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4 Tips for Open Floor-Plan Rooms

Open-plan room designs are the new hotness these days, but people are still trying to figure out how to work with all the space. Lofts and large studios usually come to mind when we think of an open plan, but many home designs are taking advantage of the concept by allowing rooms to flow together to create larger combined spaces. But, how do you decorate and furnish such a large space? Here are some tips to help you avoid common traps and maximize your freedom in your open-plan room. <strong>1. Don’t line the walls.</strong> Some people want to preserve a room’s openness by lining the walls with furniture instead making more artful choices. This usually ends up looking like the room was spun very hard and centrifugal force slammed all the décor to the outer edges of the space. There are designs that benefit from this approach, but more often than not a room will take on more definition if you designate certain areas for particular purposes and then decorate accordingly. This should lead you to … <strong>2. Create “zones” in the space.</strong> An open floor plan will likely serve many purposes and your décor can reflect some order in how it will be done. You can create distinct areas by way of furniture selection and arrangement as well as with décor items like rugs and runners that can give clues to how the room flows. Windows, fireplaces, doorways and other cues will help you decide where to put your zones. Dining areas near windows and conversation areas in more open spaces are common choices, but keep in mind that you should always … <strong>3. Try to “feel” the flow of the room.</strong> Although it may not seem like it at a glance, human beings are fairly predictable in their movements, and “destinations” within your home that crisscross your open floor plan will help determine how to organize your space. For example, putting a couch lengthwise in the area directly between your kitchen and the nearest bathroom will inevitably cause a detour, as this will be a much-traveled thoroughfare. And, that’s okay, especially if you reroute people past some enjoyable art or an area where they can set a glass should they happen to be carrying one. Predicting these movements should also help you … <strong>4. Avoid visually disorientating furniture placement.</strong> Movement is one thing, but the look of the space is another and it’s worth considering. Your open-plan room has natural lines created by length and width that may even be reinforced by grooves in a hardwood floor or a bank of windows. Treat these as guidelines when you’re planning your arrangement (or at least acknowledge they exist) and it will further help you give the room a good, natural design feel. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips help you with your wide-open spaces and invite you to chime in if you have more ideas.
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