Thursday, December 8, 2011

Working with Open Living Spaces

    In the Zone
    This living area's signature style was born out of a desire for an all-encompassing space. A nature-inspired colour scheme helps the sitting, dining, and cooking areas blend seamlessly. Area rugs and  furniture are arranged to create task-oriented zones within the open room. Here, the sofa separates the kitchen and living area.
    Convenient Cooktop
    Family, friends, food, and fun are the main ingredients in a casual dining-living room combo. A cooktop in the island opens the floor for conversation with guests or family members while meals are being prepared, whether they're seated at the counter or in the adjacent living or dining areas.

    Serving Up Efficiency
    Designed to accommodate a busy lifestyle, the kitchen area is packed with function. The L-shape  layout of the kitchen creates distinct prep and cleanup spaces. The large farmhouse-style sink and  dishwasher are positioned on the far wall, which keeps the cleanup space from crowding out the prep area. An expansive island includes additional prep and storage space. A blend of traditional and open cabinets corrals dishware and serving pieces.

    A Place to Gather
    A dining table and an artful chandelier mark the transition between the cooking and living areas. Because the eating area is more distanced from the other zones, it works equally well for casual gatherings and quiet dinners for two. A high ceiling with exposed-wood beams makes the area seem more spacious.
    In Good Company
    Good looks and practicality are equal partners in the space's decor. Furniture is arranged to facilitate conversation and togetherness. Modern comforts such as slipcovered furniture and swiveling armchairs contribute to the overall warmth of the room and are ideal for lounging around or watching TV.

    Island Time
    With its generous size and prep sink, the kitchen island is suited for multitasking. The space can also double as an extension of the dining area or a place to do homework. A wall of windows coaxes plenty of light into the cooking area.

    Casual Dining
    Sophisticated style mingles with kid-friendly ideas for an open living space that suits the whole family. A freestanding dining set paired with the window seat makes this breakfast nook highly functional. A vintage-style bench features a modern mix of fabrics and storage drawers for seldom-used linens and extra cookware.

    Easing Traffic Flow
    Every space counts in an open living area, and a smart layout is essential to keep everything running smoothly. The main sink, oven, and range are within a few steps of each other, easing the work flow from prepping to serving in the kitchen.

    Living Large
    Ushering natural light into the kitchen, a glass-panel door provides deck access and visually expands the room. Tall overhead cabinetry and light fixtures emphasize the kitchen's height. Cherrywood knobs and leg detailing give the white cabinets a warm, traditional look.

    Rethink Existing Space
    An area rug defines an intimate living space within the open room. Practical, pretty furnishings are used to ensure a smooth transition from the kitchen to the living room. Fun accents in bright colors relax the space and bring in a welcoming, casual vibe.

Transitional Aesthetics
The homeowners wanted handsome surroundings but needed them to be family-oriented. Unusual pieces, such as colorful upholstery and a fun accent table, give the family room the personality it deserves. A cozy  furniture arrangement yields a flexible family room ideal for relaxing, and the TV can be viewed while prepping in the kitchen.

    Use Like Materials
    Clever storage and a streamlined style look right at home in this kitchen. The homeowners kept the room's original cabinets, which feature a professionally applied aniline dye on the upper set and a few glass inserts. The modern, clean-lined design used in the cabinetry and wood floors repeats in all the major living spaces to create a unified look.

    Double Duty
    New windows and built-in cabinetry turn this dining area into an airy work space for the family. Outside of meal times, the table is a place to color and craft. Bench seating beneath the window is piled with pillows for a comfy spot to read.

    Clean Living
    Slivers of space were put to work to make the most of each living zone. By thinking vertically, the family maximized its storage potential in the kitchen. Matching units on both sides of the dining room window serve as dynamic display areas. A long window seat includes pullout drawer storage that makes cleanup easy for kids.
    Smooth Transition
    The entire wall between the dining room and living room was removed and rebuilt to define the function of each space. A two-sided fireplace was installed, providing a visual link between the dining room and living room. A beverage center tucked into the new fireplace wall incorporates cabinets, freeing up  storage space in the kitchen.

    Flexibly Furnished
    Large openings and the two-sided fireplace connect the dining area with the living room, where comfy furniture and durable fabrics welcome family game nights. The new fireplace features a slab of bluestone for cozy fireside seating. Portable furniture, such as large stools, can be moved around to accommodate day-to-day activities. Built-in shelves in the living room provide display areas.

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