It’s easy to create an open-plan living room that feels cosy, yet seamlessly linked to the rest of your home. Take a browse through our gallery of inspirational ideas to create a beautiful modern, open-plan living space.
Link two areas, such as a living and dining space, with a unifying colour scheme. Go for timeless soft white or a neutral shade and choose furniture from a similar colour palette for both areas.
In a large open-plan space you also have the freedom to experiment with oversized designs, everything from statement furniture, wall art or a bold, large-scale design on soft furnishing fabrics or an eye-catching rug.
Create zones for different activites so that an open-plan space works well. Furniture can be used to cleverly break up an area with pieces such as storage cabinets being used as a room divider.
Go for a smart piece of furniture that has a mix of open shelving and concealed storage space so that you can view the television and display books and a few favourite accessories.
Stow away more day-to-day items in drawers and cupboard space. Choose from design-led floor-to-ceiling furniture or sleek modern sideboards.
A modular, L-shaped sofa and stylish armchairs can be arranged to create a living area for relaxing and family gatherings. Add a rug and table or standard lamps for a snug look.
Liked this? See our family living room design ideas for more inspiration.
A mix of different types of furniture can often be too busy or overbearing. For a more relaxing ambience, select furniture from the same colour palette to continue your design theme in two areas, linking them together. Lighter wood finishes such as maple and birch give a feeling of space. Here, an original fireplace, double doors and parquet flooring lend a grand feeling to this spacious, open-plan living room.
Matthew Hilton for SCP at Heal’s
Oversized patterns, as seen on the rug, work well in large open-plan living rooms, and are a great way to add interest to minimal furnishings. A space-age coffee table and contemporary chairs give this modern living room a James Bond vibe. A wall of windows keeps the room feeling light and airy.
Although a colour palette of muted whites and paired-back neutrals instantly brightens a space, these cool shades can sometimes feel a bit sterile and clinical. Be sure to spice up your living room colour scheme up with statement wall art and bold cushions.
Clutter can ruin the look of an open-plan living room, so it’s important to factor in ample storage when planning your layout. Hardworking units offer the necessary storage space while not distracting from the overall scheme. The L-shaped sofa creates a defined seating zone in the open-plan space, while accessories and soft furnishings in luxurious fabrics soften the look.
Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia
Think outisde the box when designing your dream open-plan layout. Feature wallpaper and contrasting furniture will add interest to your scheme. If your living room is large enough, be brave and decorate the whole room in a daring statement print, like this pretty butterfly design.
Birds And Butterflies wallpaper
For open-plan living to work effectively, the room should be divided into zones for different activities. The living room is a mix of faded glitz and bygone glamour with its graphic patterned floor, bold-shaped furniture and beautiful gold detailing, while the not-so-subtle glow of neon signs lights up the darker reccesses of the kitchen.
In a larger open-plan room, continue your design scheme to draw the eye to the back of the room. A mélange of styles, colours and eras and show-stopping prints give each zone its own distinctive style, while still linking the two areas together.
Poppies sofa fabric
GP & J Baker
Large windows enhance the light in this open-plan living room. An almost symmetrical feel keeps the space looking neat and cohesive. Vintage bowls and photographs add an air of sophistication to this contemporary living room, while bold colour accents accentuate a neutral scheme to bring it to life.
In a spacious loft or penthouse apartment, furniture and accessories can sometimes look a little lost. Solve this problem by going for statement pieces such as a fabulous floor lamp, eye catching mural or bold geometric rug. For a fresh take on traditional flooring, try the latest grey tones.
A bold, eclectic approach works well in an open living room as there is space to breathe. A bespoke yellow cabinet acts as a room divider between living and dining areas, while still maintaining an open feel. This is also a good way to introduce a hit of colour to a plain colour scheme. This cleverly designed unit also stores the television, books and glassware.
Similar yellow pendant light
As one of the most social spaces in the house, your living room needs to look good, work hard and function well. Before you begin any work, take a litle time to work out how the space functions for you. Is it a relaxing haven, and entertaining space of family central? Here, an elegant fusion of old and new will give a timeless feel to your living room. A pale wood floor reflects light from the windows and hits of strong yellow keep the look glam, not gloomy.
Off-Black at Farrow & Ball
Make the most of an open-plan space by opting for all-white on the
walls. A double-height space allows more light to flow in and you can
appreciate the curve of the wall, which works wonderfully with the
table. Colourful accents stop the room from looking too white and
Saarinen Tulip table for Knoll
This colonial-style rattan chair works equally well indoors and out. Casual in its construction, the colour makes it more adaptable and it works equally well in a contemporary, traditional or country living room. Accents of blue reflect the seaside views, while a colourful rug and sofa liven up the predominantly white look.
If designing a living room for the family, consider using durable and family-friendly materials throughtout, such as concrete flooring, bricks and timber on the ceiling. For sociable gatherings, choose the biggest sofa your space can handle. This wraparound design works brilliantly when guest come over.
With luxe textiles, olive tree stumps and lashings of foliage, the living room embodies all things safari. Rather than knock out the dated natural rock fireplace wall, the owner’s have concealed it with a plaster screen, with lights behind to give a soft glow in the evening.
