When guests are at your home, it’s much more pleasant to be with them and be involved in the conversation than it is to be shut away in a tiny steamy kitchen by yourself. The open floor plan excels in providing prime entertaining capacity – you can accomplish everything you need to, with regard to the food and preparations and serving, while still being part of the group (which may or may not be lounging on the nearby sofa while you slave away).
Due to their, well, openness, open spaces thrive with the potential for horizontal surfaces. Work these horizontal planes (e.g., shelves) in wherever it makes sense and is useful. For example, the large “shelf” near the floor under this kitchen island work station is floating, which maintains an open feeling, but it also provides storage and decorative function within the space.
An alternative to trying to omit substantial visual barriers is to turn this around and use those barriers to your advantage. For the bed that happens to be part of the open floor plan, for example, a raised headboard provides an immediate sense of privacy…even if that privacy isn’t exactly reality.
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