For the last few decades, homes with open floor plans have become one of the most sought after designs, whether you're moving into a new place or remodeling your existing one. And for good reason. Even the smallest living space feels bigger when it has an open concept, and it gives you more room for entertaining. It also provides more space for everyday tasks, and it makes it easier to spend time together as a family, even if one person is doing homework at the table, one person is cooking dinner and one is watching TV in the living room.
The typical open concept floor plan combines the kitchen and family room, and, in some cases, the dining room, for a large living area that maximizes your home's potential. When done correctly, you can embrace each room's unique function while taking advantage of the seamless space.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to create the illusion of separate rooms while maintaining your open kitchen-family room concept is to watch how you align your furniture. For example, your family room sofa and most other seating should face away from your kitchen. On the kitchen side, a sizable bar or an island can create a slight barrier between rooms without disrupting the flow. If you have extra space between your kitchen and family room, place a dining table and chairs in between the two.
When choosing colors, patterns and textures for your kitchen-family room combo, you don't want everything to match but you do want it to complement each other. For example, instead of using the exact same furniture in each space, choose pieces made from the same type of wood but that are stained lighter and darker shades of each other. When it comes to wall color, you may want to use the same color throughout but mix and match complimenting accessories in each space.
Many experts recommend using the 60-30-10 rule when choosing a color palette for space, and that extends to your open kitchen and family room. Start with a dominant color that takes up 60% of the space. That's typically the color you use for your walls, rugs and larger furniture and accent pieces, such as your sofa. Next, choose a secondary color and use it in about 30% of the room for curtains, chairs, smaller pieces of furniture and accents. The final 10% is an accent color that you can use with throw pillows, artwork and accessories. Once you choose your three colors, you can use them to mix and match in each room.
While mixing and matching colors, textures and patterns is good — and encouraged — you should stick with one overall style for your open space. In other words, don't mix farmhouse with mid-century modern and French country with Bohemian. But don't necessarily go with what's trendy, either. Pick a style you love, one you can live with, and start searching for items that fit the theme, whether you buy them brand new or you shop your favorite antique stores and flea markets. Make the space your own, but don't go overboard trying to give each room its own style. You can make the separation between spaces clear yet congruent.
One reason many people love an open kitchen and family room is that it lightens up the home. If one room has windows but the other doesn't, you'll get more natural light in both spaces. That light makes it feel even bigger. Keep this in mind when buying curtains. Go with shears and light materials rather than heavy drapes and blinds. Don't place tall heavy furniture in a place where it will block light from shining through the space. And if necessary, accent the natural light with lamps and fixtures.
If you're concerned about the open space having a cohesive look, make sure you use the same flooring throughout. No matter the color of the walls, the style of decor or the types of furniture you use, seamless flooring will bring everything together. You can then use rugs and runners much like you would furniture to help separate the spaces without adding big bulky barriers. When choosing rugs to use throughout, they don't necessarily need to match, but you'll want to make sure they all fall within your color palette.
Before setting up your open kitchen and family room, consider CORT Furniture Outlet. We offer furniture for every part of the home, in almost every style, so you can mix and match the pieces you love and experiment with different looks for your home decor. Just pick out what you want from our website then stop by your local showroom and it will be ready that day. We can even help you find just the right look with our Instant Home to Go package.