Open plan layouts make the most of the space in your home and it’s important that these multifunctional areas work visually and practically.

In many Elan homes we combine kitchen, dining and family rooms, creating multifunctional sociable spaces that are the very heart of daily life. These spaces are where family favourite meals are prepared and enjoyed; where we bond with our families by sharing the day’s news and where memories are made.

But while cooking, eating, homework and leisure time is often all done in one space, carefully considered zoning can create the illusion or “rooms within a room”.

Stanza Style’s Alex Egan explains how to zone your home.

“It can be quite daunting to work out a room plan when there are so many elements to consider – especially if you want to zone off a large space to create areas to utilise in different ways,” Alex says.

“Try designing each zone separately using different wall treatments, lighting and furniture, but be careful, too many zones in too small an area can make it feel cluttered.”

Rugs offer an affordable way to zone a space.

“A rug around a seating area or under a dining table creates the visual cue that these areas are separate but complementary at the same time,” Alex adds.

Lighting can draw focus on a particular area. Dining tables traditionally have a large feature light overhead and this is a great way to create a break point between one space and another.

“Try using low level lighting, such as floor and table lamps, to highlight your zoned area. You could create a cosy reading corner with a chair, footstool and a comfy rug underneath,” Alex suggests.

“Free standing room dividing screens –ranging from open bamboo screens to more luxurious mirrored room dividers, normally stood in a zig zag formation ­– just slightly trick the eye into thinking the room is a different shape. They help to zone an area by stopping your eyes from seeing round the corner so easily. Dividing screens can be placed near to a table lamp or floor plant to create a lovely grouping.”

Where you position your furniture can also help with zoning.

“A tall open bookcase placed sideways coming away from the wall rather than flat against it, can “break up” a room,” Alex explains. “This creates a clear separation of the space, while allowing light to pass through it keeping the space feeling open. It offers double the storage space as you can access it from both sides, plus it can be moved easily when you feel like rearranging the room layout.”

Alex says console tables are underutilised as they’re often placed against a wall. She suggests positioning a console table at the back of a sofa as an alternative, particularly if the sofa back is seen in the space of the room.

“This creates a visual partition to the space and if you can still access plug sockets, a lamp or two would add height above the sofa adding to the zoning effect,” Alex adds. “An alternative would be a large plant or a collection of vases. A console can also provide a place to pop down your coffee cup when you sitting on the sofa!”

Sofas themselves can also be used to zone a room.

“Rather than putting the back of a sofa to the wall, try turning the sofa at right angles to the wall or even on an angle from the wall, as this creates an immediate partition between the space in front and behind the sofa, helping define the space,” Alex says.

“Use a lovely throw to drape over the back of the sofa for those cosy nights in – it will create a perfect additional visual element and adds texture.”

Alex adds: “If you want to put your dining table in a corner of a room, try using a dining bench seat teamed with some complementary dining chairs. Positioned against the wall in the corner it can create a really cosy dining corner.”

If you’re in the zone for a new home, check out where we’re building via the website, where you can take virtual tours of our show homes and make appointments with our sales executives to discuss your next move.

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