Has an open floor plan got you stumped on ways to distinguish your space? Perhaps your open living area is just a little too open-  so much so that you wish to “split” it into both living and dining areas,  while still having room for a flow of traffic and a clear line to the kitchen area. Or, perhaps, you live in a studio or open loft where the only walls within your space happen to surround your bathroom. Here are some useful tricks to help define your space without stopping the flow of light or vision.

1) Define a space with an area rug:

Yes, sometimes feeling like you’re entering a new space can be as simple as changing up the texture beneath your feet. Area rugs give the visual appearance of a distinct space by simply defining a specific area. Using these under a dining room table or between furniture in a living arrangement can do a wonderful job of breaking up the space visually.

2) Carefully arrange your furniture:

Seemingly obvious, right? It can be tricky sometimes to achieve the perfect layout for a room without blocking the flow of traffic or making a  comfortable arrangement for living, eating, talking, or watching TV. When arranging a living space, be sure that the furniture all has comfortable viewing access to the TV (or other visual focal point if you’re not a TV person), but more importantly, make sure that the entire space keeps a smooth conversational layout so that guests are more able to enjoy each others’ company. Create a single walkway by arranging all of the furniture more to one side of the room, as to allow the most basic line on vision and a visual break in furniture. This will allow for a smooth traffic flow and minimal stubbed toes.

3) Purchase a divider:

Especially in studios or lofts, dividers may be a crucial part of ensuring some privacy in a bedroom area, or creating a more intimate dining experience. Dividers can be found in most furniture retailers, and pricing and style options all depend on the atmosphere you are trying to achieve. There are also some wonderful DIY tricks online for creating a custom divider, which will ensure that your unique taste and style is fully represented. Having this divider will create an obvious visual block and make it seem like there are more separate spaces in your home than there really are, making your place seem at the same time larger and cozier.

4) Use different color schemes:

Separating a space can be as easy as playing a little trick on the human eye. By painting the different sections of the walls different colors where your spaces change, and of course by accessorizing to fit those colors, a visual difference in said spaces will create visual “rooms” without the need for dividing walls. This strategy will also bring more visual interest into your home and allow you to have a lot more fun decorating by bringing in more opportunities for colorful accessorizing.

So take a deep breath and let your inner Feng-shui guru/interior designer out. Your open space doesn’t all have to be one large room, and separating it can be as easy as purchasing a rug and a few cans of paint. Don’t be afraid to experiment visually and most of all, let your personality shine through the design choices you make.