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Floors can help unify an open concept kitchen and dining room

August 05, 2014

Open concept home design has gotten a lot of press in recent years. But while homeowners may love the idea of a continuous space between their kitchen and dining room, figuring out how to decorate them as a united space is another matter. To solve the dilemma, Better Homes and Gardens magazine reported that many designers treat them as one room with shared elements like solid hardwood floors from Anderson's Vintage hardwood floors collection.

The two rooms still have distinctive functions and design features, unlike a traditional eat-in kitchen where the table is as much a part of the kitchen as the appliances. The trick is to keep the combined room as a large and airy gathering spot, without losing the warm and homey atmosphere that brings the creativity of the kitchen into the more subdued dining area.

Having the same flooring in both halves of the space is the easiest way to join the two aesthetically and practically. The right hardwood floors can really bring the two areas together and set the tone of the room design.  Many floors in the Vintage collections, for instance, have variegated wood tones and an antique look that works well in traditional decor, while others are more contemporary and would be a great match for modern furnishings as well as softer, cottage-style decorating.

Unified look
Unlike flooring, which continues from one end of the open living space to the others, colors chosen for a combined kitchen-dining room should be integrated but not necessarily identical, as shown in layouts on Houzz. For instance, one main hue can be used for the wall color throughout the rooms or for the trim and molding that's found in both. The ceiling color should be the same in both sections, uniting the shared space as the floors do.

But accent shades used on both sides can pop up in different treatments. An area rug under the dining room table, for instance, may be in the same accent color as a fabric valance over a kitchen window. Or, a hue that's predominant in a fabric in the dining room may be picked up as the color for an accent wall in the kitchen.  

Another way to join the two spaces without making them seem conjoined is to find accessories and wall art that also employ similar hues and textures. A series of botanical prints on the dining area walls may be in colors that are used for a shelf of ceramic pieces in the kitchen. The idea is to let shared elements evolve naturally through the space so it appears connected, but not a mirror image of each side.