How to create an open plan living room

Jess, Team member
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How to create an open plan living room

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Project Overview

An open plan living room is a multi-functional space that connects the whole house. We’ll show you how to use clever design to transform an outdated living room into a bright, open, contemporary space to relax and entertain. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Why create an open plan living room?
2 Connecting the home
3 Create open plan zones for versatility
4 Freshen up your colour pallet for modern living
5 Clever open plan living designs
6 Wall colours for your open plan living room
7 Lighting can set the mood
8 Dress your windows
9 Keep your living room warm
10 Add a personal touch to your open plan living room
  • Step 1. Why create an open plan living room?

    The key to a modern lifestyle is open plan living. The best way to achieve this is for your living room to connect all areas of the home. An open plan extends the lounge and entertaining zones and can bring the outside in and vice versa. Think about how you want the room to function and whether you want to take on a complete remodel or just update what’s already there. This’ll help you establish a budget.

  • Step 2. Connecting the home

    We’ve given our space an open feel through the creative use of timber in the floating shelves and bespoke wrap around storage unit, which combine to tell a story through the home. Adding bi-fold doors helps connect inside to outside and extends the entertaining area, making the space feel bigger.

  • Step 3. Create open plan zones for versatility

    Originally one big, long plain wall, this living room is now zoned to offer the flexibility of one large zone or two. We’ve designed one side with clever feature insets to create space for a floating bookshelf and eye-catching gallery wall. On the other side, a bulkhead connects the zones and conceals both the blinds and the ambient strip lighting.

  • Step 4. Freshen up your colour pallet for modern living

    A neutral colour pallet allows the natural timbers to become the highlight of the space. We’ve painted the walls, the ceiling and the trim in various strengths of the same colour, and we used flush mount downlights to keep the room feeling large. Floor lamps add style and complement the overall design. Retaining the original hardwood timber floors was a must here. We’ve added an oversized textural floor rug, warming the space and adding interest.

  • Step 5. Clever open plan living designs

    The key to a successful living room transformation is in planning and clever design. Firstly, your layout should consider how you intend to use the room. Factor in the size and placement of your existing furniture and if you’ll be adding new pieces. Take your inspiration from wherever you can and then add a touch of your own personality. Structurally, think about whether walls need removing to let in light and consult with professionals about the best way to do this.

  • Step 6. Wall colours for your open plan living room

    When choosing your colour scheme, think about the shape and layout of the room. Feature colours can help to define zones, so don’t be afraid to go bold with colours. Our paint department has colour swatches and sample boards to help you pull your look together. You can also test out a colour scheme before you commit by grabbing some sample pots. another great way to create a feature and individualise a room is with wallpaper

  • Step 7. Lighting can set the mood

    The right lighting can make all the difference. If your space permits, pendants are a good option for design and ambience. Floor and table lamps are a cost-effective way to update the look of your lounge space quite quickly and add some design flair. It’s always good idea to look for styles that complement your furniture choices.

  • Step 8. Dress your windows

    Maximise the lighting in your open plan space by dressing your windows cleverly. You can complete the overall colour palette, and help regulate the temperature, by dressing the windows with curtains or blinds. We’ve used concealed roller blinds in both block-out and translucent finishes. For a softer finish, you can use sheers. Solid curtains give a heavier, more formal look. 

  • Step 9. Keep your living room warm

    Open plan lounge spaces can be cooler than closed ones. Get around this by adding rugs which can add warmth, comfort and help with acoustics to boot. Make sure you get the proportions right when choosing your design. An oversized rug can sit under the edges of your furniture pieces and really unite the space. Keep the colours and textures of the room in mind when you make the choice. The secondary colour in the rug should match the main colour in your room. 

    Whilst we chose to preserve the original timber floor boards and dress up with a rug, there are many laminate and timber-look options that can go over your tired old floors for an instant lift. 

     

     

  • Step 10. Add a personal touch to your open plan living room

    Give the living room a personal touch with some projects of your own. We made these beautiful floating shelves, and we’ve followed the theme with our furniture. You can find out how to make them in our D.I.Y. Advice section.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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