January 07, 2014

Open-Concept Living Rooms: Best Furniture, Colors & Styles

Open-concept living rooms are great for close-knit families who love to enjoy one another's company and entertain guests. But while the proximity of living areas, dining areas and even the kitchen can be convenient for hosting a get-together, decorating the space can be a bit of a challenge.

It's important to be able to not only define each individual space, but to also ensure that all “rooms” are functional and flow together. To help you achieve the look you are hoping for, here are a few tips for designing and choosing living room furniture for an open-plan home.

Selecting the Right Living Room Furniture

One of the most important roles that living room furniture will play in an open-plan house is to break up distinct spaces. In order to trick the eye into believing that your home's living and dining areas are separate, you'll need to use your furnishings to create “boundaries.”

First, an attractive area rug can be utilized to create a natural division between rooms. One rug can be placed where you would like to situate your dining room table, and another can be used to create the flooring of your living room. Bookshelves and sofas can act as “walls”, but it's important to choose living room furniture that will create subtle, clean lines, as opposed to bulky or irregularly shaped pieces.


Be sure to also consider the marriage of the style of your living room furniture and the items used in other spaces. If you have very traditional dining room furniture, for instance, the placement of modern sofas and side tables can be confusing and awkward.

Which Colors Are Best?

As a rule, it's in your best interest to stick with a monochromatic color scheme for open floor plans. Choose a color that you really love (generally brighter tones will make the space appear larger whereas deeper hues can create a more intimate atmosphere).

Once you have selected a color, select furnishings and décor in various shades of the color. A contrasting accent color or white accents can be used throughout the living room, as well as other adjoined spaces in your open concept home as a means of creating uniformity without detracting from visual interest.

Best Open-Concept Living Room Layout?

The best thing you can do in terms of arranging your living room furniture is to keep pieces away from walls. Instead, you might consider placing two sofas creating a right angle around a coffee table, or facing each other with the coffee table in between. This “closes” the room off from other spaces and makes it feel more snug and comfortable.

For smaller rooms, nesting tables can be utilized to provide adequate surface area without taking up too much space. If the room has extra space, you can create the illusion that your home is even bigger by using the remaining area of the living room to create a small reading or media area. Placing an upholstered chair with a reading lamp in the corner, or setting up your computer in the extra space will make it seem as though yet another room has been introduced to your open plan home.

Other Interior Design Tips

To further help you design your open-concept living room, consider the following interior design tips:

  • Use the same or similar window treatments throughout the space to avoid chaos.
  • Maintain continuity by painting all trim the same color - even if wall colors are multi-toned.
  • Look to architectural details that might help define spaces.

When planned carefully, your living room furniture can play a key role in creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your open plan home. Happy decorating!