Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Open Space Living Tips

Lately, a lot of people have been re-pinning this image from my Dream Home board on Pinterest:

I was drawn to the space because of its openness. While this space is the sophisticated New York City loft of Christiane Lemieux, owner of Dwell Studio, it resembles the open plan we have in our own Midwestern house.

Like Lemieux I love having an open floor plan for seeing what my kids are up to. We are never far away from each other in this style house. I can be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Griff playing a video game in the living room, and Bela making art at the dining table, and it still feels like we are all together.

Keeping it looking tidy, however, is the challenge with this style. 

To keep things looking serene with an open floor plan, here are a few tips.

1) Take a cue from Lemieux (honestly, I didn't mean for that to rhyme!). Use neutrals as much as possible. The sectional is upholstered in a linen-colored fabric. The kitchen cabinets are off-white.

2) Limit the number of items that are "out"--not much on the kitchen counters or bar; a small vignette (books & a vase of flowers) on the coffee table.

3) Use baskets, boxes, or trays to corral stuff where you use it. Magazines, catalogs, and newspapers collect where you'll sit to read them; same with remote controls. DVDs and video games should be stored near the TV/gaming system. 

4) Find ways to hide larger items that disrupt the visual flow. In our house, we use an ottoman that opens up to store our throws when we aren't cuddling under them. Art supplies get swept back into a special cabinet in the kitchen.

5)  Maintain consistency by using the same materials or colors for your accessories. We use seagrass baskets for decoration and storage above our kitchen cabinets; a look that is replicated in color on our bar stools. In Lemieux's room, the metal bar stools mimic the stainless double wall ovens; the black lampshade replicates the color of the coffee table.

I hope there are some ideas here that help you organize your space, even if you are not living in an open floor plan home.  :)

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie


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