An open floor plan is a style that is increasing in popularity, yet there are some downsides to this family-friendly layout. Though it is a design that allows someone in the kitchen to speak directly to those in the living room or family room area, it can be too open for some.
For example, one of the biggest glitches is that it provides no formal entryway into some homes, and can cause everything from mud and dirt to make their way easily inside the home, to creating a rather blunt entrance into the living area.
If you love your open floor plan, but wish for a more formally designated entry way, all is not lost. You do not have to construct walls or invest in many new furnishings in order to map out an entry and create a more ceremonious way to welcome visitors into your living space.
The Simplest Solutions
There are several simple answers that will effectively map out an entry; tricking the eye and the senses into thinking there is a separate room or space.
One of the simplest is to place the furnishings in the room with their backs facing the door. Sofas in particular, can be arranged with sofa tables behind them, creating a sense that you are not walking directly into the living room. You can do this same thing with two armchairs and a smaller table between them.
Just the use of a single sofa table behind chairs or sofas will effectively establish a broken line of sight, but also give you a place to put hats, bags, or your own items as you enter the front door. An umbrella stand nearby, and an area rug that fits the desired space also create visual cues that the area is separate from the rest.
Another great trick is to consider the way the door swings into the room. If you can hang or re-hang the door to force it to swing against the seating area, you visually block those entering from perceiving the space straight away. This is a good way to create at least three square feet of space that is visually separated from the rest of the room. Hanging coat hooks here is another trick for creating a separate space that just happens to be in the room!
More Detailed Solutions
You can build on the idea of the sofa arrangement and a sofa table distinguishing the entry by also adding some seating to this zone. In effect, tucking a few comfortable benches beneath a sofa table creates an area where visitors can sit down to put on or take off shoes, pet the family dog, or deposit bags as they enjoy your welcome.
If you happen to be fortunate enough to have a closet by the front door, simply removing the door and turning that space into some sort of alcove works visual magic. Install a lighting fixture inside the closet, paint it a contrasting hue, and furnish it with a table or dresser, a bit of artwork or a mirror, and make it a space where visitors naturally stop to deposit coats, hats, and bags.
If room allows, you can also install a tall bookcase next to the door. If the door opens into the room, a shallow and tall case can remain open on both sides, allowing light to enter, but visually ending the room. This creates a defined space for entering and exiting, and it does actually define it from the rest of the room.
Don't feel you have to live with the enormity of your open floor plan. You can create a simple entry way, or the illusion of one using these affordable and easy tips.
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