An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘open concept floor plan’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Open Concept Condo

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Design Question

Hello, I have a brand new condo, with the open dining room / kitchen / living room concept. Can you please tell me what I could put on the long counter top just to decorate it? Right now, I have nothing on it, because I do not want it to look cluttered as you can see it very clearly when you walk into the dinning area or what they call the great room. I have kept my kitchen counters also pretty clear, since it is all open.

Is it ok to maybe get two or three nice counter stools to put under the counter that is part of the living room? It is bare and cold there. It would be more for decorative purposes, but I could use them to sit at the counter if I wanted to. Thank you!

Design Answer

Adding nice counter stools to the area will certainly create a focal point. Even if as you say, they end up being more for show, it never hurts to have additional seating especially in smaller-sized living spaces like apartments or condominiums for special occasions or holidays.

As for the counter top itself, take your time choosing an accent piece that is meaningful to you. For example, if you are particularly fond of ceramics scour your local markets for hand-crafted bowl that you really like. If you like flowers or fresh fruit, select a simple wood fruit bowl or stone, glass or porcelain vase.

Congratulations on your new condo! Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when I’ll be answering another design question.

Out in the Open – Transitional Style for Open Concept Living Spaces

Friday, August 27th, 2010

If you’ve just bought a condo or purchased a loft or moved into a bachelor/studio apartment for the first time, it might have never occurred to you before how are you going to decorate a space where all the “rooms” run one into another. Do you have to stick to one wall color? How do you arrange the living room furniture? Are you going to be stuck with the kitchen in your peripheral vision while you’re watching television? Even though you have considerably less space to work with when decorating a bachelor or studio apartment than you do when moving into a condo or a loft, the principles for making an open concept floor plan comfortable and inviting will be the same. Choosing an interior design style like transitional for an open concept home, will give your living space a contemporary synergy while honoring certain traditional elements that add sophistication and a chic sensibility.

 The good news is you can choose only one for the whole space or not; it’s really a personal preference. You do however, want avoid painting the same wall two different colors even if they are a part of two distinctly different areas, like the dining room and the living room, unless it makes “sense” visually. However, picking an accent wall and choosing to paint it another color, especially a bold one, will give your transitional style living space definition, while letting you introduce more color into your interior design.

It’s important to mark out individual areas of an open concept home: having clearing defined areas, each with a specific purpose, prevents the furniture from appearing “lost” or “jumbled.” Transitional style living room furniture and dining furniture include traditional decorative and architectural elements as interpreted by contemporary design principles is a great way to decorate a condo, loft or studio apartment, because you can select furniture for the different open areas, that while still transitional in style, possess a slightly different look or feel. Even though everything is out in the open, some other ways to create the sense of separate rooms are:

  • Use a different area rug for you dining area than the one chosen for the living room
  • “Divide” up the space with strategically placed open shelf bookcases or decorative folding screens
  • Hang artwork on the walls that emphasizes what the particular space is being used for (pictures of Parisian cafes or outdoor bistros in the dining area)

When choosing furniture for an open area living space, select furniture pieces like a coffee table or an entertainment center that includes hidden storage. Dual or multi-purpose furnishings such a hallway bench or an ottoman coffee table will increase your storage options in the long run, giving you more place to tidy things away – something that is ultra important in an open design condo, loft or apartment.

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