Open Plan Living: Interior Design, Space Planning, and Renovation Tips

Open Plan Living: Interior Design, Space Planning, and Renovation Tips

Open plan living is a popular trend in modern interior design, offering a flexible, spacious, and airy environment. It involves merging two or more rooms to create a single expansive space, enhancing the flow and functionality of a home. In Singapore, where space is often limited, open plan living can be a practical solution for making the most of your home, whether it’s a HDB flat, a condominium, or a landed property. We explore interior design, space planning, and renovation tips for embracing open plan living in various home types in Singapore.

The Concept of Open Plan Living

Open plan living revolves around the idea of creating a seamless flow between different functional areas of a home, such as the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. By removing unnecessary walls and barriers, you can create a more expansive and versatile living space that enhances natural light and promotes social interaction.

Benefits of Open Plan Living

Enhanced Space: Open plan layouts make small spaces feel larger and more inviting.

Improved Flow: The absence of walls allows for easier movement and a better flow of natural light.

Versatility: Open spaces can be adapted for various activities, from entertaining guests to family gatherings.

Social Interaction: Open plan living encourages social interaction, making it easier to connect with family and friends.

Interior Design and Space Planning Tips

HDB Flats

HDB flats are known for their compact and efficient design. Embracing open plan living in an HDB flat can significantly enhance the sense of space and functionality.

Remove Non-Structural Walls: Identify and remove non-structural walls to create a larger, more open living area. Ensure you consult with a professional to avoid compromising the structural integrity of the flat.

Multifunctional Furniture: Opt for multifunctional furniture pieces that can serve multiple purposes. For example, a dining table can double as a workspace, and a sofa can include hidden storage.

Vertical Storage: Utilize vertical storage solutions like wall-mounted shelves and cabinets to keep the floor area clutter-free.

Lighting: Use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit and inviting space. Pendant lights can define dining areas, while recessed lighting can provide general illumination.


Condos in Singapore often offer more flexibility in terms of space and design. Open plan living can make a condo feel more luxurious and spacious.

Open Kitchen Concept: Integrate the kitchen with the living and dining areas to create a cohesive and interactive space. An island or a breakfast bar can act as a visual divider while providing additional seating and storage.

Zoning: Use rugs, furniture arrangement, and lighting to define different zones within the open space. For instance, a large rug can delineate the living area, while a different lighting fixture can highlight the dining area.

Sliding Doors: Install sliding or pocket doors to create flexible spaces that can be closed off for privacy when needed.

Furniture Layout: Choose furniture that complements the flow of the space. Avoid bulky pieces that can obstruct movement and opt for sleek, minimalist designs.

Landed Properties

Landed properties offer the most flexibility in terms of space and design. Open plan living in a landed property can create a grand, expansive feel.

Maximize Natural Light: Incorporate large windows, skylights, and glass doors to maximize natural light and create a seamless connection with the outdoor spaces.

Integrated Indoor-Outdoor Living: Extend the open plan concept to the outdoors by integrating patios, decks, and gardens with the indoor living areas. This can create a cohesive and harmonious living environment.

Statement Pieces: Use statement furniture pieces and artwork to create focal points within the open space. This can add character and personality to the home.

Layered Lighting: Implement layered lighting to enhance the ambiance and functionality of the space. Use a combination of chandeliers, pendant lights, wall sconces, and floor lamps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

What to Look Out For

When planning an open plan living space, it’s important to consider the following:

Structural Integrity: Always consult with a professional before removing any walls to ensure the structural integrity of your home is not compromised.

Noise Control: Open spaces can amplify noise, so consider adding rugs, curtains, and acoustic panels to reduce noise levels.

Storage Solutions: Incorporate ample storage solutions to keep the space organized and clutter-free.

Privacy: Think about how you can maintain privacy in certain areas of the home, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Sliding doors, curtains, and room dividers can provide flexible privacy options.

Strategies for Successful Open Plan Living

Plan the Layout: Carefully plan the layout to ensure a logical and functional flow between different areas. Consider how you use each space and how they connect.

Consistency in Design: Maintain a consistent design theme throughout the open space to create a cohesive look. Use a similar colour palette, materials, and finishes.

Flexible Spaces: Design the space to be flexible and adaptable to different needs. For example, a dining area can double as a workspace or a play area for children.

Integrate Technology: Consider incorporating smart home technology to enhance the functionality and convenience of the open space. Smart lighting, climate control, and entertainment systems can be seamlessly integrated.

The Kind of Furniture to Use

Modular Furniture: Modular furniture pieces can be rearranged to suit different needs and activities. This flexibility is ideal for open plan living.

Statement Pieces: Use a few statement pieces to create focal points and add personality to the space.

Multifunctional Pieces: Opt for furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as storage ottomans, extendable dining tables, and sofa beds.

Lightweight and Movable: Choose lightweight and movable furniture to easily reconfigure the space as needed.

Lighting Considerations

Natural Light: Maximize natural light by incorporating large windows, skylights, and glass doors.

Ambient Lighting: Use ambient lighting to provide overall illumination for the space. Recessed lighting, chandeliers, and pendant lights are great options.

Task Lighting: Incorporate task lighting in areas where specific activities take place, such as the kitchen, dining, and workspace areas.

Accent Lighting: Use accent lighting to highlight architectural features, artwork, and focal points within the space.

Bringing It All Together

Open plan living offers a versatile and modern approach to interior design, making the most of available space and enhancing the flow and functionality of a home. Whether you live in an HDB flat, a condominium, or a landed property in Singapore, the tips and strategies outlined in this article can help you create a stylish, comfortable, and practical open plan living space. By carefully planning the layout, choosing the right furniture, and incorporating effective lighting solutions, you can transform your home into a welcoming and cohesive environment that suits your lifestyle.

For more insights and ideas, explore our home renovation services or check out our interior design projects. Our experts are here to help you make the most of your space with creative solutions tailored to your needs. Dive into our blog for more tips and tricks on maximising space and enhancing your home’s design.

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