Here’s the latest room reveal from the show house I designed at the current Ideal Home Show.
Open plan spaces are often one of the hardest rooms to decorate. How to make the whole space work as one while still honoring the different zones is not straightforward. For example the vibe you want in the kitchen is very different from the one you are looking to create in the living room. So creating different feels in the same room takes a little thought. But what it doesn’t mean is you have to go all neutral! Heavens forbid! This living room was open plan to the kitchen dining room in my previous post but as you can see I have still gone hard on colour. For me it’s all about using colour to link the spaces while not making them all match. Because that would just be boring wouldn’t it. And if you’re reading this I’m guessing you don’t do boring.
So the key to using colour in an open plan space to establish a harmonious colour palette. One thing I recommend is to find a colourful fabric you love, or a painting and pick out the colours within it to work around the room. Artists and textile designers are amazing at putting colours that work together. This colour palette can then be used to link artwork, cushions, accessories, fabrics, tiles and window treatments. Also with a definitive colour palette you can also have fun mixing patterns, which is something I love to do.
It’s unusual for me to paint a space white but I wanted to create an open and light feel in this fist floor extension. Slaked lime was the perfect choice as its soft and warm without being too yellow. When I’m using bright colours I like a soft colour as the background to stop it appearing to stark and jarring. I then chose to put simple Bergen voile roman blinds at the window to help maximise the natural light in an attempt to extend the sense of openess. I find lot’s natural light really energising and uplifting and this is the feel I wanted to harness in this family open plan space added to the fact it’s a room that would mostly be enjoyed throughout the day light hours. Then a level of warmth is introduced with this most amazing Intenso oak floor . While parquet has been so fashionable I love what’s been achieved here with this modern chevron layout. It’s super easy and fast to install too as the planks just click together.
One nice way to link the two spaces was asking Naked Kitchens to make a side board in the same style of the kitchen units so there is a visual link, but rather than match the blue I chose a beautiful pale pink colour, which links in with the Bert and May tiles in the kitchen floor. It’s these little colour and design references, which will help make your scheme look coherent. So think about how you can link the colours throughout the entire room.
As dedicated followers to this blog (!) you’ll know my disdain for the matchy-matchy. I think a scheme as much more personality and verve when you blend different patterns and styles together. A mixture of patterned and plain scatter cushions on the sofa, create a lovely bit of interest. The deep damson Little Jon wool sofa really helps to anchor the space. A gallery wall of pictures is an all time favourite styling trick of mine which allows you to make a strong visual focal point. It’s important to do this in an open plan space- it kind of works like punctuation mark. Think about having a few key focal points in the room that help drawer the eye. In this room it’s the sofa with gallery wall, moving round to the bright patterned Tom Collins armchair in Ola Berry fabric through to the striking Sophie Abbott painting above the sideboard. The fabrics and the painting all help to tell the colour story and link different parts of the room together. It’s also a good idea to plum for one metallic and in this scheme it’s gold. From the brass Aman coffee tables, through to the accessories, the odd picture frame and the gold taps and splash back in the kitchen, using the same metallic throughout will also help to unify the space.
Finally I think open plan spaces are in danger of feeling a little chilly so this large Amira wool rug really adds some much needed texture and warmth. The textiles I chose for the sofa are a mixture of wool, crewel work and velvet which again helps makes this otherwise cool space feel homely.
The living room opens up into the kitchen dining room which you can see here in the previous post.
6 ways to make an open plan space work
Unify the space with a single wall colour or carry the same flooring throughout
Signify the different zones with colour blocks. A statement rug, a large piece of artwork, pendant lights, a bold piece of furniture will all do the trick
Work up a coherent colour palette and use this throughout the entire space. Used in different proportions will add interest. Even down to the small accessories will help to link the different areas.
Have your lighting on different circuits. From recessed lights, pendants and lamps they all need to be operated in different ways to create different moods depending on how you’re using the space.
Often open plan spaces can feel quite large. Soften the look with plenty of plants and artwork.
Use the same metallic throughout. From taps to light switches, cffe tables to trinket boxes.
Walls painted Slaked lime mid www.littlegreene.com
Flooring in Intenso oak traditional www.quick-step.co.uk
Bergen soft voiles www.hillarys.co.uk
Little Jon sofa in Tor damson www.sofaworkshop.com
Tom Collins chair in Kitty McCall www.sofaworkshop.com
Chair covered in Ola Berry fabric www.kittymccall.com
Aman geometric glass 2-piece coffee table set www.wayfair.co.uk
Detroit side table’s www.grahamandgreen.co.uk
Amira wool rug www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk
Selection of vases www.habitat.co.uk
Table lamp www.bhs.com
Silk flowers www.amarathineblooms.co.uk
Switches and sockets in white and brass by www.dowsingandreynolds.com
Palm cushion, www.kittymccall.com
Geometric woven cushion, www.laredoute.co.uk
Yellow knitted cushion, www.bhs.com
Gees multicolored cushion www.habitat.co.uk
Handwoven cushion www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CathChamberlain
Blue velvet cushion, www.habitat.co.uk
Bird picture, www.kingandmcgaw.com
Swan print, www.kingandmcgaw.com
Zoo print, www.kingandmcgaw.com
Ballet Dancer photo, www.kingandmcgaw.com
Flowers in vase print, www.kittymccall.com
Altered Cover Print, www.wayfair.co.uk
Inaluxe print, www.kingandmcgaw.com
Teal round tray, www.laredoute.co.uk
Pink ceramic cups, www.laredoute.co.uk
Bangle Glass vases www.lsa-international.com
Eyes cylinder vase www.habitat.co.uk
Face cylinder vase www.habitat.co.uk
Blossom glasses www.grahamandgreen.co.uk
Peony glasses www.grahamandgreen.co.uk