Solid wood flooring is sturdy underfoot and gives a really high-end feel in a living room. Choose thin boards to make a narrow space appear wider, and wide boards to balance the proportions of a large room. If you wish to divide an open-plan space, consider installing curtains which can be closed to insure privacy should you wish.
Throw away the rule book and mix modern and period elements for a space that is truly unique in every way. This open-plan living room is a mix of faded glitz and bygone glamour with its graphic patterned concrete floor, bold-shaped furniture and beautiful gold detailing. Large windows open-up on to a conservatory filled with lush foliage.
Low-level furniture will help to create a sense of space in your open-plan scheme, especially when combined with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Using neutral colours and keeping walls uncovered will enhance the sense of space in an open-plan area.
Bold accent colours throughout an open-plan scheme will achieve a cohesive look.
The large bi-fold doors in this open-plan living area help bring the outside space in during the summer months.
Plants, artwork and an inventive mixture of textures creates a unique look and brings a multipurpose space to life.
Similar decorative cushions
Mix various patterns and colours against a neutral backdrop for an eclectic look in a living space.
If you love entertaining, a living room leading from your kitchen makes a great entertaining space. The cook can take part in the conversation while comfortable seating ensures guests are relaxed and settled so they are not tempted to stray and get under your feet.
Opening a living room up to an outdoor space gives a fabulous view and a wonderful sense of flow, especially in summer when you can throw open the doors. The choice of seating here is classic with a modern twist. The mix-and-match styles and fabrics create a relaxed and inviting mood.
Opening up the rooms surrounding a central hub can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of open-plan living without totally giving up on privacy and those all-important places in which to stow clutter. Here, a home office and dining room are open but quite separate from a calm living room that remains a dedicated place to flop and relax.
How you arrange furniture and flooring, especially rugs, can help divide a large space into zones. In this living room, two facing sofas nestled by the fire and anchored by a bold rug create a cosy place in which to relax and socialise, while the storage area beyond could be used as a media room with television and technology hidden from view when not in use.
A spacious room is the perfect place to show off a collection, bringing real personality to a scheme. Here, a display of well-chosen antiques adds interest while the collection of ornate plaster pieces runs out into the entrance hall for a sense of continuity.
In a true open living space that has the living room open to the kitchen, ensure your ventilation is powerful enough to keep the air fresh and clear of cooking odours, and opt for super quiet appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers to ensure you can relax in peace and comfort.
An eclectic approach works well in an open-plan living room as there is space to breathe. Here, contemporary sofas and artworks sit happily alongside traditional panelling. The trick is to pay attention to balancing the colour scheme and keeping everything in proportion. Note how the dark tones of the alcove cupboards are repeated throughout the room in the dining table and occasional table.
Where two rooms are linked but not entirely open, create flow by painting both the same shade. A neutral colour scheme allows the freedom to ring the changes using accessories, giving each room its own personality without the risk of jarring.
One of the real benefits of taking out walls is the boost to light levels. Here, what would have been a dark back room is now bright and airy thanks to light streaming in through a generous bay window in the adjoining room. The soft colour palette is lifted by the bold graphic rugs, with one in each room providing a successful visual link.
A great way to section off the different areas in an open-plan living room is with folding doors or screens. Here the living and dining areas are separated by glass, while subtle design features, such as the pendant lights, connect the two spaces.
The brilliant-white backdrop of the walls and pale timber flooring allows the unique artefacts and vibrant green printed sofas to stand out in this living room. The feature chimney becomes a centrepiece for a near-symmetrical decorating scheme.
A skylight brings theatrical natural lighting into this beautiful living room. The brillianthref=”http://www.housetohome.co.uk/room-idea/picture/10-best-white-living-room-ideas”>white walls provide a pristine blank canvas that offsets pale grey furnishings and blonde wood flooring, creating a cool, serene and effortlessly elegant feel.
Simple living room furnishings and a neutral colour scheme allow the original architectural features to shine. The sofas are positioned opposite each other either side of the fireplace for an extra cosy touch, while hints of heather and grey add subtle contrast.
Bold furniture in vibrant blue makes a statement against the neutral tones of this spacious open-plan living room. A whitewashed backdrop, overhanging mezzanine and high ceiling lighten up the space, allowing the bolder shades to be used without overwhelming the room.
A large-scale butterfly artwork and the hand-crafted mirror fit perfectly into this double-height living room. Soft browns, greys and small shots of yellow have been translated from the painting into the room, tying the space together.
Distinct groups of furniture divide this living room into separate zones. Large rooms with high ceilings can be tricky to furnish, as the scale of the space can be overwhelming. Here pieces, such as the distinctive coffee table, have been chosen carefully for maximum impact, while crushed velvet upholstery in pastel and neutral tones manages to keep the look relaxed yet luxurious.
If you want to add vibrancy to one area of an open-plan living room but are not sure where to start, then layer up bright colour through artwork, cushions and throws. Keeping furniture, walls and floors neutral allows you to update a look with accessories without the need to redecorate.
Bespoke coffee table
Tonal colours, combined with natural oak flooring, create the perfect backdrop for a sparkling glass chandelier and a flicker of candle flame around the living room fireplace. A striking floral centrepiece draws the eye to the impressive dining table and the ceiling rose above.
Which look is your favourite? Let us know in the comments box below.