Wide Open Living Spaces – In the 80’s a ‘new’ concept of homes became popular. Gone were the square parlors, traditional living rooms, separate dining rooms, isolated kitchens, enclosed family rooms and square bedrooms with small closets! It’s all about open spaces now. That’s great! Now what?
Open spaces deliver challenges and opportunities simultaneously. Here you are, moved into this new and better home that is open from the front door to the kitchen! What to do? On the up side, you can choose your dining area. Get creative and see what area feels like a relaxing space; one that has the best view and some access to the delivery of the food will create an easy flow and feel natural.
This floor plan typically defines the builder’s idea of the dining area by the placement of the chandelier. That’s not a game changer; three screws are all that anchor the existing light to the space it currently. You can move it and add a new light that better suits the new use of the space.
Lighting is easily changed from room to room if you love the one you’re with; or with a replacement if you don’t.
A note of caution; before you rush out to buy lighting, decide what style is your style.
Take a long look at your furniture, your paint selections, your accessories and the look and feel you want to create in each room.
Lighting is one of the most strategic tools in the game plan of creating your masterpiece. Use it wisely to define an entry area, a dining area and any other ‘specific’ areas in this floor plan.
In open floor plans, living rooms usually need to be created by furniture selections and placement.
Carling Residence by TACT Architecture
Open plans are devoid of wall outlets except against the walls which, as you may have noticed, are missing. Attempting to use table lamps will leave you with exposed cords that impede traffic flow and create unnecessary fall risks.
These floor plans work better with floor lighting and wall sconces that promotes a more comfortable and cozy atmosphere.
Storage is another challenge in the open floor plan. Decide whether you want to create an entry area or foyer and work from that point of beginning.
Placing an entry chest or buffet style of furniture at the point where you want to ‘end’ the entry area will provide a place for paper and pens to jot down notes or messages at the door and a place for sweaters and other light wraps you grab on the way in or out of your home.
Open shelving units will maintain the open feeling, create a break point and still provide some light storage if drawer units are located in the bottom sections.
This same challenge is encountered in the family room area and can be addressed in the same manner. The best part of an open floor plan is the walls you do not have to relocate!
The open floor plan typically offers ‘plant shelving’ to accommodate floating walls. These become a display area for your most valued treasures that are stored in many attics for lack of a place to show them off safely.
If you have vaulted ceilings that are at least 12′ high, make good use of them! Look for shelving or older free standing cabinetry units; repurpose them and ‘hang em high!’ This is a wonderful place to showcase something important in your décor plan.
Try hanging a complete bookcase cabinet high above the fireplace when you have high vaulted ceilings. Leave the doors open and show off the most reassured items without worry of breakage from lookers.
You can find every style of pre-built fireplaces at your local Lowe’s and many other places and create your best focal point by placing it under a hanging unit.
An added benefit; you will have acquired that much talked about and desired mantle for hanging stockings and a romantic setting for the cozy evenings with this kind of unit. They also have a heater and blower hidden behind the glowing ‘fire, making them a very practical solution to a cold room!’