If you live in an apartment or condo today, chances are your apartment is an open concept floor plan. Open concept is defined as a space having few or no dividing walls between the living areas. This floor plan is immensely popular right now. Just think about the mania for Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines farmhouse style and her promotion of the big, open living space.
It's easy to see why open floor plans are so loved. Done well these spaces are bright and airy, casual and contemporary – perfect for family living! But this doesn’t mean they're easy to decorate. Open concept layouts have a tendency to look messy, mismatched, and disorganized. Sound familiar?
You can achieve a beautifully decorated and stylish open concept home with these simple steps.
Unify the decor of your open concept rooms by using a color scheme. Pick a few colors to repeat in your furniture and accessories and on your flooring and walls (if you can paint) throughout the open concept space.
Repeat certain key patterns, motifs, and/or textures. Don’t get overly matchy, but do pick a pattern like ikat or chevron to repeat in fabrics, decorative accessories, and art.
Choose furniture that is appropriately proportioned. If you have high ceilings and a large space, scale up. If you have a more cozy space, scale down. Measure, measure, measure and be sure furniture will fit up the stairwell, through your door, and within the space.
Make furniture pull double duty. A drawback of the open concept floor plan is the inability to shut the door on messy areas, so organization and storage are key. Add storage with useful furniture like hutches, trunks, bookshelves, and organizers.
Use furniture groupings, area rugs, and lighting to establish separate zones within the open floor plan. Although you want to unify the decor of your open concept home, for practicality you should emphasize specific spaces.
Within each zone create a focal point. This is the point your eye is drawn to when you first enter a room. Use art, furniture arrangements, or an architectural detail like a fireplace to create this focal point.
Make the space feel cozy and comfortable with accessories in warm colors and rough or soft textures.
Add personality with live plants, souvenirs, family photographs, and accessories that tell a story. Surround yourself with things that mean something to you and add charm to the space.
Optimize existing storage space with space savers, drawer organizers, and bins. Often open concept layouts have minimal closet space because there are fewer walls, so make sure you use what you have efficiently.
Create an entryway drop zone. Place a small entry table, coat rack, umbrella stand, mail organizer, and catchall bowl near your entrance to keep that space tidy.
To help you put these open concept decorating steps into action, I've created an easy worksheet. You can sign-up for the download here!