Furniture, Separation Screens & Alcoves

It has been a trend in the homebuying industry for the better part of the last decade: the open floorplan. Homeowners love open concept living areas that allow easy access between the dining room and kitchen. Usually, these types of floorplans, including plans offered by Meritage Homes, make for bright, beautiful spaces.

“With an open floorplan, you’re really allowing the light to shine through your windows, which is great for our mental health,” says Dima Ahmad, owner and creative director of Dima Ahmad Interiors in Ontario, Canada. “Open floorplans are also great for families with young children, where parents can keep an eye on the kids wherever they are.”

Sometimes, however, families need to create temporary space for privacy and some seclusion — especially if someone needs to make a business call or attend a work or school meeting from home. Ahmad has a few tips on how to achieve that private space creatively and practically while still maintaining the open floorplan homeowners love.


Use chic separation screens. 
Separation screens, or room dividers, have come a long way, and you can now purchase them upholstered or wallpapered in stylish fabrics, prints and textures. They are great for separating rooms to give you some privacy and create a noise barrier. ”Since it’s a floating piece, you can use it anywhere,” says Ahmad. “And it works well because it can easily be folded and tucked away when you want to revert back to your open space.”



Look for multifunctional furniture pieces.
We usually buy furniture for specific rooms and uses: dining tables to eat, nightstands for our lamps and coffee tables for our magazines and décor. “You don’t need to be too literal with your furniture,” says Ahmad. “With multifunctional furniture, you can have rooms and pieces that do double duty.” For instance, a dining hutch that flips open can function as a writing desk. Or you can use a console table as a nightstand and then as a desk. Now you’ve created an “office space” in your dining room or bedroom with more workspaces for you and your kids.


Change your furniture layout.
Remember when homes had a Victorian-style parlor or living area? These areas were set up so the furniture could be easily rearranged and allow people to hold more than one conversation at a time. Open floorplans give homeowners the ability to create a similar living area by using furniture to serve multiple functions in one space and offer more privacy, if needed. “A sofa can back up against another sofa, or a small dining room table can be added to a living room that can become a working space, creative space, board game table or whatever will be useful to you and your family,” says Ahmad.

Create an alcove.

Many open floorplans have a space that can be easily turned into an alcove or reading corner. Take a look at the hallways in your home and see if you can add a table, chair and lamp to get away from the busy lives of other family members as you work or study. If you own a Meritage home, many builds have added work/study alcoves that can accommodate a small desk. They are carved into a private area like the bedroom hallway, so homeowners can more easily create a dedicated working space.

Turn your closet into a 'cloffice'.

Many homeowners have found ways to create personal space in their closets, too. For many, it's as simple as pulling a desk and a comfortable chair into their walk-in closet. Some people have even dressed up their cloffice with wallpaper and artwork. “Closets have really evolved, and they’re not just a closet anymore,” says Ahmad.

Just because you have an open floorplan doesn’t mean you have to build walls to enjoy a quiet moment. Use these simple tips for repurposing stylish furniture, room dividers and alcoves, and you'll be enjoying a little well-earned 'me time' in no time.



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