I had a client who lived in a very modern looking condo in Wicker Park. She had great windows, an open floor plan and enough space but she was struggling to make her existing furniture work.
The furniture set was relatively new and a contemporary style, but she had bought it before she figured out what her style was. Over the last couple of years she realized that she loved mid-century modern and had been slowly adding pieces to her home in the form of a dresser and dining room table, but overall the home felt, well, kind of cold.
Sometimes open floor plans can be great, but it also can be challenging to define spaces. Her living room felt a bit like it was floating and so I recommended a small armless chaise that would add more seating, define the space, but allow for the open sight lines and not block the room off.
I also suggested bringing in more wood tones. Her coffee table had seen better days and swapping it out with a wood mid century table would give her the vibe she was going for. Plus some wood accessories to give the place some more warmth.
The rooms were bathed in light during the day, but quite dim at night. There were some ceiling lights but the room missed ambient light. I suggested adding an arc lamp for the living room and some side table lamps.
The last need was color. The walls were light grey, the couch was beige, the rug (which she wanted to keep) was white. While I do love a good neutral room they can be tricky to pull off. Plus she was craving color and so I suggested bringing it in through pillows, fabric covered boxes (which would also provide storage) and a throw blanket.
If you are struggling with an open floor plan or a room that lacks warmth here is what I would suggest.
- Define the space. Look at your furniture layout. Is it a space that is welcoming or are there pieces blocking the flow of people into the space. If the furniture feels like it is floating can you adjust the furniture to create a zone or add a rug that will help ground the room.
- Add warmth through nature or nature inspired items. Things like geode coasters, wooden bowls or boxes, crystals or stones, sheepskins and plants can really warm up a space.
- Add more lighting. Even if you think you have enough lights add some more. You want there to be overhead light for the room, which should be on a dimmer switch, task lighting (I crochet so there needs to be a light next to the couch in order to see what I'm doing) and ambient light. These are the side table lamps or small lights scattered about a room that give it a great glow. A great way to bring in nature and add light is with a salt rock lamp
- Color color color. It doesn't have to be a lot. Bring color into a room through textiles or art.
Keep an eye out because I'll be talking about color much more in the upcoming weeks.
I'm only going to be posting once a week because I'm creating a new course and I want to devote some time to finishing that project. Follow along on Instagram where I post daily about what I am doing, creating, eating, designing and thinking about.