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How to seamlessly design an open-concept space

Designer Jane Lockhart shares her tips for living in an open space.

Lighting

Add lots of ceiling lighting as open concept means less walls and therefore less plugs. It's hard to plug in a table lamp within the middle of a room as there won't be a plug that's easy to reach without running a long and dangerous cord across the floor. 
Add only a few hanging light fixtures‎ in strategic locations to create focal points or vistas. Make sure these lights coordinate as you will see them all at one time. 

PAINT

Paint the open area one continuous colour to create a uniform feel, but break it up with an accent wall to create a focal point. 
Select one or two colours to be your main accent colours and carry these throughout the entire open space. These can be expressed through a paint colour, a pillow, a piece of furniture or art. 

FURNITURE

Don't over furnish, it may look busy or crowded in an open concept as items are viewed one against the next rather than against a wall like in traditional homes.
But, be sure to have a place to hide 'the junk'. In open concept you must have closed storage that is effective so everything has a place and can be put away or an entire main floor can look messy with only a few stray items out. 

VISUAL SEPARATION AND FOCAL POINTS

To create visual separation between spaces or functions within an open concept add an area carpet under furniture to differentiate from another area. 

Create strategic focal points, throughout the open concept to make sure there are key areas for the eye to land. For instance, design the backsplash in the stove area of the kitchen with a different tile pattern to draw the eye. Or add a mirror or large piece of art on a wall that is at the end of a room to create visual distance. 
 

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