An open floor plan can be a great way to create a spacious and airy feel in your home. However, decorating and designing an open concept space comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of the biggest considerations is how to use color effectively in a large, open area. The right color choices can help make the space feel cohesive and pulled together. Here are some tips on how to use color with an open floor plan.
Define Different Zones with Color
One strategy is to use color to define and differentiate the various zones in an open floor plan. For example, paint the dining area a deep blue and the living room a warm tan. This will visually separate the spaces while still allowing them to flow together. You can also designate the kitchen by painting the island and cabinets a bright or vibrant hue. Use color on accent walls or artwork to further distinguish each zone.
Select a Unifying Main Color
Choose one main color to run throughout the open concept space. This will create harmony and cohesion even though you are defining separate areas. For example, use a neutral beige on the walls and then bring in pops of blue to accentuate the dining and living spaces. The blue will stand out against the beige backdrop while tying the whole space together.
Repeat Colors in Key Areas
Don’t be afraid to repeat a color in different zones as an effective way to connect them. For instance, use the same blue dining chairs in the living room or a matching pillow. You can also pick one color for all the rugs in the open area. Repeating colors in key items helps spaces feel unified.
Vary Tones and Tints
Work with different tones and strengths of a color to add visual interest. For example, use a deep navy for the dining room walls and then a soft powder blue for pillows and accessories in the living area. Or try a muted sage green sofa paired with vibrant lime accent chairs. Varying shades of one hue keeps the space feeling cohesive.
Add Neutrals as a Base
Neutrals like white, beige, gray and black make excellent base colors for open floor plans. They keep the space feeling light and airy while allowing bold pops of color to stand out. Neutrals also easily transition from one zone to the next. For example, keep walls, trim and major furniture neutral and then use color in artwork, rugs and accessories.
Direct the Eye with Color
Strategically place bold and bright colors to help direct the eye through the open space. For instance, paint an accent wall at the far end of the living room in an intense shade. This will draw attention down the length of the room. You can also place colorful artwork in key sight lines to encourage the eye to travel around each zone.
Choose Inviting Hues for Flow
When people can see clear across an open concept floor plan, you want the colors to feel inviting, not jarring. Warm tones like brown, tan, light blue or green encourage flow between areas. Cool grays, whites and soft pastels also create an open and airy feel. Avoid high contrast or neon bright colors that could disrupt the continuity.
Embrace White Space
Don’t be afraid of white or off-white walls, ceilings and trim in an open floor plan. The neutral white canvas beautifully highlights all your decor and allows the architecture itself to shine. White space makes the area feel light, bright and continuous. Then use splashes of color in furnishings, art and accessories to accent each zone.
Add Patterns and Textures
Patterns and textures add visual interest and dimension in an open space. They also help zones feel unique without separating them entirely. Try a vibrant graphic print rug under the dining table, wainscoting or wallpaper in the kitchen and bouclé or velvet pillows in the living area. Varying patterns and texture connect zones while keeping them distinct.
How to Choose the Right Colors
When selecting colors for an open floor plan, consider the size of the space and how much natural light it gets. Darker colors tend to feel cozy and intimate while lighter shades keep things airy and spacious. Make sure there is enough contrast between colors in adjacent zones so each has definition. And choose hues that align with the overall style you want to achieve. The colors should reflect your personal taste.
With some strategic color choices, you can create a cohesive, flowing and beautifully designed open concept interior. Define zones, unify the space, direct sight lines, and embrace white space and neutrals. The right color scheme can make all the difference in an open floor plan. Approach it thoughtfully, and you’ll achieve a gorgeous, harmonious home.