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Beach House: Open-Plan Living

Using neutral paint colors to create flow in open-plan living spaces

This Old House used neutral paint colours Swirling Smoke and Delicate White to create a flow in the open-plan living area of the 2017 Idea House.

Using Neutrals the Right Way

Repeating a single colour in textiles, furniture, and walls creates an instant sense of unity and harmony throughout a space. Layering accent items such as throw pillows and table lamps in darker and lighter variations of whites, beiges and creams pulls the entire look together. With neutral anchors, you permit eye-catching accents to drive the flavor of individual rooms without sacrificing the overall serenity of the home.

Creating Seamless Flow

This open dining and living room is separated by a custom cabinet-and-column divider that creates two defined spaces. Under a coffered ceiling, furnished with tasteful, refined pieces, the dining room sits distinct from adjacent rooms. Through the use of neutrals, however, the room blends beautifully with the living room, even though their décor and atmosphere are independent. While maintaining a similar elegance, the living room is deliberately beachy, playing to the overall motif of the home. Even among differing design elements, grounding an open living space in consistent, welcoming neutrals maintains the mood throughout and allows for a seamless transition between rooms. 

See the full open living space of the 2017 Idea House for more expert design inspiration. 


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