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Home tour: an open-plan family apartment in Austria

16 December 2016

When Lilly and Thomas moved into their apartment seven years ago, it was with future family in mind. ‘We knew we’d have kids here and wanted an open-plan layout to keep us close,’ says Lilly, a copywriter and blogger.

Lilly & thomas’s home truths

WE LIVE IN… an 86m2 apartment in Linz.
WE LOVE TO MAKE… Thomas is a musician, I sew and Emma (6) and Frieda (3) love to help me bake.
HOME IS WHERE… our happiest memories are. Becoming parents, getting engaged – it all happened here. 


Give kids a chair of their own in the living area so they always feel at home. ‘Frieda loves hers and snuggles into it to play or read.’


With some throws, cushions and lights, this L-shaped sofa becomes the perfect place to cuddle up. ‘We like to add extra warmth in winter.’ 


In an open-plan home, any activity is a chance to collaborate. ‘Sharing – even music practice – becomes second nature.’

A table for every occasion

The kitchen table changes function throughout the day. ‘On a weekday afternoon, Thomas studies his arrangements while the girls draw and craft. On weekends, we enjoy long family breakfasts.’

Planning our kitchen, the heart of our home

‘We designed our IKEA kitchen shortly after moving in, choosing deep drawers to maximise storage and a sociable island to connect the cooking and living spaces.’

‘Our kitchen island has grown to make more activities together possible. The drawers add storage and extend the counter, and we made a storage workbench from two cupboards’

Lilly, copywriter and blogger, Austria

A bedroom for evening calm and energised mornings

‘We’ve kept our bedroom as simple and soothing as possible to encourage sleep – there’s no open storage. The photos are family memories that I love to look at first thing.’ 

The benefits of a shared kids’ room

‘People ask us how it works with the girls sharing a room. “Isn’t it cramped? Do they always get along?” But, for us, it works. Sharing is all they’ve ever known and they’re very close.’ The bunk bed saves space and provides privacy. ‘If Emma needs time away from Frieda, she’ll go up onto the top bunk and have a little space of her own.’

Open-plan design

‘We like that the kitchen and living space is the first area you see because this is where our life together happens. We don’t have any outdoor space so we use greenery to bring in a sense of the outdoors.’ 

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Styling: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Christina Bull
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