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Design Tips for Common Decorating Problems

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By : Gloria Singer    99 or more times read
Multi Functional Rooms

It can be difficult to establish a design flow in a room that has multi-functional use. For example, take a family room that is used by various family members to watch television, play video games, access the family computer and do crafts.

The challenges here are to organize the space, reduce clutter and still give it a sense of style. Begin by dividing the room into themed areas for each task. Instead of placing all the chairs and sofas in front of the TV, reserve a love seat or two chairs for another section of the room and add a small table or desk for the computer. Have storage ottomans, cupboards or bookcases to store baskets filled with craft supplies, video games and movies. Items will be easy to find and equally easy to put away. Include a combination of ceiling and floor lamps that can be moved wherever it's convenient.

Open Concept Design

The biggest decorating challenge in an open concept design is making the decor flow, but still creating separate rooms within a room. Just as with the Multi Functional room, consider all the different uses for your space and begin dividing it into zones.

Choose a color palette based on your furniture and one or two big ticket accent pieces. If you have a bright, patterned area rug in the middle of the room, pull the main colors and add solid colored accents in other areas.

When painting, don't be afraid of using more than one color, but have a definite start and end point. Perhaps you may have one accent wall, or choose a darker color for the dining area. As long as the colors you choose blend in with the floors, furniture and accessories throughout, you'll be fine.

Don't feel that all your furniture has to be placed along outside walls. Assemble sofas and comfy chairs in small groups for a cozy more intimate feel. Add an area rug to set one area apart from another. Trendy bamboo or twig dividers are not only elegant, but effective in sectioning off a dining room from a living room.

Don't underestimate the power of lighting in defining different spaces. You may select a more ambient lighting in the living room area by using floor lamps and recessed lights. Add drama to the dining area by adding a large chandelier or pendant lighting.

The one constant in an open concept design is window coverings. Use the same shades or curtains on all the windows.
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