Most urban apartments come with a combine living and dining area instead of a separate room meant for dining. Planning out the living and dining room design keeping in mind function and aesthetics depends on a few factors including the size of the space and the layout – which is most commonly one big rectangular room or and L-shaped one.
If the room feels too small to take on a dining table design, one option is to completely forego this in favour of placing the eating area in the kitchen like adding seating to the kitchen island, carving out space in there for a breakfast nook or turning the kitchen into a semi-open plan with a divider that doubles as an eating area. Of course, this solution only works if the size of the family and/or your lifestyle is conducive to it – this would for a couple but might not be the best situation for young children, large joint families or those who like to regularly entertain.
If you a searching for ideas on dining and living room design, read on for our tips on decorating this combined space.
1. Use accent partitions to visually separate the two spaces
A combined living and dining room design can be tricky to navigate. The idea is to carve out space for both a dining and living area without making the room look cluttered or packed. Our first tip is to create an accent partition between these two spaces that allows each area to have its own identity while keeping the visual continuity so that the room does not appear closed-in.
A half, glass partition decorated with potted plants, as seen here, is a great way to retain the flow and light while still visually demarcating the dining from the living areas. You could consider vertical wood slats with gaps between them, a metal or wood jaali panel, decorative glass panels, a sleek open-shelving system or even a vertical garden system as a partition.
Image courtesy, 42MM
Tip: Unleash your creativity here but remember that the idea is to retain the flow of light and line of sight between the two areas so make sure your partition isn’t completely solid.
Image courtesy, Shamanth Patil
2. Create a parallel setting with a walkway between the two zones
Another way to separate these two areas within the same room is to create a walkway between the dining zone and the living zone. With the first tip, you are adding elements to create a partition; here you are strategically taking away elements to demarcate each zone. ereHerHh
This is especially useful in a rectangular layout, as seen in this image, where the parallel setting sees the dining area located at one end and the living area at the opposite end. By leaving substantial space between the living area furniture and the dining table, design a circulation path or walkway that also visually separates the two zones.
Tip: To add emphasis to the walkway you have created, place a long and narrow runner on the floor. Make sure you have enough space between the runner and furniture like the dining chairs so that it doesn’t get come in the way of easy movement.
3. Use contrasting yet complementary décor styles and/or colours to decorate each zone
Our next tip involves using various elements including different décor styles and colour to work out various sections within this one space. For instance, you could choose the same décor style for the entire room – say minimal or mid-century modern – and then differentiate each zone with complementary colours. You could also use two balancing décor styles or even furniture materials in each area.
In this picture, though the dining and living areas are housed in the same, almost-rectangular room, each has an identity of its own. The walls have been kept grey and white in the entire room which
Image courtesy, KNS Architects
allows for a smooth transition between the two zones. However, the furniture uses complementary colours and patterns to visually define the seating area from the eating area.
Tip: To ensure that the living area and dining table design doesn’t look like a chaotic mixed bag of things thrown together, pick one running theme or element that ties everything together.
Image courtesy, Baldiwala Edge, Stylist, Samir Wadekar, Photography by Talib Chitawala
4. Visually divide the room using existing furniture
In some cases, like an awkward layout or a compact room, adding more elements, like a divider, to create two distinct spaces might not be the best option. In such situations, it helps to draw a visual line with a large piece of furniture that is already a part of the setting.
The easiest option here is to use your sofa layout to visually separate the room without adding anymore furniture to the room. Place it in such a way where it cuts the room, cocooning the seating area to one section. Make sure to keep enough space for ease of circulation around the furniture.
Tip: If you’re wondering where to position your credenza and you have enough room, place it against the back of the sofa. Add a few decorative objects like candles or vases on top. This will enhance the visual demarcation.
5. Use flooring or floor coverings to create different zones within the room
Your flooring can be a very effective décor tool. Use it to visually separate the two zones. While renovating, plan your living and dining room design to incorporate complementary flooring materials, one for the dining area and one for the living area, that beautifully merge to create the walkway.
Of course, if a major renovation is not possible, a similar effect can be achieved by using floor coverings. Multiple area rugs are a wonderful way to anchor each zone and visually compartmentalise the dining and living areas.
Image courtesy, Azure Interiors
Tip: Make sure each area rug is large enough to comfortably fill each zone.
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