Why you should care

These tricks will create a psychological space separation between the 2 rooms.

Not sure what to do with that rectangular space in your floor plan that’s supposed to accommodate both the living and dining room?

Open-plan living and dining spaces are increasingly common, especially with smaller apartment units. Good news is, you don’t necessarily need a wall or a chunky built-in that will take up unnecessary space.

With a few tweaks and tricks, it’s easy to create a psychological partition.

1 Different Themes

An easy way to differentiate the 2 spaces is to decorate each area with a different style or colour theme. If you’re going for a mid-century living area, then opt for something more industrial or contemporary for the living area.

The trick to picking contrasting themes that won’t clash is to have an element that syncs up both themes, such as wood. You can match your wooden mid-century furniture legs with your contemporary wooden dining table.

living and dining room

SOURCE: 87ist.com

Another way to tie in contrasting themes is to match the colours of both rooms. If your dining chairs are yellow, then add yellow accents to the living room.

yellow dining chairs

SOURCE: waplag.net

grey and yellow living area

SOURCE: home-designing.com

2 Floor Focus

 Placing a rug in one area and not the other, or placing different rugs in both areas are an effective and relatively affordable way to separate the room.

living room rug

SOURCE: L: westelm.com; R: domino.com

If you have a bigger space (and budget), you can differentiate the spaces by installing different flooring. If you have hardwood floors for the living area, try tiles or laminate for the kitchen area.

Besides separating the room, you also get to install floor types that are more suitable for each room’s function. Kitchen floors for example, should be water- and cleaning-friendly. For more cleaning-friendly flooring, check out our article here.

3 Feature Wall

Feature walls work the same as rugs. You can do a feature wall for the living or dining space, or do one for each of them!

It can be a pop of wall colour

grey wall

SOURCE: Waplag.net

…or a collection of your priced plates

feature wall plates

SOURCE: francoisetmoi.com

…or a patterned wallpaper

living room wallpaper

SOURCE: livingroomhome.top

…or a large mirror (which creates an illusion of a larger space)

mirror dining area

SOURCE: decoholic.org

4 Partition Please

Partitions don’t have to be walls. They can be sliding doors, screens, curtains, and even a pony wall (a halfway wall).

Curtains are a good option as they can be installed fairly easily, and without renovation work.

curtain partition

SOURCE: Hgtv.com

If your space is too small for a wall, consider an open arch between the rooms or install sliding doors that you can open to make the room appear larger when needed, and close when privacy is required.

living room divider

SOURCE: 87ist.com

If you don’t have the budget or a space for a built-in feature, then opt for “holey” dividers like bookcases and screens.

living room partition

SOURCE: L: frenchyfancy.com; R: fantasticfrank.wordpress.com

5 Ceiling Play

 Differentiating the ceilings are also an effective way to separate the spaces. Plaster ceilings do the trick while adding interest and depth to the space.

plaster ceiling

SOURCE: Drawhome.com

plaster ceiling

SOURCE: Hgtv.com

If you don’t want to renovate the place, then get a nice pendant light or chandelier as a focal point in the dining or living area. This creates a centre for that space, separating it from the rest of the room.

Pendant light

SOURCE: Furnitz.com

6 Furniture Arrangement

 We love this trick because it costs nothing! The way you arrange your furniture can create an illusion of a closed-off space, separating the different parts of one large room.

Place your couch and seats around the coffee table to form a rectangle. Behind the biggest couch, place the dining table parallel to that couch to form 2 rectangular spaces!

Living and dining room

SOURCE: Girlsonit.com

Cover image from girlsonit.com

Why you should care

These tricks will create a psychological space separation between the 2 rooms.

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