How to Actually Lay Out an Open Floor Plan

Gabrielle Savoie

Open floor plans are great (in theory)—they keep the family together, encourage quality time, and are more fun when entertaining—no one likes to cook alone while everyone else is having a good time in the next room. At first sight, they can also be hard to lay out. While closed dining rooms and living rooms have clear guidelines as to where each piece of furniture should go, open floor plans are more up to interpretation: Where should the dining table go? Is there space for a sectional? How do I visually separate the different spaces?

These increasingly popular family rooms vary so widely in shapes and sizes, and each comes with its own set of challenges. To shed light on the conundrums of open floor plans, we chose five different rooms and laid out the ultimate setup in each one. Is your space extremely small, L-shaped, or very wide? We dreamed up your ideal floor plan—just adapt to your space and enjoy.

Next up: the zero-cost way to give your dining room new life.

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