Our Hardwick Light Oak Furniture is the perfect furniture range for an open plan living and dining area

Many homes now feature open plan living with airy, spacious and versatile kitchens leading to a dining area and then through to a comfy living area.

This type of open-plan living area is a popular design choice for the modern home and for any renovation project. A successful decorating scheme requires some careful planning and choosing of appliances and furniture to make the best use of the area.

Whilst we’re not kitchen designers, we do know about the practical issues of open plan living and how to make the best use of furniture to zone your space into different areas. Here we share some tips with you to transform a large empty room into a warm and welcoming sociable hub for the whole family to enjoy.

Hardwick Light Oak furniture

Today we feature the Hardwick Light Oak furniture range which consists of 36 pieces including dining sets, occasional tables, desks, bookcases,  sideboards, mirrors and much more.

It is hand-crafted with the finest American Oak into a traditional 18th-century styling with a modern twist with reflections of the ever-popular shaker movement. Stylishly tapered legs give the range a lighter touch and the appearance of taking up less space. The light oak of this furniture range will reflect light around a room and will not overpower even the smallest corners of your open plan area.

Zoning Tips

Apart from using your oak furniture and accessories to zone your different open plan areas, consider what flooring you need for each area. Move from hard flooring that is easy to clean in the kitchen/dining area to a softer carpeted area or a large rug in the living area, this will help define your space.

Lighting is also good for defining areas, or example, pennant light over a dining table then softer lighting in the living area with lamps placed on sideboards or lamp tables.

Pick an accent colour to tie the scheme together. This may be a colour in your kitchen cabinets that is carried through to the dining and living area with pictures, soft furnishings or lamps. Alternatively, if you choose a white or neutral kitchen, use your tiles/splashbacks or kitchen accessories to tie your colour scheme together.

Kitchen Area

If you are building your new open plan area from scratch, i.e. you have had an extension built and are now ready to fit out the space, the first consideration is the kitchen. Freestanding furniture such as a sideboard can be moved if you wish, once in place, your kitchen is fixed and can’t be easily moved. Therefore, choosing the position of your kitchen area is of the utmost importance.

Generally, you want the area to flow from the kitchen to maybe a breakfast area situated on an island unit, to your main dining area then onto the lounge and relaxation area.

Your local kitchen designer should be able to advise you on how to position your kitchen. Choosing units for an open plan area requires some consideration as they will be on show all of the time so choose something attractive that will fit with the overall look of the remainder of the area.

If you decide to use Hardwick Light Oak furniture, then a shaker style kitchen would work well. Alternatively, a contemporary style kitchen with a gloss finish and handleless doors in a neutral colour would work equally well. If you have sufficient natural light coming into the area, a dramatic darker kitchen can also look very stylish.

Once you have that darker colour it is ideal to have other colours as neutral so the area does not become dark and overpowering. You can use this darker colour as your accent colour throughout the whole scheme. If your kitchen is dark indigo blue, choose blue tone cushions and soft furnishings or look for pictures with hints of the blue.

Island Units

Once you have appliances and cabinetry planned, consider an island unit, they are ideal for extra storage or prep areas. You can even have a sink or hob on your island. An island unit is also perfect to mark the change from the kitchen to the dining area. Choose a stylish oak breakfast bar with stools as a casual eating area. This will then flow seamlessly into your dining area and perfectly complement your Hardwick Light Oak dining set.

Oak Furniture for your Dining Area

Hardwick Light Oak Dining Furniture

The first item to place in your new open plan dining area is the table and chairs as it is the most used piece of furniture and usually the largest too.

When planning where to place your table, you need sufficient space around your table for people to be able to easily walk around it and take their seats. Open plan living is ideal for this as you are not constrained by dining room walls or doorways.

Also, consider the route from the cooking area to the table, make sure there is a clear safe path where hot dishes can be safely carried without anyone getting in the way. Ideally, if you have an island unit, place the serving dishes on the unit, then from the other side, just pop them over to the table.

