Use wide planks instead of strips. What is the difference? Strips are going to be narrower than 3” in width as compared to planks which are greater than 5”. Wide planks are going to have a minimum of 5” in width. By using wider boards, you will have fewer seams during the installation, thus creating a more open pattern that doesn’t look confining. When installing the wide planks, if possible to run the planks parallel alongside the longest wall of the room or down a hallway instead of across it.
As it is better to use wider planks, it is also better to use larger tiles. Choosing tiles that are larger than the 12” x 12” standard size is going to visually expand the appearance of the room. Oversized tiles are the new contemporary look and when installed with minimal grout lines it will make the room look larger. Tiles now come in 18” x 18” and also in planks sizes such as 12”x36” or 12”x24” to create a wood look with ceramic or porcelain tile.
In terms of opening up your entire home, it is important to keep consistent with your flooring type throughout the entire home. By keeping this consistency it will create an illusion of continuity and more space.