Michelle Pfeiffer uses this decor technique to create subtle boundaries in her open-concept living area

The actress uses a combination of overhead pendant lights and table lamps to create a distinction between her spaces

Michelle Pfeiffer
(Image credit: Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

High up on the list of polarizing design trends is open-concept living. Love them or hate them, these wall-less spaces undoubtedly expand spaces and create seamless transitions between rooms. However, in order to make sure there are boundaries between rooms, there should be some objects or decor in place that can differentiate spaces.

Scarface and Batman Returns star Michelle Pfeiffer has utilized a simple yet efficient method to distinguish her open-concept kitchen and living spaces from one another: lights. In a post shared to the actor's Instagram page, we see some spaced-out, pendant light fixtures hanging from the ceiling on top of her kitchen island, while directly behind her in the living area, a mid-century modern-inspired, curved-stem lamp illuminates the area surrounding the sofa.

Fixtures are not only a practical element of interior design; they can also act as decor in their own right, with plenty of lighting ideas available in a variety of styles to suit any room's aesthetic. While choosing a lamp or shade can be determined based on existing room decor, placement choice is just as important to ensure a space feels expansive.

'The simplest way to address this is to light the room as you would a living room and then overlay with more practical and preferably hidden solutions,' say Niki Wright and Scarlett Hampton, co-founders of lights&lamps. 'So, for example: choose decorative pendants for the seating areas or over an island, floor lamps for the room corner, and even table lamps on the worktops.' 

The chunky, white lamp might look out of place in Pfeiffer's kitchen, as would the slim overhead lights in the living room. However, Wright and Hampton say that functionality should still be a consideration.

'This will all make the space feel more homely and less utility but at the same time use recessed spotlighting or under-counter LED strips (again all dimmable) to ensure you can see when more practical tasks are in hand,' the founders tell us.

We love Pfeiffer's kitchen lights in particular, as they illuminate a communal area, while the table lamp is perfect for a lounging place like the living room sofa, where common activities include reading, watching television, or simply relaxing with friends and family. 

Large open-plan living room with gray and wood seating, striped rug, wooden fluted accents

An open-plan living space that uses light fixtures to zone a space like Michelle Pfeiffer's. 

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

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Below, find a selection of lighting fixtures that work well in open-plan living rooms, both functionally and aesthetically. We particularly love the first option – it's a unique way to add task lighting to our living space or bedroom side table, and (we think) it's a certain talking point.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.