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Decorating & Furniture/Open Floor Plan Question

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Question
Hi,
I am at a loss as to what to do with my downstairs!!  I recently purchased a home with a very open floor plan.  I'll try to give a run through of the layout quick.  Once in the front door you can make a left to a dining area, or go straight, which will take you right through the kitchen and into the living room.  There is a half wall with a cut out into the kitchen from the dining area.  The kitchen and living are next to each other with no separation and the back door is in the living room.  The space is so open that I know I need to keep the colors coordinating but I don't want the entire downstairs to be exactly the same.  I especially would like to give the dining area a little distinction since it at least has a little separation.  My home is very neutral so I was thinking of using a bright green (not neon though) curtain for the dining room but I don't know what to do for the living room.  Stripes?  Should I stick with a valance?  I kind of like drapes but I do also like to let the sun in.

Also, I have dark cabinets in my kitchen.  Could I go with a medium wood for the dining area and be fine?

Thanks a lot!!
Cheyenne

Answer
Hi Cheyenne,

Thanks for your question.  It's a good one, and one that I get often since open floor plans are so popular.  

First let me assure you that you do not have to have the entire expanse of walls the same color.  What you do have to do is coordinate the colors and start and stop them at a Natural stopping point, i.e., a corner.  

The key to coordinating draperies in an open concept is to repeat the colors from room to room.  For instance, if your color combinations include green, taupe and cinnamon, just repeat the colors in the next space.  Solid draperies in one room allow you to select any number of color combinations for an adjacent room.  But, if you have a stripe in the 3 colors, then coordinate a floral or geometric in the same 3 colors in an adjacent space.  

From a light standpoint, hang your drapery panels "outside" the sides of the window which allows maximum light to filter in, while also making your windows look larger.  

Dark cabinets in your kitchen should not dictate your wood shade for other parts of your home.  They do not need to "match".  

Hope this helps you and answers your question.

Regards,
Jenny

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik

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Visit my web site at: http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.

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College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and Amazon.com. HTTP://www.seasoned.com (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com

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BA, Psychology

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