Tips for decorating an open floor plan

As soon as we saw this space from interior designer and blogger Sita Montgomery, we couldn’t wait to share it here on How to Decorate! We love the way Sita uses a happy shades of coral as exclamation marks around this primarily neutral great room. Each space feels defined but still cohesive, which can be a tricky balance in an open floor plan. Luckily, Sita walks us through her favorite ways to bring purpose and pretty to this space.

A home with an open floor plan most often has one common larger room, in some cases the combination of the kitchen, living and dining room areas. There are many benefits to choosing an open floor plan. Less walls to separate rooms means the greater the ability to benefit from natural sunlight and fewer confined areas offer the illusion of more space. Decorating an open floor plan to create one beautiful, cohesive space can be difficult. Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to tackle this decorating challenge.

Define it

Use furniture to create and differentiate areas in the space. A console table or buffet behind a sofa can help to distinguish the living area from the entry or dining space. This can also be accomplished with the use of area rugs. A rug under a dining table or seating positioned around a large rug can create an area with a distinct function in the open space.

Make it interesting

Open floor plans tend to have one color on the wall. Adding interest to the them by either using wallpaper or wood trim is a great way to not only create interest on the walls, but they can also aid in defining areas in the larger room. I used wallpaper in this entry and added wood trim in the living room to break up the color on the walls and help distinguish the spaces from one another. Hanging artwork and mirrors is another way to achieve this effect.

Color coordinate it

Pick a color palette for the room and incorporate it into each individual space. Choose 2 or 3 accent colors and add a touch of them to each area in the the form of fabrics, rugs and accessories. An entry rug, a pillow on the sofa, a runner on the dining table and window treatments in the kitchen, all featuring the same color palette, will help create a cohesive and unified look between the individual areas in an open floor plan.

Light it up

One of the great features of an open floor plan is the natural sunlight that can flood the space. Ceiling lights and recessed lighting are often used to light up the room in the evening hours. Turn off those ceiling lights and create intimacy in an open floor plan by integrating multiple sources of lighting throughout the space. A pair of table lamps on an entry console or dining buffet, a floor lamp in the living room or a reading lamp on a table by a chair, will light up individual areas and can help give the large room a cozier feel, when desired.

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