Open floor plans are popular in modern homes for good reason. Combining spaces like your living room and dining room creates a greater sense of freedom and flexibility. But blending these two areas into one requires careful planning and smart furniture choices to keep the layout feeling cohesive. Follow these tips to maximize an open living dining space that suits your lifestyle.
An open concept living room with an adjoining dining zone allows for better flow when entertaining. No closed-off rooms means you and your guests can easily mingle between spaces. Friends can relax in the living area while you put finishing touches on dinner. Then everyone can transition to the table without disruption. Just be sure to design the layout in a way that delineates the two zones. You want comfortable seating for lounging as well as a defined spot for eating and drinking.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
When dealing with a smaller open floor plan, every piece of furniture needs to pull its weight. Seek out items that serve double or even triple duty. Here are some flexible options that maximize both seating and space in a living dining combo.
Transforming furnishings make it a breeze to switch up the room’s functionality. A sleeper sofa offers extra sleeping space for overnight guests. During the day, it provides a cozy spot for relaxing or reading. Look for a style like a split-back sofa that easily adjusts to different positions.
Murphy beds tuck completely out of sight when you want to reclaim floorspace. A drop-leaf table expands to seat dinner guests then condenses down to a petite console. Your furniture should morph to meet your changing needs.
When folded up, your dining table should still leave adequate walkways and clearance. A table with leaves that expand as needed can maximize room when opened fully and minimize clutter when closed. For smaller spaces, nesting tables stack together but can separate for additional serving space.
Dining consoles with storage compartments allow you to stash table linens, candles, or dishes without gobbling up square footage. Look for a console that aligns with your decor–a sleek midcentury modern piece or a rustic farmhouse style, for example. This streamlined furniture multitasks as a surface and storage space.
Do Double Duty
Creative decorating means selecting items that serve more than one purpose. An upholstered ottoman provides extra seating for guests that can also be stashed aside when not needed. Or place stools around a coffee table which then become extra seats during dinner time. This multipurpose approach maximizes the utility of every piece.
Define the Dining Area
Without structural barriers, having distinct living room and dining room zones comes down to well-thought out furniture placement. Use these techniques to delineate your open concept space.
Use Area Rugs
Rugs go a long way in defining spaces in an open floor plan. Use a larger rug under the living room furniture grouping. Then add a separate rug underneath the dining table and chairs. The two rugs establish two separate zones within the bigger room.
Be sure tochoose a dining rug size that allows chairs to sit fully on top of it. This creates the feeling of an anchored space for your dining area. Try a colorful or patterned rug to make the dining portion pop.
Incorporate Dining Chairs
Even without a formal dining table, clustering handsome dining chairs together suggests an eating arrangement separate from the living room. Pay attention to spacing between the chairs and surround them with dining-related accessories. Your dining chairs signal a dedicated zone for sharing meals.
Add Dining Lighting
Overhead pendant lights work wonderfully for distinguishing dining areas. A sparkling chandelier or sleek row of track lights define the table space without adding visual clutter. For more intimate spaces, consider wall-mounted sconces to frame the dining zone.
Sculptural statement pendants suspended above the table make great focal points. Just be sure the fixture hangs at an appropriate height to optimize brightness for eating and conversing.
Decorate with Intent
Careful decor elements can further enhance the delineation between living room relaxing and dining room feasting. Use these ideas to pull the spaces together.
Artwork Sets the Tone
In a combined living dining space, thoughtfully placed art helps set each area’s mood. Hang larger statement pieces like abstract paintings or prints above the seating furniture. This helps anchor the living room visually.
Strategically hanging complementing pieces above the dining table helps focus that area. Clustering artwork into a gallery arrangement makes for an eye-catching focal point. Floating wall shelves displaying art above the table doubles as storage space.
Fresh Florals & Plants
Incorporating green elements like fresh flower centerpieces, potted plants and wreaths infuses liveliness into the dining portion of the room. Greenery and florals feel celebratory and uplifting, perfect for set table settings. Place longer garland runners down the center of the table for parties or special events.
Having living plants and blooms around naturally creates a warmer, homier vibe. The vegetation gives a welcoming sense of intimacy versus a stark, cold feeling.
Textiles Provide Polish
Layering in textiles provides visual interest and depth to the dining arrangement. Accent chairs with patterned pillows that complement the color scheme. Drape the table with a textured tablecloth and decorated placemats.
Have fun mixing patterns and solids for a personalized collected look. Vivid napkins inject a playful pop of color at each place setting. Table runners and cloth napkins infuse a little polish and sophistication.
Clever Storage Solutions
For dining areas, concealed storage helps keep tableware, linens, and serving essentials within reach but out of sight. Here are some ways to add function without clutter.
Use Vertical Space
Take advantage of vertical real estate to gain display and storage. Floating shelves or wall-mounted cabinets allow you to neatly organize dishware and glasses. Displaying dinnerware in the open gives a sense of an intentional dining zone.
Make sure shelves are high enough to accommodate plates and glasses without crowding. Stagger items to keep the look tidy. Add pops of color with serving trays and decorative bowls.
Tuck It Away
Sideboards and hutches efficiently corral table linens, silverware, and serving pieces when not being used. Closed storage keeps messes hidden while still allowing you quick access. Place your dining hutch or sideboard perpendicular to the wall to create a space partition.
Freestanding pantry cabinets are ideal for additional concealed storage. Having this bonus storage space nearby prevents dining messes and clutter from invading the living room.
Don’t overlook unexpected spaces when looking for dining storage solutions. Under stair shelving takes advantage of what’s normally dead space. Repurposed furnishings like an old trunk or armoire give character along with function.
Window benches with storage bases tuck neatly under windows, serving two needs. Baskets and fabric bins are handy for stashing dinner napkins, table decor and other small dining accessories out of sight.
|Creative storage spots prevent open dining areas from feeling chaotic. Keep tableware, serving essentials and backup supplies out of sight but within reach.
Blending your living and dining space in an open floor plan gives you exciting room to get creative. When thoughtfully arranged, the right mix of multi-functional furniture, delineating decor and streamlined storage can make an open living dining zone both stylish and practical.
Entertaining is easier without closed-off rooms segmenting your gathering spaces. Guests will appreciate the spacious flow and ability to circulate freely. With smart planning, your open concept living room with an adjoining dining area can accommodate both intimate family meals and festive dinner parties.