Open floor plans and small spaces can make it difficult to delineate the living room and dining room. With no walls in between, the two rooms can merge together and pose a unique decorating dilemma. But here’s the good news—an open floor plan has more potential than challenges. The key is to maintain a consistent style and use furniture and accent pieces to define areas.
Here’s some quick How-to’s to turn a living/dining room combo into a beautiful space.
How to Maximize Small Spaces
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of creating a living/dining room combo, let’s talk small space living. Small is the new big when it comes to house trends. Tiny houses are cropping up everywhere as more and more people embrace the “less is more” adage.
There’s a lot to learn from tiny house design. The key is finding dual purpose pieces. So when you’re considering a combination room, look for versatile furniture and furnishings like storage ottomans or hideaway couches. Maybe a dining table with leaves that fold down for a side table. Or buy dining chairs that double as living room chairs. Anything that combines form and function is good.
How To Decorate Your Small Living Room Dining Room Combo
1. Tie Together Color and StyleColor can connect the living and dining room without taking away their distinct areas. First, evaluate fabrics. Coordinate throw pillows with dining room chair cushions. Couch slipcovers may complement a tablecloth. Love that red clock in your dining room? Find living room throw pillows to match. Wall art should also carry through both areas with a consistent style, theme and palette.
2. Coordinating Curtains Are A Must
Window treatments are another trick-of-the-trade. Keep a consistent color palette or print between the two rooms for a polished look. And hang them high. Buy longer curtains and mount above the window frame. It’s another way to make a room feel bigger.
3. Clear Clutter, Make More Space
De-cluttering is always a good idea and should be done on a regular basis. First, create a clean slate by taking everything off tabletops, shelves and visible surfaces. Sort and create piles to store, display or discard.
Find furniture with built-in storage, like an ottoman table, and tuck away miscellaneous items. Arrange collections, books, pictures and mementos using decorative storage baskets, curio cabinets and open shelves
How To Arrange Furniture in Your Living Room Dining Room Combo
1. Define Functional Spaces
Without walls, furniture placement is crucial. Believe it or not, putting all the furniture against a wall can make a room seem smaller. Bring it in. Place the back of your couch toward the dining area and add a sofa table behind it. Angle armchairs inward and use a large coffee table as a centerpiece. Arrange dining room furniture several feet behind the couch and let a sideboard or cupboard fill in open wall space.
2. Small Space? Big Style
Small space doesn’t mean small style. Be bold. Choose a large area rug big enough to cover the entire living area. It will serve as a foundation for furniture placement and further define the space. Adding a large rug also makes a room feel more spacious. A large area rug will make a small room seem larger
How to Separate the Living Room and Dining Room
1. Use the Room’s Design
Pay attention to unique architectural elements and use them to your advantage. A fireplace or mantel can be the focal point for your living room furniture. Have a bay window? It’s a beautiful backdrop for your dining room table. Embrace these elements first so the space works in your favor from the beginning.
2. Make Lighting Shine
It’s amazing what a well-placed chandelier or lamps can do. A statement chandelier or several pendant lights over the dining area are a visual cue in separating space and creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Speaking of cozy, turn the overhead lights off and turn on table lamps placed around the corners of your newly-defined living space. They’ll bring the room together and provide ambient lighting.
How to Divide a Wall with Two Paint Colors
Save Money Using Paint
It’s probably the cheapest way to subtly but effectively separate spaces. There’s a lot of different ways to go with this. First, decide whether you want to make a bold statement or keep your walls subdued. Buying several shades of the same color will create an understated shading effect. Buying 2 different, yet complementary colors is more drastic.
Is your room long with no wall separations? Choose three shades of a neutral color. Use the lightest shade for the ceiling, medium tone for 3 walls and darkest tone for an “accent” wall on the living room side.
If your room has chair rail trim, use the darkest shade below the trim and lighter shade above. Remember, light colors make a space seem larger and softer shades on the ceiling draw the eye upward.
To divide a wall, tape off where one room “ends” and the other “begins.” Using a doorway as a beginning/end point works well.
Ready to get colorful? Don’t be afraid. It’s just paint! Choose your colors based on how they coordinate with your furniture and décor. Darker colors bring a room in, lighter colors push out.
Use the room’s natural architectural elements to divide the wall, and color. If you have a boxy room, paint an accent wall or map out where you want to divide the wall with color. Make it a natural division based on where you plan to lay out your furniture.
What Are Your Design Tricks?
We’d love to know how you decorate your space! Comment below with your best tips for creating a living/dining room combo. And check out our Inspiring Room Ideas.