Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Decorating Open Concept Spaces

The open concept plan is still very popular.  Buyers love it because it is so open and fluid.  You have many options for furniture placement and layout - open concept allows you to do so much in a smaller space.  But open concept can be intimidating and tough to visualize.

As home stagers, we understand how buyers get 'stumped' when they see a big and empty open concept space.  Where do I put my sofa? TV? dining space?  Will my furniture fit? It's very intimidating and over whelming.  This is why staging is so important.  when we stage a home we not only make it pretty for pictures but we think about living and entertaining in the space.  We think about the common questions that buyers have.

Here's a great example of an open concept living/dining room in a townhouse.

It's a great space for living and entertaining.  Seeing this property vacant you would never guess that you could have dining for six, a sectional and an armchair plus plenty of room to walk around.  How did we make this work? Well, the size and scale of furniture is important but so is the placement.  We started off with this table and 4 chairs in the dining space.  Believe it or not, with 2 chairs placed on either side of the table this room looked smaller.  We re-positioned the chairs - 2 on one side and 2 at either end (as captain chairs) we then added the bench in the cream tone to create a common thread with the sectional sofa.  By placing the bench on the side of the table closest to the living room, we opened up the sight lines making the whole space look wider and therefore bigger. The chairs placed there instead of the bench made the whole space feel a bit cramped.

A sectional adds so much seating and a clean line which is one of the reasons we love them.  We used the light cream tone because it is neutral and it brightens up the space.  We used a mix of bold and pattern pillows to bring some life into the room.  An over sized art piece in an abstract style adds visual interest to the room and it makes the room look big.  We use area rugs for a few reasons: they add some soft texture, colour and pattern to a room but they also help define the space.  This rug helps buyers visually understand this space is the living room and over there is the dining area.  It's like building a wall.


You can apply the same ideas to a condo space.

In this condo, we choose the largest possible sofa that would fit in the space without making it feel and look cramped.  From there we selected some functional but smaller scale pieces so the room still felt spacious and was still functional.  We played with texture like faux fur, knits, chenille, leather, wood and metal instead of big, bold bursts of colour.  We also used an area on the diagonal help widen the space (this doesn't work in every space but it did here).  We also thought about storage and surface space.  The cabinet is acting as media storage, plus a liquor cabinet and storage for board games. The 2 tier coffee table offers great surface space when entertaining and the trunk side table adds some character and personality but also some solid surface space for a cup of coffee or glass of wine. The window dressings are not yet installed but we chose a simple white linen tone for a few reasons: the condo restrictions but the light white tone will help to keep the space looking bright and light and they won't be a distraction. 

Here's another example of an open concept condo.  Here we played with some bold colour to make it pop and look bright.  This condo is on the north side so it get minimal light.  We played with some colour and texture to get maximum impact.  What we did here was first decide on where the TV would be placed.  From there we figured out the furniture layout.  When you live in a space be sure to make it work for your lifestyle. We added some fun print on the floor with an area rug and we also added a work space in a corner nook.  We used a glass console table - plenty of surface space but no bulk.


What you will notice these images have in common:
- sofas: we chose the largest possible sofas to maximize on seating and the other furniture is a bit smaller
- lighting: we do not have matching table lamps on matching end tables, we didn't have the space.  Instead we have floor and table lamps around the room to help spread the light around the room
- area rug: to add some colour, pattern and/or texture; they also define the rooms and pull the space together

Remember the following when it comes to decorating an open concept space:
- size and scale matter but look for the largest dining table and sofa that will work in the space.  Lots of little items will make it look and feel cramped.
- glass is a great way to get surface space without the bulk
- area rugs help define spaces without building walls
- a consistent colour concept with make the space look fluid and make it feel larger
- layer your light so add table lamps, floor lamps, under valance light in the kitchen
- get creative with nooks and corners - think storage, organizing or work spaces.
- think lifestyle.  make the space work with your life

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