Open plan living has come of age – changing the dynamics of family life and how we entertain. Here’s how to design your space to be truly flexible
As our living spaces become truly multifunctional, we are presented with another set of design challenges – making sure they work as a traditional living room as well as providing a smooth transition into the kitchen area. The trend for integrating everyday items into the kitchen to make an overall design statement is now just as important in living areas. New television and lighting options are just some of the ways to make this happen.
Here are some great ways to make living areas truly flexible:
A key way to integrate living spaces is to have a considered approach to surface treatments for the whole area. Using the same flooring in your living, dining and kitchen is an easy way to unify the space. You can then delineate areas using rugs, which are also a great way to absorb the noise that comes with open-plan living.
Threading colours, textures and materials through your living area and into your kitchen will help to reinforce a cohesive and considered design. Try echoing the palette of kitchen cabinetry and surfaces in your living area through upholstery, cushions and drapery.
The important thing is to make the whole space gel while still being multipurpose. Integrated breakfast nooks are right on trend and can act as an effortless bridge between your living area and kitchen. Similarly, freestanding or built-in shelving made with similar materials to your kitchen can be a great way to create a zone that reflects your design aesthetic.
As TV screens get bigger, a new innovative range of integrated televisions will complement your decor and become a central part of the design aesthetic when turned off. The screens are statement features in their own right and can be used to express your sense of style. There are a range of options to choose from, depending on the impact you want to achieve.
You can get a streamlined effect with Samsung’s QLED range which simply dissolves into the background when not in use. This is perfect if you want your wall art to take centre stage while your TV stays as unobtrusive as possible.
The Samsung Frame TV really stretches the role of the television itself by becoming a piece of feature art when it’s turned off. Simply choose your favourite image to display on the screen when the TV is not in use. With its stylish frame and intelligent light sensors, the TV ‘artwork’ is difficult to distinguish from your other paintings and contributes to the overall style and mood of your living area.
Or you could integrate your TV even further with Samsung’s Smart QLED TV. You can create the appearance of a window by capturing a view from your window on the TV screen. It replicates your home’s outlook to dramatic effect and is a wonderful way to bring the outside in.
There’s nothing that sets the mood in a room more than lighting and in living areas it can be used to both define and unify spaces. Modern lighting fixtures are often a focal point and create a sense of drama. Make sure that you include a range of lighting options to suit how the living space is used – a statement pendant over a dining table, side lamps by couches for ambient light and a stylish floor lamp for reading.
Keep your lighting features within a consistent theme between the kitchen and living area to achieve continuity. Philips Smart Lighting Solutions can help you to easily change lighting effects over the whole area to match your needs and mood.
You can also give living spaces a feeling of drama and highlight architectural features, signature pieces of furniture such as consoles, or items like shelving, with Philips Hue Light Strips. They are flexible and can be cut or extended to create subtle effects with indirect light in a range of colours. The adhesive backing means they’re incredibly easy to install and change as you wish.
Most of us regard our televisions as our personal entertainment centres and want to replicate a cinema-style experience when we watch a movie or binge on a favourite series. Clunky speakers and audio equipment needed to achieve special sound effects detract from the style of a room, especially now most living areas are part of an open-plan setting.
Choosing an audio solution that can be easily integrated into your home will allow you to live smarter and won’t detract from your interior look. Samsung’s Soundbar is a sleek and unobtrusive option. Its impressive subwoofer will fill your whole living area with balanced acoustic sound while its streamlined, wireless design allows it to blend into the background.
The incredible surround sound will take your movie night to a whole new level and its voice-activated Alexa feature means you won’t have to scramble for the control again.
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