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» Zoning - how to create defined areas in open-plan spaces

Colour & Style Guide

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Near wall : Hawthorne Yellow, HC-4. Far wall : Stone Hearth, 984. Woodwork : Chantilly Lace, OC-65

Zoning - how to create defined areas in multi-functional spaces

 

There has been a huge shift in what we require from our homes, and this has resulted in an evolution of how we live. Our multi-functional spaces have had to continually adapt with our ever-changing lives, and this is where zoning has really come into its own to offer a more considered approach.

Simply put, zoning is the act of splitting up a room into multiple areas, with each area having a distinctive function. It's a great way to make the space work for you, offering a smart, cost effective and visually pleasing way to update your home and make it feel more organised and structured. This approach works best within an open-plan home, helping to define areas for its function; for example, you could play around with a colour scheme to clearly set areas for cooking, eating, entertaining, and working.

Accent wall : Fernwood Green, 2145-45. Woodwork and staircase wall : Steam, AF-15
There is no easier, quicker, or simpler way to cleverly zone a room than through paint. Zoning is a clear-cut and non-negotiable way to instantly block off that area for its specific task. How far you go with it is up to you, and whether you prefer a bold partition wall or a more subtle approach; paint is a great way to help navigate your home and its multi-functional purposes.
Accent wall : Crystalline, AF-485. Main wall : White Heron, OC-57.
So how can we look to use paint for zoning in our homes? Ultimately, it depends on how the space needs to work for you and your household.
As a starting point, consider the different functions that the space needs to perform, as well as the natural structure of the room. Is there an existing archway with enough space for a desk which can then be neatly tucked into the wall at 5pm to allow for a relaxing evening? Or a designated play zone away from the children's beds to encourage separate areas for playing and sleeping?
Bed area walls : Yellow Highlighter, 2001-40. Play area walls : Downpour Blue, 2063-20
Zoning often works best when it is led by the architecture of the space; leaning into the existing structure and using paint to solidify the boundaries. Following the existing divides of the room is the easiest way to seamlessly zone the space, avoiding any awkward clashing lines and making sure the room flows. If the existing structure of the room works for you, then paint allows you to easily distinguish between the zones, making it really simple to separate areas within the home.
Left niche : Hint of Violet, 2114-60. Right niche : Quiet Moments, 1563. Walls : Steam, AF-15
 
Given how much we know about colour psychology and how colour can affect our mood, it's important to think about how various colours can help to subtly imply that you are in a different area within the home. Our top tip is to make sure that the colour you choose reflects what each space is needed for; for example, using brighter colours for children's play areas and calmer, more neutral tones for bedrooms.
Near wall : Covington Blue, HC-183. Kitchen wall : Palladian Blue, HC-144
Whilst paint is a fantastic place to start with zoning, complement this technique with cleverly placed dining tables, sofas or rugs to help further define separate areas within the home. When it comes to accessorising, aim to create harmony while dressing each space accordingly; a lovely desk lamp in your home office or colour co-ordinated throws and cushions in your living room. Your ultimate goal should be to create a pleasant, unbroken flow within the room and throughout your home. If you're not sure where to start, we have a great colour family guide to help you choose a colour combination that works for you and your space.
 
Explore Colour Families
Living room wall : Wolf Gray, 2127-40. Far wall : White Opulence, OC-69
Upper wall : Buxton Blue, HC-149. Lower wall : Blue Danube, 2062-30
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