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Friday, August 28, 2015

Open Concept Condos, Lofts & Apartments: Designing the Condo Great-Room

 

Photo:
Candice Olson Design
Open floorplan living spaces. A well sought after real estate commodity in the Montreal condo market. Desired for their hospitable and accommodating "no walls" concept, especially when space is at a premium, open space living areas have many advantages. They also present quite a few decorating challenges. How does one create multiple rooms in one open space? Here is a guide on how to link different areas, define zones, add style and establish flow in an open space condo or loft apartment.

1. Create An Ideal Union
 
A great place to start is to take your cue from the elements in the condo that are costly and can't change. The kitchen's cabinet colors, counter tops and backsplash are a great starting point for the adjacent areas of the space. You can create flow and unity by taking the colors of the kitchen and duplicating them in softer textures in the dining and living areas.

Photo: www.wishdecor.com

Photo: www.wishdecor.com 

Photo: www.wishdecor.com

Choose a coordinating color palette to use throughout the space and stick to it. You can "blur the boundaries" that lead to the dining and living area by shifting the shades in the wall color. This will subtly delineate the different areas without being too drastic in change. Choose two shades of the same color from a paint chip. Remember, the farther apart the shades, the greater the contrast. For example, if the cabinets are gray choose a lighter gray/white on all the walls of the kitchen and slowly build on the color's intensity as you move through the dining and living area. Then simply bring in pops of color through the use of different fabrics and accessories. This way, all the different areas in your condo will read as one cohesive whole.

 
 

2.   Room to See and Move Freely

Open living spaces are popular because they allow eyes and feet to move freely from area to area. Arrange furniture to create walkways between rooms that help lead and direct traffic. Ensure that your walkways and traffic patterns are at least 36" wide so that traffic can flow safely from one space to another. Stylishly separate different areas in ways that allow views and conversation to easily flow from space to space. A sofa can easily be used as a wall that separates the living area from the dining area but, always keep in mind furniture height to ensure that sight lines remain unblocked. Backless counter stools can add zest and also help keep sight lines clear.  

 
 

3. Define and Conquer

One of the easiest ways to define a room is to put an area rug. It can instantly define a living or eating area by pulling all the furniture together. Each area will instantly have distinct boundaries and the furniture will not appear to float in the different areas of your wide open space. You can also define different areas with striking light fixtures. Choose similar light fixtures that repeat in material, color or finish elsewhere for consistency.

Sarah Richardson Design

 4.  Center of Attention

It is very important to add focal points in open plan decorating. Incorporate focal points in each adjacent space and plan your furniture arrangements around them. A focal point will not only capture and intrigue the eyes, it will also improve how a space works. Focal points can be created by using accessories such as mirrors in a dining area, artwork over a sofa, an entertainment unit or paneled wall around a television, a kitchen backsplash or inviting drapery outlining a large window with a view.   

 

Open concept living spaces come with their own unique design challenges and take time and thought to be decorated properly. Always keep in mind when decorating for condos and loft apartments the different architectural features that are unique to your condo. These can be exposed brick or wood beams, concrete ceilings and pillars, oversized windows, high ceilings, exposed steam beams, duct work and glass. Every neighbourhood and development is different and many condos are built to reflect this. Mondev Condos  www.mondev.ca is a development firm that takes pride in taking a unique  approach to every development site they create. Their condos are built to reflect the city's unique charm and culture. When considering your decor, always keep in mind that it should flow well with the style of the development you have purchased.
 
Following these four guidelines will help you tackle some of the most common hurdles and can help you create a space that is as coordinated as it is comfortable. An open concept Montreal condo or loft, that is perfect for both entertaining and spending time with the family.

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