Why Settle for a Kitchen When You Can Have a Great Room?

By John Voket

Earlier this month, we talked about downsizing kitchens—this isn't a move everyone wants or needs to make. So in our next two reports, we'll give equal time to those looking at morphing their kitchen from a practical utility space for food preparation, to a center of attention and functionality.

Design experts are seeing high demand for creating "great rooms," combining kitchen, dining, family and open, high-ceiling entertaining space. According to the Better Decorating Bible (betterdecoratingbible.com), there are several basic concepts to consider when "spacing out" into a great room:

Choose wall colors carefully – Different colors can help define separate areas, so select hues in the same tone family to create a seamless flow from one space to another.

Furniture – If you have a country-style oak dining table try to choose the same style furniture in your living room. Avoid anything that is super opposite like ultra-modern minimalism in the living room and a country theme in the kitchen.  Try choosing the same wood, material, and style for each section of your open concept room.

Window treatments – Use the same theme throughout and all of your windows look identical. Different shades, blinds, and curtains can create a big, big decorating mess.

Accessorize – Tie in the accessories from your kitchen to your living room. If you have brown hued granite counter tops, pop a fuzzy throw in the same color family onto your couch. If you have a set of red hot kitchen aid appliances on your counters, use the same red pillows on your couches. You can even connect your guest bath decor with a red towel or rug, or even a bouquet of red flowers to tie the look together. Throw in some wooden photo frames with photos of the family to personalize your space!

Lighting – The correct lighting can define each space of your open concept layout and help visually separate them. Floor lamps in the living room work well while a pendant lamp in the kitchen blends in effortlessly.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

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