How to Define a Space with Elements Other Than Walls

open floor layout interior design

Go to your favorite room. Sit down, and breathe it in. Take a look at everything that makes this room unique. What kinds of colors are here, the textures and the general vibe? Focus on just how much light you have, where is it coming from, how does it make you feel. You probably noticed that what defines this room are not its walls, but many other important and valid elements. That’s what we are going to be talking about today.

A room can seem bigger or smaller, warmer or colder, open or claustrophobic depending on many other elements in it. While square footage can’t really be helped, you can, in essence, do a lot with just a little. 

1. Flooring

Let’s start with flooring. First, you create the atmosphere you want with the right colors and materials. Dark wood gives as an old-school, classy vibe. On the other hand, brightly colored vinyl can push things to a more modern, and stylish end. A rug in the middle of the room can really tie the entire place together, while a lack of elements and a drab flooring style will just make your rooms look empty.

Next, one of the easiest ways you can delineate one area from another in a large room is through the flooring plan. Let’s say you have a large kitchen that connects to your living room. Keeping one segment of the place (the living room for example) covered by hardwood, while keeping bright tiles in the kitchen creates a simple, nice contrast.  

We suggest you do this even if you have walls that separate certain areas, just to really emphasize this point.

2. Atmosphere through regular lights

How you set up the lights in your home matters a great deal. The wrong set up can turn it into a cold and clinical place, but doing things properly can give you lots of warmth. First, skip the neon. Unless you want to turn your home into a hospital or a supermarket, removing any existing neon lights should be the first thing you do. Choose lightbulbs in warm colors, sepia tones, something that brings a cozy, natural feel to the place.

Then, where are they placed? Placing a lamp in a corner an bring a kind of darkened, romantic feel to the entire place. Or, you can have sconces installed onto your walls, creating a soft ambiance. 

3…and natural lighting 

Maybe you want to get as much natural light in as possible. Here you have two options – heavy structural changes, or modifying your windows. On one hand, open things up, widen your windows, maybe install a skylight. However, these things cost a great deal, and there are many easier elements you can try out.

For example, instead of heavy curtains and drapes, and blinds that completely cover your windows, try something that’s a bit easier to customize. Motorized blinds by Marlow & Finch can be automated based on your preferences. Other options like a blackout, translucent, and roller blinds can also define your space and beautify it while helping you modify the amount of light you want to allow enter your home. 

4. Screens

Yes, this one is kind of cheating, but it’s still a very effective way to define space in your home. Getting barriers in your home will easily create privacy and room just like walls do. Screens and room dividers give you some extra comfort if you want some alone time, but also want to be in the same room as your loved ones. It’s especially useful if you have multiple people working from home or studying and doing their homework. 

The material screens are made of matter a great deal. You can use them to either contrast with the rest of your home, juxtaposing nicely with the rest of the place. Or, you can have the screen completely blend in and disappear.

A solid middle ground between the above two notions is to get a screen, made from the right materials and with the right design, that can emphasize the existing style of the room, without just disappearing. You can achieve a lot if you take the time to find the right screen and the appropriate barrier. It just takes effort. 


A little modification can go a long way. You can completely redefine the space you live in with very little. Installing the right overhead elements let you easily contrast one part of the floor plan with another, without even touching the ground. How you set up the lighting in your home can make it homey and cozy, claustrophobia-inducing and stuffy, or clean and open. Simple screens can give you some extra privacy, and the right flooring materials can easily delineate rooms.

About Mianna Korben

Mianna Korben is a curious and knowledge thirsty writer currently living and dreaming in Europe. So far she has covered every category form business, startups to writing how-to articles, lifestyle tips, tricks, and secrets. When she's not lost in her extensive research, she enjoys getting off the grid and roaming unbeaten paths.

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