Open floor plans are so popular that people often put them at the top of their wish list when buying a new home.
While there is a lot to love about open plans — the seamless flow between living and dining space, abundant light and air, and a sense of spaciousness — you should take a certain approach to decorating in order to maximize the space and really let it shine.
Craftmark Homes develops communities throughout the DMV area that offer a variety of open-plan and customizable living spaces. Selecting furnishings, colors and décor that can transform your Craftmark home will bring you years of happy living, but it’s important to spend time understanding the protocol for open-plan design.
1. No Defined Functional Areas
Open plans are great, but if you don’t define areas for specific uses, your space can be amorphous and confusing. Use large pieces of furniture, like sofas, to define your space and demarcate areas for living, dining and entertainment. Sofas that can “float” in a room, meaning the back of the piece is finished, can be placed anywhere in a space, allowing you more flexibility with design options. Have the perfect sofa but it’s not finished on the back? Consider using a shallow solid-backed media console across the back of the couch to hold decor, a reading or table lamp, and help you organize.
2. Multiple Decorative Styles
In the right circumstances, different decorative styles can blend to harmonious effect. But with open floor plans, incorporating too many decorative styles can lead to a cluttered visual vocabulary. Keeping to one or two different styles or periods allows for a range of texture and color that provides eye-catching interest. For example, having an heirloom piece like a clock or armoire can make a modern room pop, as long as there are not too many competing elements.
3. One-Dimensional Lighting
Providing light at different heights and qualities is paramount for a well-designed home. Relying on one light source will limit the utility and appeal of a room, especially in an open plan. You’ll be happy with your lighting if you think in terms of different levels: uplighting emanating from the floor for ambiance, task lighting at intermediate levels, and overhead lighting for controlling the feel of a room. Plus – make sure to use consistently warm lighting for the most flattering look!
4. Missing A Fresh Perspective
This is one of the decorating mistakes that people often overlook. If you’re transitioning into a new home from an existing one, it’s sometimes tempting to repurpose your furniture and decorative items. Unless your new home is configured similarly to your old one, this will rarely be successful until you take a real step back and get a fresh perspective. Starting with a neutral paint palette, you can mix pieces you already have and love, and also select new furniture and décor that share one or more design cues. Ask a friend to talk things through!
5. Over- or Under-Use of Materials
It’s exciting to buy a new home. When it’s time to select materials, people sometimes either go a little over the top or are so intimidated that they revert to a safe and simple plan. A balance between variety and austerity is your best bet. Your material selection should also be consistent with the way you plan to use your space. If you have velvet seats on your dining chairs, consider using velvet throw pillows on your couch, or include a velvet accent chair. But don’t have all three elements matchy-matchy. The same goes for colors and patterns. A good rule of thumb is to have one or two main pieces feature the concept throughout your home, and then find other opportunities for call-back accessories.
Many Craftmark homes include open floor plans to provide beautiful living spaces that maximize light and utility. Keeping your eye on common design traps and bringing your fresh new ideas to your home will ensure you get the best out of your space.
To learn more about our available floor plans, contact us today.