When moving house or going for a total make-over, starting again with a blank canvas can be really exciting and is your opportunity to bring together your relationship with you, your family, how you wish to live and your belongings.
Which way to Go and What to Do ???
Most homes are basically living rooms downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. Although the ground floor living rooms are adjacent to each other, they have clearly defined functions and can be decorated to create the relevant atmosphere and to reflect the purpose of the room.
Dedicating a room to a specific task such as a dining room that is only ever going to be a dining room is a luxury most modern homes can ill afford, but if you enjoy entertaining or indeed cooking and prefer the family to sit down together, spend quality time together and appreciate your efforts, then a separate dining room is well worth the sacrifice of space.
The colouring of more a modern looking dining room can be cool, chic and understated – and for a more traditional look, the warm colours are better suited.
For a greater feeling of space which nowadays is what most people strive for in their living areas, a very large hammer will be required to knock down a few walls. I can remember as a child pre the “internet sensation”, the first thing my father did as did many others when moving house was to knock down the wall between the lounge and dining room. A great success unless it was the weekend when everyone was at home and he hogged the television with wall to wall sport and there was no getting away from it – no retreating with a lap top to a remote corner of the house.
That trend quickly passed as everyone realised that individuals needed their own space. It is back again however with a vengeance as you can now immerse yourself with your smart phone or computer if the main television has been commandeered by the alpha whoever.
Space should be enjoyed for what it is, so if you are a hoarder, then this look is not for you unless you can bring yourself to have plenty of storage then store it and do not overload every available surface with your treasures.
In order to create a unified scheme you will need to make sure that continuity of decoration and atmosphere flows through the various areas. They will however need some kind of minimal demarcation even if it is just a large piece of furniture or a screen to section off the various areas or acoustically and psychologically one large undefined area may be a little harsh.
For a really successful open-plan scheme you will need to balance the two contrasting elements in the space, horizontal lines which are more relaxing and vertical lines which are more formal – they both are equally important but need to work in harmony. The horizontal lines of the venetian blinds of the scheme above flow with the top of the room dividing screen and the straight backs for the furniture, whereas the vertical lines are bought into play by the upward lines of the spiral stairs and edges of the room divider. This screen incidentally is a wonderful asset to the room as it can be moved to create more room when the dining area is in use, or likewise more space when the living room is the main area.
Different wallpaper or paint is a great way to create a divide between the areas, the space will still flow if you get the colours of the paint or wallpaper to co-ordinate.
The wallpaper used for the feature wall of the dining area is strongly vertical picking up the flow of the lines of the wooden floor boards – had the floor boards run in the other direction, then to maintain harmony a wallpaper or window treatment favouring the horizontall line would have been a better choice.
Wherever you stand in this open-plan space, the aspect ratio is correct. The flow of the lines of the wooden flooring looking towards the window covering is vertical as is the design detail of the curtains, whereas looking towards the dining area, the wallpaper is horizontal to mirror the direction of the floor boards.
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