Open Spaces and how to unify them

Open spaces are being used more and more in design today.  Before, when homes were not so well insulated, rooms were kept smaller to make them easier to heat.  Today this is no longer an issue, and people want open spaces as they are great for entertaining, keeping an eye on the kids, or to simply not feel isolated when cooking in the kitchen by yourself.  The challenge with open spaces is how to unify them with colour for your decor to make them all feel that they still belong together, and there is a continuity.  Here are some ideas.

In this first example, to be different white has been used as the accent colour.  All the rooms are unified with a soft grey colour on the walls and ceilings, accented with some black on the kitchen cabinets.  The whole space is then warmed up with some wood elements with the coffee table and some colourful cushions, but the 2 main items are a big white L-shaped couch and also a big white shiny dining room table and chairs.  Finally to bring it all together some white accessories have been added in the living room and in the kitchen.

This open space is unified with the brick that has been used on the main back wall that serves both the kitchen and dining room, and also a repetition of the brick around the column in the kitchen.  The floor is a grey sealed concrete that runs throughout the spaces.  Black has been used as an accent colour around all the window casings and mirror frame on the left, and also in some of the kitchen cabinetry and chairs.  Even though the chairs are not exactly the same, their design is similar and ties the whole space together.

This design cleverly defines each space with the ceiling soffits.  But the whole area comes together as one with the choice of a brown hue seen in the warm wood floors,  the kitchen cabinets, the dining room table and the living room furniture. The darker browns are lightened up with a cream colour on the walls and fireplace which also adds visually interesting texture to the room with its choice of rugged bricks.  Colour is then added in little splashes with the lighting in the kitchen which is orange, and also the choice of the green and turquoise blues on the dining room table for the dinnerware and napkins.

How about having some fun, and using one big item to anchor the room, like the choice of this big green L-shaped couch.  It adds the big focal point to this room that is decorated in browns and white.  It’s a simple and effective solution!

If you are afraid to try colours or not sure how to use them in open areas to unify the spaces, then try this idea.  Paint everywhere white, use white cabinets in the kitchen, and choose white furniture, then spice it up with a small amount of colour here and there, such as in the cushions, lighting and kitchen accessories.  Also adding a smaller piece of furniture as seen in the back here with the green chair, ties the whole design together.  The big advantage of using this idea is that it is easy to change the colours according to your mood or season!


~ by Gabrielle Col on February 3, 2013.

6 Responses to “Open Spaces and how to unify them”

  1. Great ideas. Thanks!

  2. ha! sometimes I dream of having that much open space 😉 still, we marvel at how easy Tiny House is to live in, especially the downstairs which, though small, is so unified in its open plan that we never feel crowded. I always give you credit and am so grateful that we had your help.

  3. Great post! A lot of people want open plans but then aren’t sure how to create warm, intimate spaces once they get it. You offer some easy, practical solutions. Btw, I love the look of your blog. Now I’m jealous 🙂

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