It was very interesting to see how home design and interior design trends have changed during the pandemic. After spending more time working or studying from home, many homeowners realized that certain spaces in their homes needed to be more flexible. By now, most of us have adapted a home office or at least a workspace in our house.

The new construction is quickly catching up with our new way of life. During the recent Parade of Homes, a few interesting trends emerged. In some cases, offices are created instead of formal dining rooms. The breakfast areas are expanded to create space for a larger dining set to accommodate family gatherings.

Needless to say, the formal living room has all but disappeared from the new construction. If you have a formal living space in your home that is not being used, you might consider closing it off with a set of doors or a sliding door to create a much-needed office or study space.

A few other new trends that have emerged during the pandemic are more dividing walls, extra doors, and built-in desks in bedrooms. Greater value is placed on functional outdoor spaces for safely gathering and entertaining with friends and extended family.

However, the open concept plan is still a predominant layout in most new homes.

Our customers often report feeling “stuck” when it comes to decorating their large open spaces. They may have their furniture and decorative items already selected, but are challenged with “Where to start?” Deciding how to organize everything in a large open floor plan can be overwhelming. How to unify everything? How will each space be used? And how do you make everything flow, feel welcoming and even cozy? So many questions!

If you’re considering designing your open floor plan, the following tips can help you get started:

  • Consider the general layout of your space
  • Identify areas, such as food courts, rest areas and traffic. It’s important to keep circulation zones in mind, as they will help create and define the boundaries of each zone and determine the size of furniture and flooring you need. Four feet is a good width for most main thoroughfares in the house.
  • Other important architectural barriers to consider are door opening directions and door clearances (when doors are open). For example, a rug can get caught under an open door, so it’s best to measure everything beforehand.
  • Once the areas of your home are defined, you can consider incorporating area rugs. They can serve as an anchor to unite all the different areas.
  • By now you should have a pretty good idea of ​​where to place all of your major pieces of furniture. For your living room area, would a sofa and two armchairs grouped together be suitable, or would a sectional be a better solution for your family?
  • Group your sofa and chairs so they face each other to make the space more inviting and intimate for your guests.

To define the family area in the image below, we used an upholstered sofa and two chairs, a textured rug and a beautiful round wooden table.

Consider the overall style, color scheme and finishes

You might want to approach your open floor plan as a cohesive story: do you prefer your space to be monochromatic or do you prefer a selection of neutrals with pops of color here and there? What style are you looking for? Keep in mind that many styles can be mixed well, so you don’t have to stick strictly to one.

When decorating an open concept space, it is important to stay consistent with colors and finishes. Your color palette should unite all spaces, and you can achieve this by using the same paint color or complementary colors throughout your space. Make sure the furniture styles and wood finishes you choose complement each other.

Use an accent color in your accessories, cushions and rugs.

Consider incorporating various textures throughout the space, for example: braided rugs, woven rope chair seats, wood details on furniture, and textures on ceramics.

Let’s not forget your finishes either. Floors, kitchen cabinets, backsplashes and countertops are called hard surfaces. They have a lot of visual volume and should be considered when thinking about wood, metal and other finishes for your furniture. Will it create an organic mix of finishes or a contrast?

Photograph by Catherine Nguyen

The lighting layer

Lighting is often left for last or neglected altogether, but it can be especially important for day-to-day tasks.

Once you have decided on the location of the large pieces of furniture, it is easy to decide where the side tables and lamps will go. Dimmers are a great addition for lighting as they help you control light intensity throughout the day in various areas.

It may be a good idea to add outlets to your floor if you haven’t already. This is especially relevant for an open plan space, as the walls are usually farther from the furniture. Floor sockets save you from having to use (and hide) long extension cords.

Mix Metallic Finishes in Your Space

Interior designers often hear this question: “How will the finish of our fixtures work with the hardware of the cabinets and doors?”

Although this subject deserves its own article, you can choose to select one main metallic finish and complement it with others in smaller quantities. Just like paint colors and wood stains, metals can have warm or cool undertones, so make sure they don’t collide.

Think of the hearth

Entryway decorating is sometimes overlooked and your overall decorating theme should carry over into this space as well. Hang a classic round mirror above a simple console table. Then, layer up accessories like vases, a lamp, and a few books.

  • Use fresh flowers to add ambiance and brighten up the space (and delight your guests!)
  • Include your favorite photos
  • Don’t forget your outdoor living spaces

You can carry your overall theme into adjacent outdoor spaces. For example, if you have a screened porch or patio, it should reflect the style and mood of the interior spaces by using similar colors and patterns.

Hopefully these tips will help you create a living space in your home that is both functional and stylish. Will the open floor plan become a casualty of the pandemic? Only time will tell. But we’re sure it won’t go out of style because people have always enjoyed spending time together in a large space, and that’s not changing!

At LK Design, we take the overload out of the interior design process. We’ll help you create a beautiful home you can be proud of that fits your needs and your lifestyle. We proudly serve the Triangle region. To learn more and book a free call*, visit, call (919) 389-6444 or email [email protected]

Laura Koshel, LK Design

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