How to Define A Room

One of the most sought-after apartment layouts is the open loft.  Particularly in a city like NYC where you often find yourself in tight spaces, it’s nice to have a light, expansive feeling in your living area.  With no walls to block light or take up precious square inches, there is a lot to love about living in a loft.  However, one of the frequent struggles with living in an open floor plan can be defining where areas begin and end. 

A lot of clients aren’t sure where to start when they lay out their space, so we pulled together our 4 favorite tips for how to define a room.  

Define each area with it’s own rug:

Using a unique rug to mark each territory is a simple way to provide a visual marker for where each room starts and ends. 

In this open Tribeca loft, each area is designated by a unique rug that lets you know when you're transitioning into a new zone.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

In this open Tribeca loft, each area is designated by a unique rug that lets you know when you're transitioning into a new zone.  
Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

Use seating areas to identify where to gather:

One way to corral guests is to group seating and end tables together, creating a separate space for lounging and chatting.  Commonly, these areas are anchored by a fireplace or TV, but you can also just group all the seating to face each other if you don’t have a focal point to center around.

Here we used a fireplace at one end of the seating area and then surrounded the remaining 3 sides of the zone with matching love seats and a cozy chair.    Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

Here we used a fireplace at one end of the seating area and then surrounded the remaining 3 sides of the zone with matching love seats and a cozy chair.    Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

Anchor an area with lighting:

Whether it's a single centerpiece like a Chandelier, a dramatic cluster of lighting or several similar light fixtures framing the space, lighting is a great way to both designate and punctuate a functional area.

A group of ornate Moroccan chandeliers hanging above the table distinctly identifies the dining area.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

A group of ornate Moroccan chandeliers hanging above the table distinctly identifies the dining area.  
Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

A group of ornate Moroccan chandeliers hanging above the table distinctly identifies the dining area.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

A group of ornate Moroccan chandeliers hanging above the table distinctly identifies the dining area.  
Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

This lounge area has 4 large, column floor lamps positioned at each corner of the space which clearly distinguishes the space as unique.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

This lounge area has 4 large, column floor lamps positioned at each corner of the space which clearly distinguishes the space as unique.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

Split the space with a divider such as a screen, shelves or a fireplace:

A very simple option to divide a space and establish separate areas is to use a piece of large furniture, such as a decorative screen or open bookshelf to visually create a border between two zones.  

To split the more casual family room area from the more formal seating area, we used a narrow modern fireplace to divide the two zones.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

To split the more casual family room area from the more formal seating area, we used a narrow modern fireplace to divide the two zones.   Photo credit: Steph Goralnick www.sgoralnick.com 

Looking for more inspiration?  We have more images up on our Defining A Room board on our Pinterest page.  

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