Open Concept Design - Creating Rooms Within An Open Space

Posted In Knowledge - 01/08/2017

Bringing a BIG Space Down to Size

Open concept homes can be a challenge to design and furnish. One big open room doesn’t always give you much help on where to put what, but it does give you plenty of flexibility on how you use your space.

Create “Rooms” Within the Room

A vast empty room can be intimidating. Start by looking at the lighting in your room.  Often there will be a chandelier where the builder anticipates your dining table going.  Of course, this can be ignored or moved if you prefer, but it gives you a starting point to work around.  And remember, there is nothing wrong with having a chandelier over the living space or swapping it out with a ceiling fan for a cozier feel.

Create multiple destination spots – most great rooms will have a living and dining area, but you aren’t limited to just one sitting area.  If you feel that your seating area is too big, break it into separate seating areas.  Often space is better served with multiple conversation areas, especially if your space is has a narrow or awkward shape to it.  Double your seating space by creating dual conversation areas.  Or once you’ve pulled together a group seating area with sofa, loveseat and chair create a smaller space like a reading nook comprised of a couple of additional chairs, accent table and lamp; a home office area with desk and chairs; or game nook including table, seats and cabinet for storage.

Instead of putting living room furniture up against the wall, consider floating your sofa in your living room space and back it with a sofa table.  This will function as a “wall”, containing the space visually to smaller dimension.

Define your different zones with area rugs -- one for the dining area, one for the living area.  If you have multiple sitting areas, consider separate rugs for each.

Because all of your furniture is visible throughout the room, coordinate furniture finishes throughout the areas.  Furniture collections can help with this by offering both living room and dining room items that will automatically be coordinated, but if you prefer to pull together your own collection of items, be sure the colors and finishes will work together.

Create traffic flow – keep in mind that you’ll want to move effortlessly through your room.  Configure your furniture in “rooms” with “hallway” space between, leaving ample room to navigate easily through the space, even when you have multiple people or your hands full.  Be sure that these traffic patterns make sense with entry and exit points from your great room.

And finally, utilize lighting to help create spaces.  Use table or floor lamps around sofas, sectionals and chairs, chandeliers above the dining room table and even above seating areas.

If you still feel as though your space is too cavernous, add some interesting room dividers to visually break up the space and use this opportunity to display curios that express your personal style and interests.

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