Many modern homes have an open living concept, meaning fewer walls and shared space between rooms. It’s a great idea for those who entertain or want minimal disruption between spaces. Also useful if you have small children and want to keep an eye on them while cooking, folding laundry or watching TV. If you have a large space for your living room and dining room, there are some things you can do to make the most of each room.
Of course, there is a lot to consider when it comes to which colors to choose, how to place furniture in a living room/dining room combination and which wall and other decorations can be used to blend the spaces together. Here’s how to find the right mix that works in one collective space.
Ideas for a small living room/dining room
When you’re dealing with a relatively small space, where and how you place furniture becomes a big focus.
Create consistency with furniture of similar height
Instead of creating two different spaces with a small room for each, combine the room by using the same height of your living room sofa and dining table to make it look like one cohesive room.
Use area rugs to create “rooms.”
Adding a rug under the table gives it a bit of definition as its own “room” without separating the spaces and making it feel even smaller.
Make your furniture smaller
We recommend using a smaller dining table or round table with four smaller chairs so that there is still enough walking space behind furniture. For the living room, choose a smaller sofa and instead of armchairs, use two larger poufs so that your line of sight runs the length of the room.
How to arrange furniture in a living room/dining room combination
If you want to create two distinct areas
Finish off the living room with a sofa table at the back of a sofa that faces away from the dining room table. That gives the feeling that one room ends and another begins. You can still combine the two by using similar color palettes, wearing warm metals in lighting and hardware, but it defines each space as its own.
If you want the spaces to flow into each other
Consider placing two benches parallel to each other with a small table in the middle. This opens the room directly to the dining area, which works well if you entertain a lot and can be used as extra seating for guests. This also works well if you have a rectangular living/dining room layout.
Minimalist combination tips for living room and dining room
If you want to make the most of a small space, try minimalism for a design choice. This means less “stuff,” including furniture and decor, keeping the room open and airy.
Pull the eye up
If you have a fireplace in your living room on a wall, use the mantel to decorate with taller decor, such as tapered candles, to draw the eye upwards. This can also be achieved with tall floor lamps next to a sofa or curtains placed high against the wall to create the illusion of a larger space.
Use statement pieces
Making the room feel a little less cluttered with things allows you to play with the decor you do use. Statement pieces like a rug between the living room and dining room or wallpaper on one wall will blend the two rooms together without feeling overwhelming.
Furnish a combined room
Once you’ve placed the furniture, you can play around with the colors and style of each room. If you prefer your dining room to feel more formal, you can use traditional furniture and decorations while still keeping your living room more casual. The key is to find a few materials or colors that you like for both spaces and put them together so that the overall aesthetic is cohesive. Perhaps that is a rattan basket that matches the shades in your dining table or sofa cushions that have the same color palette as your dining room chair cushions.
Playing with textures and fabric can help bring dining and living areas together without looking like exact replicas of each other. Feel free to mix metals, fabrics and colors to add character without feeling disjointed. You can also choose a piece of furniture, such as a metal cart on wheels that can be used to entertain in both rooms, and place it in the center to tie the spaces together.
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