Open floor urban apartments and rent savings don’t always let us have a formal dining room. More often than rare, we deal with joint living and dining areas. It may be a real challenge to distinguish between them and to decorate them appropriately.
How to decorate the living room and dining room combination?
The lack of an actual wall between the living room area and the dining room area, however, doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. True, there will be many moving parts and lots of planning on colors and styles, but the result will be unique. What we need to preserve is the flow and specific layout of the room, and that’s where we need the most time.
How to decorate the living room and dining room combination?
Image source: Sharon McCormick Design
Whatever your plan is, keep function in perspective. Regardless of its decor, this room still needs to be the place where you dine and entertain.
What are your priorities? Do you organize game nights or dinners for your friends, or would you rather lean back on a Friday evening and watch your favorite TV show? Do you normally eat at the table, or prefer a quick bite on the sofa? Answer these questions first, and the decision-making process can begin.
The good news is, that there are many upsides to an open floor plan you did not consider. If you keep the style consistent and the furniture in line, the separation will be intuitive.
Here are some useful tips and living and dining room combo ideas that can transform your home.
Look around you
Image source: ZeroEnergy Design
The space will tell you what you need to do. Furniture arrangement in a living and dining room depends on the dimensions of that room, more than anything else.
If the room is rectangular, for instance, you can divide it into equal thirds and decide how much space the dining area gets. As a rule, the living room will occupy two-thirds, and the remaining third will suffice for the dining space.
Image source: Susanne Kelley Design
Your furniture choices will also depend on the space. Odds are great you won’t be able to bring all pieces you want, so stick to items that have a real function.
Use a larger piece of furniture to divide the living and dining room
Image source: Wolf Design Studio
Going back to our main problem, there is no wall. This makes placement critical to the dining room combo, and you need to be very efficient with how you use up floor space.
Intuitively, you would drag furniture along the wall, but let us stop you there: This only makes the room look smaller! Therefore, give the furniture a central role. The backside of the couch can be turned towards the dining area, and there can even be a small sofa table behind it.
Image source: Alexandra Angle Interior Design
The same effect can be achieved with two angle armchairs and a cute coffee table between them. The eye will be instantly instructed that there are two separate zones in the room.
What you’ve achieved here is creating separate living and dining areas without effort. They are each telling their story, have their furniture essentials, and serve their functions. Surprisingly enough, the open floor plan will look larger than it is, and you will accommodate more people inside.
Dividing the living and dining room with rugs
Image source: Interiors by Popov
Another simple and cost-efficient way to define the living and dining room is to add area rugs. The living and dining room will each have their rug, and the separation will be clear. The visual boundaries will indicate to your guests where they should move, and they are also available in any size or color to match your design. Not even to mention how soft and comfortable they are!
Image source: NAHB Building Systems Councils
The larger the area rug, the more it will help you to outline the space. If the room is small, however, the living room rug should keep up with its size. You can get a small round trug and place it under the coffee table. It will easily become a playful accent piece and it will attract immediate attention.
Divide the living room and dining room with a walkway
Image source: Jigsaw Interior Architecture
Let’s look at a more advanced solution – an actual walkway between the dining area and the living space. You may find this a bit challenging if the room is not big enough.
Image source: Dion Robeson
What we mean is living some bonus physical space for visitors to move along, a hallway runner of some sort, but this time in the middle of the room. This is a solution homeowners often use to divide the kitchen room from the living room.
Add interest and depth by mixing materials
Image source:Pamela Glazer Architect
Another smart way to approach designing a dining room combo is by bringing different materials together. The space then benefits from more depth and warmth and looks notably more elegant.
From a glamourous and elevated appeal, opt for polished materials such as brass and mirrored finishes. If you’d prefer a more rustic scenario, consider wooden furniture and woven rugs that provide an earthy feel. In rustic, retro rooms, textures vary in a playful setting: woven, grainy, and smooth are all brought together to optimize the looks of the room.
Accent artwork in the dining room and the living space
Image source: London Bay Homes
Wall-mounted artwork and decor, for instance, floating shelves, and mirrors, also bring the best out of an open floor plan. In such scenarios, larger is better, as oversized art pieces can add visual size to any room. Art on an accent wall is the best focal piece you can find – it is elegant, aesthetically pleasing, and it gives the room character.
While we discourage you from using small art pieces, keep the size of the room in mind. If you are decorating with oversized pieces, you may lose the balance in your dining room combo.
Image source: Chris Snook
If you are not sure which type of art works the best, observe the furniture you have. As a rule, the art piece in the living room should not be larger than the couch, but rather come in 2/3 of its size. The same applies to the art piece in the dining room and the dining table.
Here is an extra tip: A gallery wall between the two areas is an intuitive and definite border between the sections. It will work perfectly if you have some great travel memories to display.
Characterizing traits of a combination living room
Image source: alm living homes
Living and dining spaces each come with specific architectural elements and layouts. It doesn’t take having professional interior design skills to make these work to your advantage. Let the room work to your advantage, and create separation with nothing else but small accessories and simple design elements. The dining room design will be amazing!
Image source: Centre Sky Architecture Ltd
Instead of adding an artificial and perhaps forced accent piece, look around. The beautiful mantel of your own space or the aged fireplace in the living room can take over this role. You may not have these, but how about that cute bay window overlooking the garden? Isn’t it the perfect backdrop for the dining area?
As you see, any interior design element in an open space can undertake a separation role, be that the kitchen island or the comfy white sofa. You just need to use what you have strategically, and it will work in your favor. From this perspective, a wall would be completely obsolete.
Image source: Dylan James
Use paint to cut the costs
Paint is among the cheapest, yet most efficient ways to create visual separation. A specific color scheme will imply division in one big room, and will also help you add interest to your visitors.
There are different ways to achieve this. Most importantly, you need to observe your decor and decide whether you want a subdued palette or bold color accents. A very modern and popular approach is to stick to a single color, but use several shades of it for an understated effect.
Image source: UNEVEN
This is how it would work: Decide on a more neutral color, and buy three different shades of it. Apply the lightest one on the ceiling, the medium one on three of the walls, and the darkest, boldest one on the accent wall. Sounds like the perfect dining space, doesn’t it?
Of course, a more playful and colorful dining room combo is not out of question. Be brave, and move on with your dining room combo ideas. What is the worst that can happen? Repainting!
Image source: Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd
The architectural elements of the room will also instruct you on how to use color. Boxy dining rooms, for instance, can be mapped out with a divided wall, or simply a color that completely contradicts the furniture in the room.
For best results, we recommend you use a palette that matches the furniture in the living room and dining room combo. You should, for instance, consider beige walls with a brown dining table, or a wall color that matches the upholstery on the couch. All options are open!
Final thoughts and dining room combo ideas
Image source:Elad Gonen
Are you struggling with a small dining room or an open floor where nothing seems to work right? Don’t worry! When you know how to decorate the living room and dining room combination, there is nothing you can’t do!
Image source: Realstone Systems
You can define the dining space without breaking the bank, by simply working with the design traits that are there. Many interior design tricks, such as throw rugs and accent colors also serve this purpose. If you want to spend a bit more and get a larger piece of art, you will give the room character while dividing the dining area at the same time.
We hope that our combination living room ideas helped you launch your project, so let us know how it worked. One thing is for sure – you will have more space to enjoy occasion dinners and fun evenings with your family!
If you enjoyed reading this article about how to decorate the living room and dining room combination, you should check out this article on arranging a narrow living room.
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