Before choosing your table, have a think about how many people will use it daily.  Make sure you have sufficient space to place your flatware and serving dishes on the tabletop and that each person will have elbow room, ideally, each person needs around 24 inches of space. Also, look where the legs of the table are, if you wish to sit three each side, will the person in the middle be straddling the legs!

If the table is to be used as a homework or hobbies table, then Hardwick light oak furniture is perfect as it is made from strong American Oak and can survive even the most energetic of families.

Large Extending Table

If you have a larger family or like to entertain, take a look at our large Extending Dining Table that, when fully extended seats up to eight people in comfort or six when not extended. Fully extended, it measures 2300mm and the closed width is 1800mm. It is an impressive table perfect for everyday use and special occasions alike.

Small Extending Table

If your gatherings are a little smaller or just two or three of you eat at the table daily, our Small Extending Table is perfect. It seats four when closed and six in comfort when open. As it extends to 1650mm, it is still ideal for entertaining and when closed, measures 1250mm, giving you more space around the table and ample space for up to four people.

Oak Chairs

The chairs, which can be purchased as part of a set of or bought separately, are leather-topped ladder back chairs. When not in use, they can be neatly stowed under the table, so they take up no extra space. Your extra chairs to use when the table is extended can be placed anywhere in your open plan dining area and brought to the table when needed. If you have space, place your extra chairs by a reading lamp or near a window or door so they make a lovely coffee and reading spot.

Other Light Oak Dining Furniture – Storage

To define your dining area, you may wish to consider other light oak furniture, maybe somewhere to store serving dishes, placemats, table cloths or a display area for your best china and glassware.

Our sideboards and display cabinets are perfect for this purpose. The Hardwick Light Oak Sideboards are available in three sizes:

The Small and Extra Small Sideboards in the light oak furniture range has two handy storage drawers and two generous cupboards. The drawers have solid oak bases and traditional wooden drawer runners. These drawers will not buckle or become misshapen no matter how much you hide within them and will glide open effortlessly time after time.

The cupboards have solid oak shelves that will bear the weight of your tableware or any other heavy items such as books. The spacious top surface offers the perfect space for a lamp to enhance the area and provide some soft mood lighting, there is also space for your favourite collectables.

The Large Oak Sideboard has three drawers, a double and single cupboard, so takes care of all your storage needs in one stunning piece of furniture.

Console Table

A console table may also be useful to place extra serving dishes upon or cutlery and napkins when entertaining. When it isn’t in use for entertaining, a console table is a perfect place to display your favourite photo frames or display an eye-catching vase of flowers to add a touch of colour to the area.

There is a two drawer console which has plenty of space to place serving dishes or plates and a small one drawer ideal to place a drinks tray whilst entertaining.

Hardwick Light Oak Display Cabinet

The Hardwick Light Oak Display Cabinet is a perfect place to show off your best glassware and china as they will be safely stored behind a glass door keeping your precious collectables safe and free of dust and ready to use at your next dinner party. This is a really stunning piece of furniture that creates a focal point in your home.


Another useful piece to consider for your dining area to consider are bookshelves, ideal for storing cookery books, your favourite collectables or glassware. We have a tall narrow bookcase which is ideal is floor space is limited, a tall height large bookcase and an extra small lower height bookcase. All three have solid oak shelves that will not bow or collapse no matter how heavy your books or collectables may be. They are all a stylish and practical addition to any open-plan living-dining area.

Lounge Area

When you get to the lounging area of your open-plan space, you can really go to town on your furniture choices. An open plan area is on show all of the time, you can’t just shut a door on an untidy lounge and walk away. Therefore storage is essential to make sure that everything has a place where it can be stowed away and easily retrieved. The Hardwick Light Oak furniture range has a wide choice of pieces to provide ample storage for even the busiest of families.

Hardwick Light Oak Lounge Furniture


Although we are featuring Hardwick Light Oak furniture in this article, we couldn’t complete advice on open plan living without talking about somewhere to relax and get comfy after a long day.

