Open-plan home life may be the new normal, but it doesn’t mean we all like to do the same thing all the time. The secret to effective communal living spaces is to make sure they are versatile enough to cater for everyone’s needs – no matter what time of the day.

Small break-out spaces are beautiful

Open spaces are free flowing and sociable, but we all want to feel cosy or do our own thing sometimes. Creating a communal room with breakout space to relax or to study will really make the most of its potential. The tools that will achieve this are paint and simple furnishings.

The hidden corners of your home

Paint recess areas in complementary accent colours to make the most of the space.

“Every home has a few awkward corners,” says Marieke van der Bruggen, Senior Color Designer at AkzoNobel. “Don’t ignore them, make them your focal points. Too often, an alcove painted the same base colour as the rest of the room simply gets forgotten. Try painting recesses in strong, complementary accent colours. I used salmon pink, rosy pink and ochre for three little bedroom alcoves.”

Which paints? Desert Dawn, African Tulip, Honeysweet

Getting into break-out spaces

Create a restful breakout space with an accent colour painted fading into a neutral base.

Even if you don’t have any nooks or crannies, you can zone your breakout space in other simple ways. “The most compelling way to divide space is through the use of colour,” Marieke explains. “A large room can perform many different functions by using the colour on the walls to define separate areas of activity.”

Which paints? Desert Dawn, African Tulip, Floral Twist

Set your mood using colour

Design a creative and energising breakout space by painting circles in different hues on your wall.

“This can be done to create a little area of calm to rest in, by painting a feature wall with a soft accent colour. I tried salmon pink and faded up into the neutral base shade to increase the serenity. Zoning works just as well for active or working breakout spaces – try painting circles in a grid pattern of recurring shades to demarcate an energetic creative area.”

Which paints? Desert Dawn, African Tulip, Honeysweet, Apple Valley, Jamaican Smile, Surreal Blue, Unicorn White

Make a break-out space

Find the colours to set off the hidden spaces in your home. Download the Dulux Visualizer app to get an instant impression of how your break-out space could look once it’s finished. Try now on iOS | Try now on Android

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