ARTICLE Jacqui Godfrey

Traditionally most homes have had separate kitchen, dining and living spaces; however by removing some walls or making bigger openings between rooms, as shown in this three-bedroom house, these spaces can have a greater feeling of space while utilising the existing floor area.

Not all walls are load bearing, but if they are, it's worth getting a builder to advise whether minor structural changes can be made and how to go about it. If possible, try to select furniture and ensure it fits before you make structural changes.

By interconnecting all your living spaces you can create one large room where everyone can mingle and feel together.

The lounge can double as extra seating for a meal, and dining chairs can be pulled into the lounge for conversation or watching TV, especially sport.

Adding a kitchen bench with bar stools can also allow extra seating. Choosing the right furniture to furnish your open-plan area is the key to gaining the maximum seating. When purchasing new furniture, consider these few pointers:

  • Sofas that have narrow arms will give more actual seating space as opposed to sofas with big elaborate arms. Choose a sofa with with a continuous or wide seat cushions - this way everyone can squeeze up together.
  • Choosing a deeper sofa means that you can get at least 3-4 people seated, as some can sit forward and others back, while still allowing for maneuverability in the room. Larger sofas can look more in proportion than smaller sofas.
  • Corner sofas are great too. Typically they are comprised of a one arm sofa and a chaise. When it's just a few at home you have the luxury of putting your feet up, but when more people arrive, the sofas can be easily separated to form two sofas. Instead of a standard timber or glass coffee table, consider an upholstered ottoman or foot stool; as 2-3 people cna sit o one quite comfortably and they can be easily moved around the living areas as required.
  • When selecting a dining table, double check that you can get the desired number of dining chairs between the table legs; and that there's room to move dining chairs in and out from the table and work around it freely. A reputable furniture retailer or designer should be able to assist you with this if you give them the correct sizes of your room.

For furniture that can help you maximise space, visit the Forma website.

You might be interested in reading: An open kitchen renovation in Parnell.

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This article by Jacqui Godfrey from Forma featured on page 38 of Issue 016 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.

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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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