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.
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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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:
- Consider a taller bookcase, taller backs on chairs and sofas and taller accessories
- 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.