As well as a comprehensive range of oak and other popular wooden furniture, we are a stockist of high-quality leather and fabric sofas and chairs. We have a range of two and three-seaters and matching chairs in most ranges.  A sofa is probably the biggest investment in terms of furniture in your lounge area and so should be carefully chosen for style, comfort, durability and suitability for your open plan area.

A large sofa in an open plan area is perfect to mark the change from the dining zone to the relaxing zone.


Delivery within 5 – 10 days

Unlike many furniture retailers, we can deliver your new leather sofa within 5 to 10 days. However, if say you are decorating and don’t need it just yet, we can delay delivery for you, or if you want it sooner, we’ll try our very best to get it to you as soon as possible.

Most of our leather range also has a recline option to ensure you can have the ultimate relaxing experience. Until you have tried a reclining sofa or chair, you will not appreciate just how comfy they really are.

Fabric Sofas

If a fabric sofa is your preference, then we also have some fabulous choices, here are just a few of our favourites:

Seating Position

As previously mentioned, a large sofa is ideal to separate the dining and living zones. If the there isn’t a clear position for your sofa on the boundary of dining and living, you have a few other considerations to help you position the seating area. The sofa is where you will spend most of your time in the lounge area, so the positioning is very important as every other piece of furniture will revolve around your main seating area.

Three suggested options for positioning your sofas are:

Around a fireplace – if you have a fireplace, then seating facing the fire is perfect for cosy nights in. Place a coffee table in front on which to place drinks, snacks and books and you have the perfect reading spot.

Bringing the outside in – if you are lucky enough to have included bi or tri-fold doors as part of your scheme, then the sofas facing the windows will help to bring the outside into your living space, flooding it with light and letting you enjoy the garden even of the dullest of days.

TV lover – you may be an avid TV and movie watcher, so it then becomes important to position the sofas where the whole family gets a great view of the screen.

One other consideration is access, make sure people can still walk through the lounge and that your sofas don’t overhand doorways or cupboard doors. A useful tip when planning where to place large pieces of furniture is to make a paper template of the same dimensions as your proposed new seating. This will help you see what space there will be around the seating to make sure it doesn’t obstruct access or block a view.

Once you have decided on which sofas to include and where you are going to position them, the rest of your lounge furniture should easily fall into place.

Coffee Tables

When lounging on your new sofa, a place to put drinks and snacks, books and magazines is essential for a relaxing experience. Hardwick Light Oak has a range of coffee tables and nests of tables perfect for this very important task. Positioned in front of your sofa, a coffee table anchors the space making it useful and functional as well as looking great.

For reclining sofas, a nest of tables may be useful so you can position them at the side of a sofa within easy reach. They can then be easily stored away when not needed.

The small Hardwick light Oak coffee table is 900mm by 500mm deep, it doesn’t take up as much floor space as some larger models but you still have ample space for drinks and snacks. The shelf under is a perfect spot for storing books magazines and even a tray.

We also have the larger light oak coffee table with two handy drawers and a storage shelf under. This coffee table is 1100mm wide and 55omm deep, so a little larger than the previous one. The drawers and runners are created using traditional joinery methods such as dovetail joints and wooden drawer runners. This stunning coffee table is built to last and will look good for years to come with minimum maintenance. We do advise using coasters to protect the surface from hot drinks and to wipe any spillages immediately.

Nest of coffee tables are perfect for pulling out to be used just where and when they are needed. Place one of the smaller tables by a chair so your guests have somewhere to place a drink; when they leave, pop the table back in its nest ready for the next outing. Nests really are perfect if you don’t have space for a coffee table at the side of every chair and each side of the sofa. When they are stowed away, they still look attractive and take up minimal space.

Here are the three coffee tables mentioned.

Lamp Tables

Lamp tables are ideal to place in a dark corner or by a chair to create a perfect spot to relax and read. They can also double up as a small coffee table. Here are our two lamp tables in the Hardwick Light Oak range.

