Image by adaptorplug via Flickr
It is a real challenge to divide up and define specific spaces in an open concept design. If done poorly the end result will look congested and cluttered and disconcerting to the eye. There are ways that we can define individual spaces in an open concept and have it merge seamlessly.
1. Furniture placement-
We can always form a border between two rooms using the furniture in the room. Sofas, love seats and freestanding units are a great way to divide a space. If you appreciate the flow of the open space, use the smallest size piece of furniture to do this. Make sure sofas and love seats have a finished back, and can be freestanding. Some inexpensive pieces do not have a finished back. This simply means that the furniture has a pale piece of canvas type fabric backing and not the matching upholstery seen on the front.
2. Coordinating colors-
If you have an open concept in your home but wish to define one area from another you can use a lighter paint or darker paint color in the same color family to give the other room its own personality while still making it merge with the other areas. Take a sample of your existing color to your home center or paint store and ask them to either darken it or lighten it.
3. Create a movable barrier-
You can create individual spaces using a variety of movable barriers. Some ideas are to section off one area from another using large fabric panels on tracts, building a divider using bi-fold doors, and creating your own fabric screen that requires using 2"X 2 " wood, piano hinges and the fabric of your choice.
4. Use of columns, half walls and large objects-
Many homes in new construction are using columns now to add architectural detailing and definition to spaces in an open room. You can build your own as well. Many home centers have columns, 8 foot posts, etc that you can easily paint and install between two spaces to create definition. Half walls can easily be built with 2 by 4 lumber, sheet rock, paint and molding. Large objects like vases, book cases and stands in darker colors usually cause the eye to stop and make the distinction between two spaces.