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Designing the modern open living space


Great rooms or large living areas can end up feeling cluttered if you put too many small pieces in them. The key is balance, and playing with colour.

Buyers today prefer an open plan of kitchen-dining-living area. This creates bigger space.

Bigger rooms can be wonderful for entertaining guests but the challenge will be to keep it cozy and functional for day-to-day living without making it look too empty or cluttered.

Columnist-interior decorator Vikram Kapoor, director projects at Innovations India has some recommendations:

Great rooms or large living areas can end up feeling cluttered if you put too many small pieces in the room. The other mistake that people make is to under-do too much, making it look too empty. The key is balance, and playing with colour to give the space a character.

Formal-casual mix

In the living-dining segment, have designated areas for activities, like family area, visitor seating, writing table, place for crockery unit or even a small bar. These areas may flow into each other but a broad demarcation helps create a `living’ space. Thus in addition to a lounge sofa-set (of 3+1+2 or 3+1+1), a couple of bean bags will give the place a nice family room-look, especially with a large coffee table on a thick carpet ensuring a cosy atmosphere.

This will also avoid the seating against the wall concept that is commonly followed. A large room with sofa pushed back against one wall and the chairs on the opposite size of the room leaves too much open space in the middle. This kills all conversations as nobody likes to shout.


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Focus areas

Create two focal points on conflicting walls. In case one side leads to a green area outside, leverage that by creating an atmosphere that brings it in. As you have a ready view, hang lighter curtains at that end to enhance the beauty of this area.

The wall directly opposite to this could be the other focal wall. You can wallpaper it with self-designed prints in darker shades (which will give warmth to the area) or simply get a textured paint on the wall in case you prefer simplicity.

Size and scale matters

In a large open area, it is essential to get the size and scale of the furniture right. For instance, furniture that is short will make the ceiling feel too high. This can be offset in two ways:

  1. Consider a taller bookcase, taller backs on chairs and sofas and taller accessories
  2. Create a focus area in the ceiling with a POP corner that is well-designed with appropriate lighting and key accessories at suitable height keeping in mind the furniture size.

As a rule, your key trophy should be in the right corner from where you enter the area. Alternately, the opposite wall (direct vision on entry) could also house the place of pride trophy or knick-knack with focus light.


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The dining area

In todays’ fast-paced life, we can actually do away with the formal dining table and instead have an L-shaped counter dividing the kitchen-dining area. The counter itself can be developed as a breakfast-counter with high chairs with a crockery unit nearby. This can be fixed above the counter or strategically placed to catch the light from the open space outside to give it a light airy feel.


Go for a single large chandelier only if the combined room is considerable large. Alternately, install two medium-sized ones (about 1-2 feet high) across the room with other lighting or a combination of wall units and strategically placed lampshades.

How to refurbish your flat

How to refurbish your flat without spending a much

Are you thinking of revamping your space but your pocket isn’t allowing much. Here are some hacks and décor ideas that will transform your home and give it a new look and vibe! These small and inexpensive adjustments can improve the look and feel of your home without breaking the budget.
First of all, look at space. If you live in a fast metro where you are pressed for space, go for white and pastel shades on the walls which will give a sense of openness to the room. If the space is big, you can use dark tones in addition to white and pastels.


Check out: 5 Home Decor Ideas for an opulent haven


Use wallpapers to save the cost of expensive paints. You can also use trendy decals or wall stickers to give a designer edge to the room. These days the cherry blossom decals are in vogue and are selling like hot cakes in the décor market. It gives a positive vibe to the space and a Zen-like feeling.

Once you are done with the walls, you can use a wide variety of indoor plants to give freshness and verdant touch to the room. You can paint old buckets, glass or broken teacups and teapots and use them as flowers pots. These plants in unique pots can definitely add a new dimension to space.

For curtains, you can go with floral prints for plain walls and one block colour for textured walls. One can experiment with a variety of fabrics and purchase them from the wholesale market to save money.

Old trunks can be painted and used for storage and sitting as well. One can add quirky touch to it by using colorful cushions.
No matter where you, you carry the sweet memories of your family and friends with you. Hence it’s important to immortalize these precious moments and make photo story on the wall or create handmade photo frames.

These days there are a wide variety on fairy lights available in the market that can be used on the windows or can be kept in wine bottles for creation of mood lighting. They are not expensive, yet they make for a soothing and cozy ambiance.

Home is where the heart is. A good décor at home will reflect in who you are and how you think. With these cost effective hacks your home will surely be a beautiful place to live in.

Kunal Sharma is the founder, mentor and chief strategist of Gloob Décor.