7 min Read

Liven Up Your Space with These Open Floor Plan Decorating Ideas

Open concept floor plans have been a favorite home design in North America for decades. Compared to the dark, small spaces people were used to, open concept living was a breath of fresh air. However, knowing what to do with all that open space has plagued homeowners as long as well. It’s not impossible though, and we have some creative open floor plan decorating ideas we think you’ll love.

What is An Open Floor Plan?

In its most basic definition, an open floor plan is one that combines two or more rooms together that would have traditionally been built as separate rooms. An example that most of us can easily recognize is combining the kitchen, living, and dining space into one large room. This helps to create a sense of openness and allows for easier, more relaxed traffic flow.

Why is Decorating an Open Floor Plan So Tricky?

Lack of Defined Spaces

Open concept homes, with their vast expanses and lack of walls, can feel like a blank canvas. For homeowners trying to decide how to decorate an open floor plan, and manage their space and belongings, this experience can be  both liberating and intimidating.

What we mean by a lack of defined space in an open concept room is:

  • There are no walls to create natural room divisions
  • There’s a risk of overstuffing the space and it becoming cluttered
  • It can be difficult to define how a space is meant to be used.

All these factors create challenges in ensuring design continuity. Without walls to guide them, homeowners can sometimes find it challenging to delineate one functional area from another, leading to some common decorating missteps.

Cohesive Design is Critical

When decorating an open floor plan, you have to remember that you’re decorating more than just one room and that the design theme needs to be relatively consistent throughout.  

For instance, let’s say a homeowner dreams of having a dramatic styled dining room with jewel-toned walls, matte-gold wall sconces, and lush, velvet dining chairs. But, they also want a distinctly bright, opulent kitchen with stone countertops, large windows, and an overall airy feel. 

Those are two very contrasting aesthetics and it would be challenging to have both aesthetics in an open concept kitchen-dining space. In this case, an open floor plan may not be the right choice for them.

As we explained in the above example, ensuring a consistent design theme in an open space can be challenging; it often requires homeowners to adjust their design expectations. Afterall, it’s not just about choosing a color palette; it’s about ensuring that every piece, from furniture to fixtures, complements each other and creates visual harmony.

Keep up with the latest trends and tips in luxury home design! Read our blog.

It’s Hard to Establish a Focal Point

In traditional homes, natural focal points such as fireplaces or bay windows generally dictate how to arrange furniture and other items. However, in an open concept, defining these focal areas isn’t always straightforward.

This can quickly lead to:

  • Poorly and awkwardly arranged furniture
  • Creating clutter instead of a clear focus
  • Not knowing what architectural details to highlight
  • Overwhelming a space with too many statement pieces. 

Choosing a focal point is important when decorating an open floor plan as it provides direction for your eyes to hone in on and helps a space look larger, open, and more cohesive.

Balance Between Openness with Intimacy

The beauty of open spaces is the feeling of expansiveness, but there’s a fine line between open and impersonal. Creating intimate corners or personal nooks in such vastness can be a design challenge. 

“Striking a balance in open layouts requires a delicate touch, ensuring spaces are neither too sparse nor too cluttered,” says Noree Henderson, VP of Design + Sales from JayMarc Homes. 

The essence lies in using design elements to both unify and define, ensuring each area has its own charm while seamlessly blending with the rest.

So, How to Decorate an Open Floor Plan? 4 Designer-Approved Open Concept Interior Design Ideas

Embracing your open space home requires more than just admiring the expansive view. It’s about making intentional design choices that harmonize with your personal style and each segment of your home. 

Let’s take a look at seven tips you can use to better decorate any open concept home you live in.

1. Use Area Rugs to Define Spaces

A large, open space can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately, this is where area rugs can help. Area rugs can be used to add warmth but also to demarcate different zones. Use an area rug to define where your couch and sitting area will go, to ground your dining space, or as a way to outline a children’s play area.

💡Pro Tip: Opt for contrasting textures or patterns to suit your personal taste while also adhering to the overall color palette of the space.

2.Use a Cohesive Color Palette

Color is a powerful design tool. It can either tie spaces together or set them distinctly apart. It’s also a clever way to set the mood and ambience of a room. For open-concept living areas, it’s best to choose a single paint color to use as the main color throughout the area. Avoid bold colors as they can become overwhelming when used in large spaces.

Tips to find the right paint color and palette for an open floor plan include:

  • Choose a primary shade as the base for all spaces. Neutral colors are best. We recommend shades that look great in different levels of  natural light such as Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Grey.
  • Introduce two or three complementary hues for variety and contrast.
  • Use bold colors sparingly, perhaps for accent walls or decor items.
💡Pro-Tip: Be sure to use high-quality paint that’s also durable in your open concept space. Larger sized walls means imperfections can be more easily detected. Selecting low-quality materials will quickly make your space look dingy and poorly maintained.

3.Incorporate Different Lighting for Different Zones

Lighting does more than just illuminate; it sets the mood and studies have shown lighting affects your overall well-being. Surprisingly, lighting throughout an open concept living area is not equal throughout, different light levels occur based on an area’s access to natural daylight or a homeowners choice of light fixtures.

This means you have more control over your spaces’ lighting. Tailor your lighting choices to the function of each area – bright for the kitchen, subdued for the living room. Dimmer switches are especially useful in an open concept floor plan, allowing you to adjust ambiance as needed.

Use Furniture to Create Soft Barriers and Pathways

The furniture you choose will largely determine the function and comfort of your living space. How you arrange furniture can also influence traffic flow throughout the space.  Keep the following tips in mind when deciding where to place your furniture;

  • Open bookshelves can act as dividers without blocking light.
  • Bar stools at a kitchen island indicate a casual eating spot.
  • A large sofa can be used to separate the lounge from the dining area. Be sure to have enough space between the areas for people to move freely. 
💡Pro tip: Consider placing a sofa table on the backside of the sofa the create a visual barrier between the dining area and lounge space.

4.Add Greenery to Define and Enliven Spaces

Plants breathe life into open spaces, and their strategic placement can also serve as natural dividers that people enjoy looking at. Whether it’s a tall indoor tree or clusters of smaller plants, greenery adds vibrancy and freshness.

Some ways to use plants when decorating and open floor plan:

  • Choose plant pots that express your personality and aesthetic. They’re a great way to add interest in spaces with neutral walls – without becoming overpowering
  • Start an herb garden on a kitchen windowsill
💡Pro-tip: Choose plants of different sizes and with different types of leaves, leaf colors, and visual differences to add interest and texture to your space. Pair a large snake plant with a smaller, lusher looking plant such as a pothos or African violet.
Decorating an Open Floor Plan

Ready to Plan Decorating Your Dream Open Concept Home?

Open concept floor plans have unique challenges, there’s no secret there. Most open floor plan interior design challenges homeowners face can be resolved with some attention to detail and understanding of their space. 

One hiccup that can’t be resolved, however, is when a homeowner wants an open concept floor plan but their house isn’t built that way. Fortunately, we can help.

At JayMarc Homes, we have dozens of open concept floor plans our customers can choose from. We can also provide custom solutions in case you see a floor plan you like, but it isn’t “quite right.” We’ll make it perfect for you. Take a look at our floor plans and get started on planning your dream home!