Interior Decor

Decorating an Open Plan Living Area

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Your dream living space may include an open-concept floor plan, with the kitchen, living room, and dining area, all open to each other in one large space. The open concept makes a small house feel larger, and allows the cook to prepare meals without being separated from the family or guests. A large open area can be tricky to decorate, because everything is in full view: Choose colours, materials, and accessories that complement each other, without clashing.

1 Choose paint colours carefully: You do not have to choose the same colour for each part of the open kitchen, living room and dining area. Choosing different colours can help define the separate areas: If you select colours in the same tone, rather than very different or contrasting colours, you will create a flow from one area to another.

2 Use the same window dressing scheme throughout. While it is acceptable to use different colours and shades of paint, you should pull the space together, by installing identical window treatments on all windows; this will also look better from the outside.

3 Select furniture that is similar for each room: A traditional oak dining table will not match to a sleek, modern, entertainment unit in black or chrome. Choose the same wood or material, and basic style of furniture, for each section of the room.

4 Use lighting to help define the different spaces: Install pendant lighting over a kitchen peninsula or island, a chandelier over the dining table, and floor lamps in the living room. Your lighting will also help to separate the functions of each area.

5 Add accessories to each area, that have something in common with the accessories in the other areas. If your kitchen appliances are stainless steel, for example; place a large, stainless steel bowl filled with fresh fruit on your dining table, and perhaps a stainless steel vase on your fireplace mantel. Maybe choose bright-blue shades for your kitchen pendant lights, and place a cashmere throw in the same bright blue, over the back of the sofa in your living area.

A little imagination and some artistic flair will make all the difference to your home.