Decorating an Open Floor Plan? (6 Ways to make it great!)

I love how open floor plans can create that feeling of space and for make it easy  to be together. But are you finding it challenging to decorate that open floor plan to make it coordinated and inviting?

Then use my favorite ways to beautifully decorating rooms without walls!

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1. PLAN YOUR SPACE
The best designed spaces always start with functionality first. So decide what smaller, functional spaces you need within the larger space. And then how much floor space do you want to allocate to them.

For instance, do you need a mini office worked in like the room above? Or need a potted plant garden area by a window? Or maybe you only want one dining area at the island and no kitchen table so you can have a larger seating area?

Let your lifestyle lead your decorating plans!

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-HGTV

2. COLOR COORDINATE
Choose two or three favorite neutrals or colors as accents and one main neutral to use throughout. Your neutral will create the overall backdrop pulling the rooms together, like this pale gray wall color does. The darker accent neutrals (black and brown furnishings and accessories and the medium gray countertop), catch the eye leading it through each zone.  The overall effect makes for a coordinated looking open flor plan.

Get creative with your accents and show them off in your trim, artwork, accessories, fabrics, and area rugs. And even on an accent wall like around the fireplace or on a back wall for open shelving and bookcases.

Keep in mind too that this is a big space to decorate so it can take a little bolder color use than a single, smaller  room can.

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-HGTV

3. ARRANGEMENT SYMMETRYAny easy way to arrange an open floor plan is to use major furnishings to create a balanced look.  So think symmetry and pairs. Like centering your dining table with the island on one side and the sofa (or pair of facing sofas) on the other. They are all centered in a  line as you look through the room. You can then bring variety in the smaller pieces like accent tables, artwork and accessories.

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-HGTV

4. AREA RUG ZONE
This will be a major anchor in your open living room floor plan by grounding and defining the main conversation area. It will turn a seemingly cavernous space into a warmer, cozy place you’ll enjoy living in.  Plus, it will just naturally will guide foot traffic.

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-Good Housekeeping

5. SPACE DIVIDERS
If a totally open concept plan is, well, too open for you, try creating visual dividers with furnishings to create more defined spaces: A console with table lamps behind a sofa or sectional. Or open shelving/bookcase pieces like these above will do the same thing.

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-Witt Construction

Your seating area can have a chandelier, lamps, plant up-lights, and an accent light on a big piece of art to brighten it up. And when the overhead lighting is dimmed or turned off the lamp lighting creates individual cozy areas to enjoy.

These ideas on decorating your open floor plan can turn it into a great space you’ll love living in!

Find out ways we can also help you love your home without doing any major renovations by clicking “Curated Options” and “Collaboration“. Or call Mary for a free 15 minute consultation at 760-84-1200 or by connecting online.

 

13 Downsizing Designer Tips, (How to love your next home as much as your last!)

These 13 downsizing designer tips will let you love your next home as much as your last. So if you’re an empty-nesters, or semi or newly retired you don’t have to give up the quality and designer touches you’re used to in order to downsize into a simpler home! 

AND none of these tips require major renovations like moving walls. But instead they are all designed to transform your home by updating and upgrading the finishes and fixtures like paint, flooring, window treatment and light fixtures.

Even your kitchen and bathrooms can be transformed this way by painting, re-facing or replacing cabinets, and replacing countertop, tile, sinks, etc, while keeping the layout.

Downsizing done right will give you the designer looks you love, and without the mess, cost and time of a major renovation.

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#1 PAINT UPDATE
– Keep the Walls Light
Light walls (neutral or pastels) will automatically make your rooms feel bigger.

– Paint the Same Color Throughout
Have one fabulous wall color flows from room to room without a color change to break up the spaces and making them look smaller. (The above is a gorgeous neutral that just keeps flowing from small space to small space all the while making them all look larger!)

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#2 FLOORING UPDATE
– Similar Flooring Throughout
Flooring that is the same, or similar in color will make your floor space seem larger by not breaking it up with color changes. (This small kitchen looks so much bigger because visually there’s so much “borrowed” flooring from adjoining areas.)

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#3 WINDOW TREATMENT UPDATE
– Keep It Similar to the Wall Color
Window treatment that is similar to the wall color will make the wall look bigger by not breaking it up with a color change. (I also like how this treatment goes almost to the corner so it doesn’t break up the wall space into part drapery part wall. )

– Hang Them High 
If you want your ceilings to feel higher hang your draperies at the top of the wall like this room.

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#4 LIGHT FIXTURE UPDATE
–  An Instant Improvement
Light fixtures are so noticeable that updating them will add an immediate designer touch to your spaces. (One reason they have become such a popular design element for any room.)

– Adequate Lighting
When your spaces are well-lite, they will not only look bigger but they will feel cheerier.

– Add Dimmer Switches & 3-Way Bulbs
The multiple light levels dimmer switches and 3-Way lamps will give your spaces means you can vary the mood as well as the light for different activities. Dimming for watching TV and conversation or brighter for reading and hobbies.

BONUS:
HOW TO DECORATE SPACES TO LOOK BIGGER!
Maximize your space to make it seem bigger than it is just by decorating!

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#5 COLOR SCHEME
Use a light neutral and/or pastel color scheme for the major surfaces (walls, ceiling, flooring) and for the large furniture or cabinets and vanities.  You can then accent with:

COLOR:         Accessories. art work, plant and flowers.
TEXTURES:   Fluffy towels, woven baskets in bathrooms. In other rooms consider faux fur pillows or rugs, nubby woven ottomans, velvet fabrics or tall sticks in a floor vase.
FINISHES:    Matte or shiny metals, and mirrors, glass, various wood finishes, and glazed or unglazed pottery.

