Many of the newer homes that are being built are embracing the concept of open space. These homes have large and sometimes vacuous rooms. This style of home lends itself to a busy family, because what time you do spend together, you spend in a shared space. Having a light, open space to enjoy with your family is probably the best thing about this style of home. However, it is not without its drawbacks as well. Some of these spaces end up having very long walls, and they can be challenging to deal with from a design standpoint. Keeping scale true to your room and filling the space are two of the biggest challenges when dealing with this type of wall in your home.
When you have long walls in your home you have the opportunity to make an art gallery in your own home. Think of any art gallery that you have been to and how they deal with open space. Here are several things that you can do to bring a polished, museum look into your home.
Consistency – By keeping at least one element consistent in your artwork, you will create a visually harmonious wall. You can display a large wall grille and then a grouping of smaller metal tree art grilles; so that when you step back they are about the same size. Or instead of size, you may decide to link your artwork with the same colored frames.
Scale – Create a scale that is consistent with the wall. If you are filling a huge space, then you need a huge piece of artwork. If you are afraid that your artwork is too small and will get lost on the wall, then you can group smaller items together to create the illusion of a larger scale.
Edit – If you haphazardly cover your walls with paintings and artwork, it will look unorganized and erratic. Instead, edit out your best pieces and build a display from them. If you have too many pieces to display all at once, just do what the galleries do: Switch out your displays from time to time.
You can also do amazing things with paint to fill a space. By painting the long wall a bold color, you turn it into a focal point. You may also want to try applying a faux technique to the wall like color washing or rag rolling. Venetian plaster is a beautiful technique and will show really well on a large wall. If your home has bold architectural elements, using a Venetian plaster technique on your large walls will add interest and texture to your room.
The Great Divide
Many times a long wall travels through the home to separate a couple of different living spaces. For example, a single wall may be shared by your kitchen, dining room and family room. You can use this wall to neatly divide your space. One way to do this is to paint the Kitchen portion of the wall differently from the family room portion of the wall, so the paint will help to define each area as separate. When you use this technique, however, make sure to get a good, crisp line between the two colors. You can also divide rooms either using a large furniture piece or bookshelf.
Having a large communal living area in your home is great for your family, and now that you know what to do with that long wall, it is great for you too.
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