Published: Mar 27, 2020 | Updated: Jul 06, 2020

11 Ways to Create Defined Spaces in Your Custom Home Design

Make a large space feel more welcoming and cozy by using the concept of defined spaces.

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Designing your custom home is such an exciting experience! What an opportunity to create a dream home that will be best for your family’s needs and desires now and in years to come. 

Of course, there are many significant factors to consider in your house plan design:

  • The orientation of the house
  • The lot topography
  • Any homeowners’ association rules
  • Budget
  • Architectural style
  • Universal design
  • Child and senior adult safety
  • Aesthetics
  • The benefits of natural light
  • Colors
  • etc…

As you work through the design process, you may want to also think about the idea of defined spaces, particularly if you opt for an open floor plan.

What is a defined space?

In home design, creating a defined space means that you visually break up a large, open room to make smaller, more intimate groupings that are set apart for a specific purpose.

There are many ways to do this. All it takes is a bit of creativity and planning. 

Large Living Area

11 ways to create defined spaces

Use one or all of the suggestions below to help set off defined spaces in your open concept home plan.

  1. Furniture groupings - You can arrange furniture to create a cozy sitting area as if there were invisible walls around the area. This helps make a large space feel smaller.
  2. Color - A large room doesn’t have to feel endless when there are color variations that help to make it obvious which part of the space is for a certain function.
  3. Area rugs - An area rug under a furniture grouping helps to make that set of furniture look like one cohesive smaller room whether it is a dining area or living space.
  4. Lighting - A hanging pendant light, recessed lighting, dramatic lighting, or a large arc floor lamp centered over a specific area can help the eye imagine that the area under the light is its own space.
  5. Ceiling effects - If the dining area, the living area, and the kitchen have different ceiling heights, this can help to visually define each space as separate. Or, if there are beams in the ceiling to help differentiate the spaces or a bulkhead, it helps section off the areas almost like they are separate rooms.
  6. Room dividers - Whether it is a screen, curtains, or a series of bookshelves, these movable pieces can help to delineate various spaces. 
  7. A change in flooring - Different types of flooring or different colors of flooring can help to visually block off areas in a large room. 
  8. Built-ins - A kitchen island helps to separate the kitchen area from the living and dining room space. But other built-in cabinets could also help to showcase the change between each part of the large space.
  9. Columns - A few columns could set a boundary for the dining room without creating a wall to maintain the open feel of the space.
  10. Different floor depths - A sunken or raised floor can help showcase each area in a large room and define the edge of each area.
  11. Don’t overfill the space - If a large space becomes filled with too much furniture, it is difficult to get the sense of each distinct space. Keeping some areas open and clear for walking paths helps separate the function of each area.

Your preferred builder, your architect, and your interior designer may have additional ideas for you to think through as you design defined spaces in your beautiful new home.

Building a custom home is one of the greatest financial investments you’ll ever make. You want your home to be perfect and you don’t want to have any regrets in the decisions you make as you design and build your dream home.

The right building company can make all the difference because an experienced custom builder can answer your questions and help you figure out exactly what choices will be best for you.


Ready to build a custom home with defined spaces in the Columbia, SC area?

We welcome your questions and would love to see if we might be a great fit for you in your home building process.

Contact us today and let’s get started!

Our build areas include

Blythewood, Forest Acres, downtown Columbia, Lake Murray, West Columbia, Pinewood, Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, and more.

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