Tv Units

A TV is a focal point in most homes and may even be linked to a games consul so the positioning of the TV so everyone can get a good view is crucial to a relaxing evening or a rainy weekend! We have two choices of a TV stand, a corner unit which is ideal for smaller spaces and the Long TV unit, perfect for those really big TV’s and with plenty of storage in the handy cupboards underneath. This is an ideal place to keep your remotes, DVD’s or even books tidy.

Lounge Storage

As previously mentioned, storage in an open plan area is so important to keep the whole area looking tidy. You can’t just close a door and walk away from a messy lounge area.

If you have placed one of our light oak sideboards in the dining area but still need more storage in the lounge area for books, DVD’s or even hobby materials, you may wish to consider another sideboard placed against a wall if you have space. You could choose another sideboard from the Hardwick range but in a different size from the one in your dining area.

The small sideboard and extra small sideboard in the light oak furniture range are really useful pieces if you don’t want to dominate the area with another large sideboard. Thinking a little out of the box, you could consider a chest of drawers which make perfect storage. The Wellington chest is an innovative solution as it has a very small footprint with lots of storage. There is also the 2 over 3 chest and the 2 over 4 chest to choose from for your lounge storage needs.

Work Area

We have covered dining, relaxing and storage using light oak furniture, one other zone in your open plan area to consider is a work area. Many people are now working from home and children prior to the summer holidays have been homeschooled. The dining room table may be ideal for the homeschooling but if you are working from home, you may want a quieter discreet area to work from that doesn’t clutter up the rest of your lovely new open plan area.

A double or single pedestal desk placed against a wall or even at the back of your sofa makes an ideal workspace with storage in the pedestal drawers. As this is an attractive piece of furniture, when you are not working, fold up your laptop and place it in the drawer and replace it with a pot plant, photo frames or even a lamp to ensure the desk does not look out of place in your lounging area or dining area.

Open Plan Living

Open plan living may not be for everyone, but with careful planning of the different zones and taking the time to choose the right furniture for each area, an open plan home can work equally well for a couple or a busy family household. Before embarking on such a scheme or even thinking about knocking the first wall out, one piece of advice we would give to anyone is to have a de-clutter. Once you have cleared away anything you really don’t need you can see just what space you are working with. This will also help you to choose the right amount of storage furniture for your lounge and dining area.

If in most cases your new open plan area will include building work so the fewer boxes and clutter you have around the easier your contractor’s job will be and the work will progress quicker. Once the building work is complete and your new kitchen had been fitted, you can have fun planning the rest of the area and choosing furniture. If you are at this stage and need some help, do not hesitate to ask us either by email or in our showroom.

Group of friends enjoying dining at home

If you visit our showroom, bring a rough sketch of the dining and living area so we can see the shape and other important factors like where doors and power points are positioned. We can then show you various pieces of light oak furniture and how they can fit into your new area to make your dining and living areas somewhere to be proud of that you and your guests will want to spend time in.

One other bonus of open plan living is that everyone in the home can share the same space which can encourage conversation and stronger family relationships. It is also perfect for entertaining as you can talk to your guests from the kitchen area whilst they relax in the dining or living area. It is a really sociable way to live and we’d be more than happy to help you create this unique way of living.


We personally deliver in the local area using our own trusted team so you can be sure your furniture will arrive in tip-top condition. We will also deliver your new furniture to the room it is required, we don’t doorstep drop and run!

You are of course more than welcome to pick items up from our showroom if you have room in your car. Many customers will take smaller items like lamp tables or bedside tables home in their own car. We will of course help you carry the package out to your car.

Opening Hours

We are open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm and are closed Sunday and Monday.

If you are visiting us to look at a specific piece of furniture and want to be sure we have it on display, just give us a call before travelling and we can check what we have in stock for you.

Our team look forward to welcoming you to our showroom soon.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions or would like any information on any of our products, please get in touch as follows:

Call us: 01623 620620

Email us: info@progressive-furnishings.co.uk

Message us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveFurnishings/

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