Your Design Dilemmas Get Answered

I often get people asking me for decor and design advice. Over the years I have answered thousands of questions for the readers of Style At Home, Homemakers, Canadian Living, House Beautiful, Metro News to name a few. I love getting/reading decor questions as it keeps me abreast of the decorating issues people are having. This most recent question has been asked many, many times over tha past few years. Many people would love the idea of ‘opening up’  the main floor of their home but just wouldn’t know how to choose finishes or decorate the newly opened space; I’ve got a few things to keep in mind before knocking down walls.

Soupehe.comQ: Is open concept the way to go for a kitchen and living room?
A: Choosing an open concept kitchen/living space is a great option for young families (where parents are in kitchen and children are in living space), folks who entertain in a big way (since most parties end up in the kitchen) or for those who want to make a small home layout feel more spacious. A few considerations before you take down the walls and open up your main floor space:
1. Your kitchen’s esthetic should be the same as your living space. For example, if you have a very traditional living/dining area, then the newly opened kitchen should have cabinetry, counters that mimic a traditional feeling too.
2. There should be a clear divider between the kitchen and living space.. An island, half-wall, table/chairs should be used as a barrier to the kitchen. This helps to visually keep the fun and games of the family room out of the work area in the kitchen.
3. Flooring should visually flow from one area to another without jarring the eye. For example, if you have medium wood toned flooring in your living space, then a matching medium-toned brown-toned tile would be a great durable option for the kitchen. An area rug under the table will help define that specific area and add some colour/pattern into the space.
4. Window treatments, hardware metal tones and wall colours should also blend from one area to another in an open-concept home. Keeping common elements similar will help create a visual flow, making each area of the open-concept space co-ordinate.

5. Paint colours need to be used at minimum in an open-concept space. Use no more than 3 colours; one should be an overall neutral; the other two should be used to highlight a focal wall within varied areas around the open space.

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Do you have a decor question? I’d love to answer it in a future blog post! Send a note along with 1 or two pictures of your space and who knows; you might just be on your way to a more beautiful looking home!

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