom millwork is not the solution and ready-made furniture is the better approach. In the case of our King Penthouse project, we were limited with usable wall space and working around floor-to-ceiling windows in a large living room that was completely open with great views of downtown Toronto. We knew we wanted to go extremely minimal on the walls and let the city take center stage.
We wanted to be able to carve out spaces without taking away from the view so our solution was to go with a rounded velvet sofa to ease the eye into this room and for its ability to have more of a panoramic view of the skyline.
We added an
acrylic console table behind the sectional to divide the space without feeling bulky.
King Penthouse, Living Room
One side of the room acts like a traditional living room with a smaller sofa facing the TV wall whereas the other side acts like a conversational and entertaining space. A large custom rug brings all the pieces together with pops of blue throughout creating a cohesive design where every piece relates to each other.
Scale and repetitive elements were critical to this project’s success. The rounded sofa, rug and floor lamp are larger in size and compliment the smaller accent chair, coffee tables, and end tables. Chrome, acrylic and brushed nickel were used in a lot of the furniture’s finishes to create the look and feel the client desired. It can be seen in various pieces such as the coffee table in the living room, and many of the legs throughout the home.
Low and Unique Profile Furniture
In the case of our Valleyview project, the living, dining room, and kitchen were completely open. Similar to our last project, although much smaller, it didn’t make sense to do custom millwork in the living room. We were working with an existing all-white kitchen and we wanted to define the living room by using colour and furniture with a unique profile. We also chose to use low-profile furniture so sightlines were not impeded.
We started from the living room and worked our way out. We pitched a rounded sofa as it would work with the existing layout of the room and from there, we carefully selected pieces that were functional, and flexible and allowed our client to entertain large groups of people with ease.
Valleyview, Living Room
critical in this
we wanted this home to be as interesting as
He had a wonderful collection of rolled prints, trinkets, and knick-knacks that he collected over the years from his travels, or were gifts from friends and family over a long period of time that all told a great story, and we wanted to create plenty of opportunities to display them. Finally, we went with a large rug that picks up on the colour of the rounded sofa creating a cohesive space in an open room.
This project was actually featured in the August and September issue of Reno+Decor magazine last year!
In our Esplanade project, we used a similar approach by selecting low furniture in a condo with stunning views of Toronto in order to let the light and view pass through. It’s all about working with your space, not against it.
We hope these tips and design examples have helped you to look at your open concept space differently. Open floor plans don’t need to be complicated, it can be as easy as 1,2,3!
If you’re looking to add custom millwork design solutions, give us a call, we can help!