Anatomy of a Room: Open concept living and dining spaces

Open space living/dining combo rooms are tricky. With few anchors, multiple focal points and, in the case of most condos/apartments, not much floor space, how do you make these spaces work for all their intended purposes? I’ve been getting this question a lot of late so I thought I’d showcase a couple of spaces that work well and then a mood board for how I might furnish one.

I love the space above, they’ve created separate spaces that still flow well together. The white bookshelf and table tie the room together visually, but the rug and dark sectional physically define the living space from the dining space.

This room takes a completely different view of open space living, choosing to keep the areas visually connected, yet still slightly divided by the sofa. There is not enough space to begin to create the illusion that they are two different spaces, so instead the room is kept bright, uncluttered and open. Although I would like to know how they manage to keep their room so free of kid clutter with a pre-schooler and an infant. Methinks there was much hidden out of the camera view.

I’m going to suggest a merging of these two ideas for my combo room moodboards.

For the living area, two sofas facing each other, one a studio sofa with an open back near the dining area. The rug will define the living space, but the open back allows for clear sight lines in a small space and greater entertaining options.  I’m really enjoying layering patterns and textures lately and love the idea of a patterned couch with this rug, with the different textures brought in by the coffee and side tables. Keeping the main furnishings  mono-chromatic  stops it from being overwhelming. And of course I had to include my new lamp.

More texture in the dining area, this time with baskets layered against an industrial console. Clear lucite chairs stop the space feeling crowded by visually disappearing, while a round table allows for more space and stops the room from feeling too boxy. The patchwork blue rug is similar in tone to the grey living room rug, but gives a layered and rich backdrop to separate the dining area.

What do you think? Anyone dealing with this particular conundrum right now?


sofa, dining table, blue rug, baskets,tray table all West Elm.

studio sofa. rug. coffee table. side table.

chairs. console. terrarium.

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