When interviewing home buyers on their number one wish list, most of them will say they want an open concept living space. Open concept floor plans adapt to modern lifestyles and offer a number of benefits that can not be matched by older, compartmentalized homes. The fluidity, space, light and unobstructed views are one of the main reasons why open concept life is so popular today. For those who like to entertain or just keep an eye on the kiddos while cooking a space that combines living, cooking and eating spaces makes everyday life easier and more enjoyable.
As wonderful as open-plan homes may look, decorating a large, uninterrupted space can be quite difficult. Make the most of your open-concept living space by maintaining a consistent design while creating a visual separation to delineate each space in a subtle way.
Consider Space and its Function
Examine your space by noting the size, layout and architectural lines of separation. Determine the number of functions that the space will fill based on the area. If your open space is extremely large, you may be able to set up separate areas for watching TV, eating, and relaxing.
Take advantage of walls, columns and variations of flooring to dictate different “room” functions. If you have a projecting wall, use it to divide the space into two separate areas. Similarly, the dividing line separating a tile from the wooden floor creates a natural line of demarcation between spaces.
Think about the technology and locations of electrical outlets when planning the function of each space. Note the location of cable and Internet connections, telephone, and ceiling junction boxes to determine area usage. They will dictate the location of your multimedia zone, your computer center and your lighting.
Choose a Consistent Color Scheme
Tell a consistent color story. If you want to simplify your open floor plan, keep the same wall color throughout the space. If your walls have separate breaks or angles, you may want to consider a monochromatic paint palette. Use subtle variations of the same shade to indicate a focal wall or point where one “piece” ends and another begins. Coordinate the trim of your main seat with that of your chair cover for dining room or for breakfast. Use area rugs in complementary colors. Take inspiration from your kitchen cabinets and transform this wood tone into living room and dining room furniture.
While each area of an open concept floor plan must retain its distinct personality, the use of a unifying color palette creates an impression of fluidity from one area to another. Try neutral colors for large-scale furniture to maintain continuity. The jewel tones in the accessories and artwork add small splashes of bright colors to create visual interest and movement in a large expanse.
Furnish and Accessorise Wisely
Select furniture and small touches that give each area a unique presence, while creating a coherent flow of space into space. Imagine decorating a single room and keeping the same style for furniture and decorative elements. Try not to look like much, but make sure the elements are consistent.
If you have a kitchen with a sparkling glass tile backsplash, European cabinets, leather and chrome bar stools and stainless steel appliances, carry it in your dining and living spaces with sleek, streamlined furniture and minimal accessories to create a dynamic and contemporary atmosphere. .
Use Mats to Delimit Space
Another tip is to use area rugs to define separate areas in an open floor plan. Use two identical or coordinated rugs to delineate your living room and dining room. The carpets do not have to be huge, but big enough to anchor the furniture in every space. The gap between the mats actually serves to divide the spaces, creating a visual flow path between two areas.
Divide and Conquer
Create separate areas according to the function. Use furniture groups to define your “rooms” by providing enough space between them to allow traffic. Avoid pushing your seats against the walls. Open-plan rest areas are more aesthetically pleasing if they are in space and away from the perimeter.
Describe each space with painter’s tape on the floor to determine the optimal location of the furniture. If you feel that the effect is still too cavernous, import independent shelves to create a greater sense of separation between each zone. These smart divisors will create a visual definition without obscuring the lines of vision.
Create an impression of walls by incorporating decorative screens. They come in a variety of lengths and heights. You can choose a style and material that suits any décor: richly carved wood, antique Chinese fabric, padded fabric, rice paper or slats, just to name a few.
If you want something more permanent, consider ceiling mounted room dividers that work on a rail system. This will also give you the ability to open and close rooms according to your needs, for example for an intimate dinner or to ensure the intimacy of the home office during the day. If your budget is tight, simply install the curtain hardware and ceiling panels.
Create a Separation With Lighting
Lighting provides a discreet way of identifying and separating each designated area into a large space. Choose devices that coordinate with each other to maintain a consistent appearance.
A single chandelier above the dining table will provide sufficient lighting for meals. Try a long rectangular pendant on your dinner table to delineate the dining room. Separate the kitchen from other areas by placing a row of pendants over the kitchen island. Use built-in appliances and under cabinets to enhance space and satisfy the resident gourmet.
Ceiling mounted fixtures can also split spaces in an open floor plan. In the living room, combine a lighted ceiling fan with recessed lighting, floor lamps and table lamps to meet all the lighting needs of your family. Choose a distinctive drum pendant hanging over the coffee table or retro arc lamp post to create a comfortable conversation space.
Use Coherent Window Coverings
As with paint color in an open concept space, the best advice is to keep it constant using standard window coverings. If you prefer curtains, use the same fabric, color and pattern on each window. For more privacy, light control and insulation, hang curtains on natural fabrics, alveoli, roller blinds, roman shades or wood blinds, depending on your decorating style. For maximum simplicity, install white, clean plantation shutters on each window opening for a clean, casual look.