It seems that the majority of new homes these days are designed with open floor plans. They give a nice open feeling and make the living space appear larger. It can however, create a decorating challenge. Where do paint colors begin and where do they end? How do you distinguish between different areas? How much furniture is too much? The following suggestions will help you deal with these as well as other common problems that arise when decorating an open concept living space.
Furniture Layout - If your room has a slanted ceiling, place your larger pieces of furniture closest to the highest wall.
- Don't position sofas across the corner of a room, but do position large chairs at an angle to use up corner spaces.
- Position your larger pieces of furniture first and then add the smaller pieces gradually.
- Allow plenty of open space between the various pieces of furniture. Using the decorating Rule of Thirds, your furniture should take up about two thirds of available wall space.
Paint - Try to choose neutral colors, but add an accent color on a few walls. Add accessories to complement your accent color.
- Restate colors or themes in various areas to create a flow.
Create Rooms or Themed Areas - Open floor plans allow various members of the family use the same large area for different uses. The kids could be in the dining room playing a game while dad is in the kitchen and mom is watching TV. There are no walls dividing all of this interaction, so it's important to create decorative walls with furniture and accents.
- Divide your room according to uses. For example, a rectangular shaped room may separat into two separate living spaces. Take a great room and split it into a sitting area and a dining room. Or a large dining room could have a couch at one end for relaxing after dinner.
- Define the different areas with an area rug, an accent paint color or wallpaper.
- A subtle dividing wall can be achieved by placing a narrow table behind a couch. Decorate with floral displays or vases to create the illusion of height.