Last November when I picked up the December/January issue of House Beautiful magazine, I was intrigued to read Eddie Ross’ article on Edgewood Hall, the house he’s renovating with his partner Jaithan. This is what he said:
Jaithan and I peered through a dimly lit corridor towards the kitchen. A tangle of small rooms shrouded the front of the house, while the combined kitchen-family room from an earlier renovation was open and bright.
Every single friend and design pro we invited for a hard hat tour said the same thing, “You’re going to open this all up, right?”
Call me traditional, but no! I’ll take rooms that unfold throughout a house–albeit imperfectly–over an open concept floor plan any day.
It’s often difficult to make an open plan work. How do you know when to stop one paint colour and start another? Can you do stripes in the kitchen and a floral in the living area?
Ask any decorator–it’s hard for us too!
For me, rooms just work. I like a distinct foyer that sets the tone for a house. I like closing closing off the dining room–and the dirty dishes–to join my guests in the living room for dessert.
I like a garden room packed with plants, a year-round oasis. Imagine cramming all that into a single open area! Now I have all sorts of little spaces to express my big love for style.
Why settle for a great room when you can have great rooms instead? Eddie Ross on Instagram.
There’s an article about this very conversation we send to everyone who registers into one of my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops. It also mentions scale and the upstairs balcony and double story height great rooms and how they are in fact NOT ‘human scale’.
One participant was in the middle of a new build when she registered for the workshop. When my email arrived, she had just told her architect that she wanted to be able to install a 10 ft Christmas tree in her great room.
After she read the article she called him back and said “Stop, stop, time out, time out”.
When we renovated our house six years ago, the contractor immediately suggested we open up the space from the kitchen to the dining room, which adjoins our living room. “Why would I want to do that”, I said? “It gives me less wall space for cabinetry in the kitchen and I’m already opening up the doorway between the kitchen/family room.”
The big trend now in painted interiors is choosing a
white greige for the main living areas and then colour for actual rooms, like bedrooms, bathrooms and maybe the dining room if it’s not open too. The primary reason why this is happening is because open concept homes are extremely popular!
And this house with this doozie of a kitchen one of my eDesign clients recently inherited validates what we’re talking about here, check it out:
The other trend that was big in the 90s was ROUNDED CORNERS. Very bad for transitioning paint colour. My advice to you if you MUST switch from one colour to another is draw a line in the middle of the corner. It’s really the only thing you can do if you can’t get someone in to fix them.
source (love the clean, classic and timeless fireplace)
So here’s the bottom line. There’s nothing wrong with your open concept floor plan (if you have one), there are pros and cons to both, however I think perhaps a combination could also be fabulous. it’s something to consider if you are planning a new build!
Over to you my lovelies, what do you think? Yay or Nay to open concept design?
This week I was fortunate to be featured in USA Today in an article about kitchens written by Cindy Bailen, read it here.
PS. The early bird rate for my Spring Specify Colour with Confidence workshops ends next Tuesday, February 13, 2017. Register here now to attend the best colour training in the world. The price will be going up this Fall.