Open floor plans are both timeless and trendy. They're great for entertaining, and the wide-open space can make your living area feel grander. Sometimes an open living and dining room area can be hard to decorate because it can be difficult to carry consistent design through a large space. Making the two purposes of a space work in harmony isn't always obvious..
How do you combine form and function? How do you make the best use of your space? If you're ready to give up on your open floor plan, don't despair. Here's how you can use design to turn an open living and dining room into a beautiful and functional space that you and your family and friends will enjoy.
If your open living and dining space seems overwhelming, use a little psychology to trick the eye. You can divide a room to make it look less cavernous. Place the dining room table or a large sofa in the middle to make it the focus of the middle of the room. A large piece of furniture in the center of the room acts as a sort of punctuation mark to your eyes.
You can combine practicality and good design by placing a storage bench or banquette in the middle to partially divide space while keeping items close at hand. If you want to actually divide the room sometimes, you can set up curtains to separate the spaces and open and close them at will.
You may want to keep your dining and living room spaces as separate as possible. Spreading them as far away from each other as you can, will help keep functions separate. Do the obvious first: Move tables and sofas far away from each other.
Place either your sofa or dining room table near a window and take advantage of natural light with one or the other. You can position chairs in the middle of the room or shelves along the wall in between to make the best use of the central space. Spreading your living and dining furniture out and away from each other can make the space feel truly open and create a good layout for entertaining.
It may be tempting to decorate each area differently, but you shouldn't go wild with your design ideas. Carrying your design through both areas of the room ties the space together in a harmonious way. Use common color schemes and consistent design to prevent a dissonant look throughout the room.
Use your color scheme differently in different areas if you want them to be distinct. For example, if you're using two dominant colors, feature one in the dining area and the second color as an accent, and then swap the colors on the side. Decorating in this way creates a consistency that's pleasing and makes sense to the eye. You can also add pops of contrast with different colored accent pieces.
Symmetry creates a pleasing look with balance and harmony. For starters, you can use larger pieces to achieve symmetry throughout the room. Use double sofas and a big dining table — match the two sofas facing each other and center the dining table between them on the other side of the room.
Once you've placed those larger pieces in a symmetrical layout, you can fill in the remaining space with other items. Small pieces can achieve some contrast that prevents the symmetry of the room from looking too sterile and add some character or whimsy to the space.
If your kitchen is part of the open room plan, use it to your advantage. Be bold and go non-traditional with your design. Ditch the dining room table and use an island as your table with bar stools to take care of the dining function of the room. Use a folding table when you need more spots for dining on holidays or when you're entertaining.
Moving your dining space into the kitchen side of the room allows you to open up the living space. Add more seating, including chairs, larger sofas or sectionals. You can even open areas for the kids to play. This less traditional design for an open living and dining room creates a unique family atmosphere for relaxing and making memories.
One of the best ways to make the design ideas come to life is by subscribing to your furniture through CORT Furniture Outlet. Buying secondhand furniture can give you flexibility and creativity and design inspiration without having to break the bank.
For helpful ideas and solutions on making your open living and dining space the best that it can be, visit our website or stop by your local showroom.