CBS News recently posted its list of design predictions for 2014—at the top? An increase in open spaces.
This isn’t a new trend, of course. For the past few decades, kitchens have stopped serving their role as separate entities in the home and combined with dining rooms and family rooms to create a seamless, open feeling.
Home builders already have this in mind when creating the layout of a house, taking down walls to create large universal spaces. Appliance designers also use the idea to create appliances that can more easily blend into a kitchen’s décor. But besides these standard features, you can do more to create an open flow in your home with some strategic decorating.
Start by establishing somewhat of a theme for your kitchen and living space. Don’t go overboard, of course—theme doesn’t always mean “wild west” or “ocean getaway!” But incorporating the same wood finish throughout or using similar accents can make your spaces seem more integrated, and less like separate rooms. Try matching sofa pillows to kitchen towels, for example, and avoid stark contrasts between color schemes.
It’s also important to utilize whatever “togetherness” your home already has, or create some where it doesn’t. This is key for joining the two spaces, especially when entertaining. Try using bar stools not only as extra seating for the living room but for promoting kitchen-living room interaction. If you can, installing “hidden” appliances—like a refrigerator made of wood doors, not stainless steel, for example—can further make the two rooms seem like one.