Is your open floor plan lacking…something? Are you wanting to ramp up the coziness during the cold winter months? Conventionally, creating defined areas in a home meant building walls and hallways. Today, the open concept trend can lack the intimacy that people prefer. The good news is that with an open floor plan you have the refreshing feeling of a large space. That freedom allows you to transform an open floor plan into as much coziness as you can handle.
You can create winter coziness by making architectural changes, but also in other ways such as using color, texture, textiles, rugs, lighting, furniture placement and accessories.
Warm reds, yellows, oranges are the colors that instantly create warmth in a space… even outdoor spaces. Warm shades paired with earth-tone neutrals are a recipe for coziness. Generally, the darker the color, the smaller a large space will appear. You can create focus by just painting one wall a deep, warm shade. And don’t think you need to limit color just to the paint. Rich, warm, bold colors can be incorporated into your window treatments, upholstery, and rug choices as well.
Texture and Textiles
Layers of texture are a sure-fire way to add warmth and snuggle-ability to any large space. Natural materials like exposed brick, reclaimed wood, natural grasses and reeds like sisal or rattan provide immediate warmth and a comfortable feel. Accessories like personal comforters and throw pillows covered with satin, faux fur, velvet, silk or cashmere will be a welcome treat. A small woven basket full of these luxurious friends should do the trick.
Nothing divides or unifies a room quite as quickly as a rug. It’s a perfect, quick and very affordable way to instantly define separate areas in an open floor plan with a living area, dining area, or conversation area. When everything is placed, each newly separated area is immediately unified. Cold, snowy days outside make area rugs a pleasure to relax on while you contemplate the glow emanating from your beautifully redesigned fireplace (more about that in a moment).
After you have designed your spaces, your lighting choices will add another layer of warmth. Interiors will magically look cozier with dim, subdued lighting. You and your friends will love it. It gives everything a soft, warm glow and is largely flattering to the room and your guests. Light from floor lamps or table lamps provides softer options than bright overhead light fixtures. You could also opt for canned lighting that has a dimmer switch. Soft lighting always makes large spaces appear warmer. Try different levels or heights of lighting to add interest.
Open floor plans give furniture the power to define a space and create zones. It also offers the flexibility to change a room on a whim for every season, event, gathering or holiday. Create a variety of intimate seating areas that call for people to enjoy personal conversations. It will make the room that much more inviting. Try changing it up from angling all your chairs and couches in the direction of the nearest television and instead towards each other. The more areas you define, the cozier it will feel. You can make these zones more functional by creating nook, personal library or a working area that houses a beautiful antique desk and chair.
While open floor plans offer fewer walls, a well-thought-out grouping of your favorite paintings can also define areas, create conversation and add warmth. If you have acquired more art than you have walls, rotate your favorites throughout the year. So often people think of bringing beautiful fresh, aromatic flowers into the home during the summer but winter is also a perfect time. They are an easy and affordable way to create intimacy and warmth and showcase the season’s surprising beauty.
Have you thought of using wainscoting in your interior design to create texture, focus, charm, and warmth? Not only is it beautiful, but it is a wonderful way to add both interest and elegance. Paneled wood isn’t just beautiful, but functional. It can disguise uneven walls and even increase insulation!
Revamping your fireplace with a natural stone veneer is another way to create an instant focal point without losing any of the natural ambiances.
Lastly, integrate your interests. Personal touches are a very thoughtful way of making your large space intimate and cozy. Are you a reader? Nothing says cozy like stacks of well-read books. Are you a star watcher? Add a beautiful telescope for not only your own enjoyment but your guests as well. If you’re a painter, you can create a small area for your beloved work in progress by leaving them on the easel (a definite conversation piece!).
Open concept homes give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. They may initially present some decorating obstacles, but implementing a few of these tips and tricks can turn that open space into a cozy, warm and very inviting home to enjoy all winter long.
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