Kelly Hoppen reveals the one thing that is missing from your open-plan living space

Does your open-plan living space feel like it's lacking something?

Open-plan living areas are incredibly popular, however, interior designer Kelly Hoppen speaking on an Instagram live to friend Kelly Holmes shared her open plan living area advice, and identified something that is often missing from them.

Related: Open-plan living room ideas for a multi-functional, family space

In the Instagram live the pair explored how best to arrange the athlete's open plan living area. While Kelly Holmes modern space which includes a sitting area, kitchen, and dining area is stunning, Kelly Hoppen's discerning eye quickly noted that it was missing zones.

According to the interior expert, creating distinct zones is important for an open-plan space to look finished and cohesive. To do this, you simply need to play around with accessories and types of furniture to alter the feel of the different areas as you move through the space.

Here are a couple of the interior experts' top tips for how to create zones simply and easily.

Kelly Hoppen's open plan living area advice

Large open plan kitchen with white countertop island and blue cupboards


(Image credit: Future PLC/Sarah London Photography @sarahlondonphotographer)

Make a cosy area with comfy furniture

The first thing was to make the open plan living room more cosy and welcoming. Kelly Holmes had a sofa, two small chairs, and a fireplace in her living area. 'How attached to the chairs are you in that room?' Kelly asked. When her friend said she wasn't attached to them, Kelly said, 'Okay, because they're not right for the room.'

'What I would do there,' Kelly Hoppen says, 'is either a big loveseat or two big armchairs that are really comfortable. Because you're cooking and sitting and eating in there. You want to make that more welcoming.'

Also, to stop her sofa look like it was floating, Kelly Hoppen suggested putting a massive rug underneath and placing a coffee table on either side of the sofa to anchor it in the room. For more tips on how to zone an open plan space, take a look at our guide.

Female standing in a blue open plan kitchen with a hanging cone shaped light


(Image credit: Future PLC/Sarah London Photography @sarahlondonphotographer)

Transition to the kitchen area with a fun clock

Moving into the kitchen area, Kelly Holmes had a blank wall opposite her large island. Here, Kelly Hoppen recommended hanging a big old-fashioned railway clock.

A quirky clock adds character but is also a key, practical feature we expect to see in a kitchen. An eye-catching clock helps to divide up the space.

Use flowers to divide the room

Kelly Hoppen suggests placing a vase of flowers on the kitchen island to create the same effect. 'At this counter, I would do a nice vase with some flowers to break the room up a bit,' Kelly says. The flowers would visually separate the sitting area from the kitchen space. If your not a fan of flowers, an assortment of houseplants will also do the trick.

White tiled open plan kitchen with blue cupboards and a dinning table with chairs


(Image credit: Future PLC/Sarah London Photography @sarahlondonphotographer)

In her dining area, Kelly recommended putting shutters at the windows, and to hang a big black and white photograph up on the wall, making another distinct area.

Related: Kelly Hoppen’s unconventional advice for painting skirting boards is a game-changer

Small tweaks like these will give each area in your open-plan space a clear purpose.

Will you be trying these tricks at home?

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.