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#6 GALLERY WALLS
Group your art or framed pieces together. They will not only look better but they won’t break-up the wall space by being scattered around the room.

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#7 MIRRORS
Even though we know a mirror create the illusion of space, it still works! (In modern spaces I like over-sized, decorative mirrors with narrow frames, so there’s lots of mirror with little frame to distract from the illusion.)

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#8 FURNITURE WITH LEGS
The more floor space you can see the bigger your room will look so “Leggy” furniture is perfect for this effect.

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#9 SAME COLORED WOOD FURNISHINGS
You can decorate with different kinds of wood furnishings but if you make them all the same color they won’t break up the room with color changes. (Plus you’ll get a more “pulled together” looking space.)

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#10 USE PAIRS
Use pairs wherever you can: lamps, chairs, art, side tables, bedside tables. Your room will feel bigger with coordinated pieces. (The two sets of paired chairs above balance a space with a number of individual pieces.)

54c144e41667d_-_07-keri-russell-bedroom-lgn#11 AREA RUGS
Keep your area rugs small because the more the floor space you see the bigger your room will look. And make them similar in color to the flooring so they won’t break up the flooring with a color change. (It may be small but this rug adds so much to this bedroom… texture, comfort and luxury!)

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#12 COVERED STORAGE
Use furnishings that will also give you covered storage any opportunity you get:  Bedside tables, side tables, entry and dining consoles. (I especially like this one as it gives lots of storage but has legs so we see more floor space!)

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#13 AVOID CLUTTER & FILLERS
The less little things you see in your spaces the more open, airy and bigger your rooms will feel. Likewise, any non-essential “chotchkes” that aren’t your best pieces (that you would use or enjoy the most) are better edited out. (I like this room because the best pieces all stand out: dining room furnishings, chandelier and art work; without a lot of small things vying for the attention.)

Keep these 13 “downsizing designer tips” in mind and you’ll have the home everyone loves… including you!  Read More

How to Choose the Best Interior Paint Colors (6 Designer Tips!)

Choosing the best interior paint colors for your home can be exciting and frightening all at the same time! And since the walls and ceiling are the largest amount of design surface in your home it’s a great chance to transform spaces without major renovations. So lets talk about how to choose the best paint colors to create the rooms you love.

Taupe Dining Room Banquette

Taupe Dining Room Banquette

TIP# 1: CHOOSE YOUR ROOMS MOOD
What kind of mood do you want to in your room? Do you want your dining area to feel family sociable or more proper? Warmer, brighter and contrasting colors are lively and grays, blues, and neutrals will be more elegant.

How about the bedroom? Want it to  be calm or dramatic? Soft colors and cool colors (blues, green, gray, white) are usually calmer feeling and strong colors are more dramatic.

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TIP #2:  LIGHTING AFFECTS PAINT COLORS
The kind of lighting you see you color in will affect the way it looks. So if the paint store has a light box test your color chips there first:
– Natural daylight shows the true color
– Incandescent lighting is yellow and makes colors look warmer
– Fluorescent lighting is blue and makes colors look cooler

See how the color changes in the dining area by the window compared to the seating area? It works beautifully here because it looks like two shades when there was actually only one that needed to be painted to give the effect.

A strong color on the other hand, might be too bright and overpowering by a large window but could be just the thing as an accent wall away from the window or on all walls in another room with indirect lighting. So don’t be disappointed if your favorite color doesn’t work where you first try it, walk around and try it in other places.

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TIP #3: TEST PAINT COLORS FIRST
Once you have looked at the paint chips at home, then it’s time to test the actual paint colors. (The paint chips are made with printer’s ink and not real paint which is why they typically aren’t exact matches.)

I’m not a fan of testing on the walls because:
– The color tests can be hard to hide when painting over it later
– It only lets you to test the color in one setting instead of in various lighting conditions.

My favorite way? Use a product like SureSwatch*, an adhesive paintable clear film that is removable. You just paint two coats of paint on it, let it dry and stick on any wall/ceiling) anywhere.  So you can check it in every space you need to see how it looks with the lighting. Plus you can easily check it with any large furnishing or decor for color compatibility. (*Available at Home Depot and Amazon.)

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TIP #4:  CREATING GOOD COLOR FLOW
Look at where your room opens into other rooms or spaces plan how the colors in one room will look when you see into the adjoining space.

An easy way to do this beautifully is to choose a neutral signature color for your home. Then use several accent colors in the varying amounts in the different rooms. Or if you want to keep to a neutral palette, use the same neutral  in various shades of light and dark like this space.

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TIP #5: EASY WAY TO CREATE A PERFECT COLOR SCHEME

Use a fabric in the room for your color scheme inspiration. This medium gray bed cover is  perfectly complemented by the dark gray accent wall and the light gray room walls. Love it.

(Take a swatch of the fabric with you to the paint store for color reference.)

 

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TIP #6: SECRET TO CHOOSING NEUTRAL PAINT COLORS
Neutral can be both calm or dramatic! It all depends on what neutrals, what shades  and what finishes you use.

You can make the room low-key like this one with by using light neutrals that vary subtly such as a slightly darker or lighter wall color than the sofa. Then accent with neutral fabric patterns and various textures like the metal and glass coffee table and the woven rug.

If you are more dramatic in your style you can still use neutrals by either using light and darker high contrasting neutrals. For instance painting the window trim and interior doors charcoal and the walls and ceiling a medium to light neutral walls.  Add vibrant light and dark patterned pillow on the sofa. And keep the floor light with a dark area rug.

9 Designer tips for choosing the best paint colors for creating rooms you’ll love!

Find out ways we can also help you love your home without doing any major renovations by clicking “Curated Options” and “Collaboration“. Or call Mary for a free 15 minute consultation at 760-84-1200 or by connecting online.