The Perfect Lighting for Open Plan Living


open plan living.

Although open plan interiors are a new concept, that has not stopped the continued growth of this trend. First appearing in the post-war years, open plan living was used as a more relaxed approach for young growing families. The convenience of having an open plan space meant being able to keep an eye on the little ones whilst preparing meals. The kitchen area began to be less of a service area, that was never seen by guests, to a more social area. Open floor plans really took hold in the 1950’s and were considered as the new modern home. By the 1990’s open floorplans became almost the norm for new construction, especially in suburban environments. Everyone knows that lighting is a vital element in any home, planning the lighting for an open plan space can seem daunting but fear not, we have a guide to help you plan the perfect functional space from the very beginning.


create zones.

The key to zoning is ensuring the lights can be controlled independently so the space can be opened, or shrunk down, simply using the lights alone. Having your living room, dining room and kitchen as one large open space makes for a great flow throughout the home, but each space comes with its own lighting requirements. Create zones using lighting to meet these requirements, the two main categories for lighting are function vs mood, so look at your layout and decide where function lighting is needed and where mood lighting is required. There will be some crossover between the two, so installing dimmer switches will give you more flexibility to switch between function and mood lighting!


There will of course be a lack of walls in your open plan space so you’ll have to get creative with fixing points for your lighting. Ceiling Pendants are a great centre piece for any area, but to avoid overwhelming the space with too many ceiling fixtures, recessed ceiling spotlights blend seamlessly into the ceiling and can provide any additional lighting required. They also will not take any of the attention away from your statement pieces. Higher ceilings could be an issue for spotlights however, opting for floor lamps can be a huge benefit, especially in the lounge, large arched floor lamps are the ideal solution to adding a reading spot to your open plan lounge.

inside out.

Good lighting can help to integrate internal and external spaces. Let’s say your dining area has some stunning veranda doors that open up onto a covered patio area continuing the use of any ceiling spotlights or any linear lighting used indoors will help the space flow flawlessly on those summer nights when you’re enjoying evenings around a fire.


Many open plan homes also integrate the upper levels into the design with indoor balconies, opening the space further and allowing viewing points for the multi-level design. Hence, you need to ensure that any light fittings look good from all angles, including from above. Should you have many areas that look down on to a lower level, opt for more decorative ceiling lights such as chandeliers in order to draw the eye.