5 Great Open Concept Design Ideas

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Open floor plans are considered to be both practical and modern; so, if you’re decorating an open space, this article is exactly what you’re looking for. In order to help you with your creative project we’ve prepared a list of 5 great open concept design ideas.

Make your place look trendy – use a monochromatic colour scheme

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Open floor plans have become quite trendy, so it’s not a surprise that so many people have decided to tear down the walls in their place. Additionally, it’s highly advisable that in the case of open floor house design one goes for a monochromatic colour scheme. Basically, all you need to do is choose a colour that you like and decorate the whole floor in it. Of course, you’re more than welcome to combine different shades and tones of this colour in order to make the place look fun and inviting. Finally, once you’re done decorating, you can create a contrast by incorporating an accent colour into the design which will break the monotony.

Make a small place look bigger and more urban

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Another amazing thing about the open concept design is that by simply tearing down a few walls you can make your apartment look much bigger. Just imagine that the wall between your small living room and kitchen doesn’t exist. You like the idea, don’t you? And that’s not all. You can make your apartment even more urban by adding a bar where the wall used to be. We guarantee that all your friends will simply go crazy about your new home design.

Add a touch of luxury

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Open floor houses are perfect for those who want to get a taste of luxury under their own roof. For example, unlike other houses, those with the open concept design are spacious enough so that you can install an indoor pool. It will make your home look as if a celebrity lived there. Additionally, you can include some useful pool equipment such as pool lights and make your place look even more sophisticated. On top of that, owing to them, you’ll be able to create a perfect atmosphere for romantic nights with your loved one. Finally, an indoor pool is a great replacement for a home gym since all the workout equipment would spoil the elegant design of your open house.

Use rugs instead of walls

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Another key feature of open floor houses is that their design is much more economical, even though it doesn’t seem so at first glance. For example, instead of investing in building walls, you can go for nice carpets which will define the space instead. You just need to take one and place it under your dining table, and then place the other one where your sofa and TV are, and voilà – your rooms are separated!

Create your cosy corner

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Finally, an open floor plan is great because it gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with your available space and adjust it to your own needs. So, if you’re done decorating the major parts of your house, think about the empty corners and what you can do with them. For example, if you like reading, you can create a nice cosy reading nook in one of the corners near the window so that you can enjoy the daylight. This way, even though it’s a part of a larger space, it will have its own character and purpose.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to design your open house. However, it’s most important that you follow your wishes and go for decor that makes you feel comfortable in your own home.

Faith McGregor

Faith is a writer, seeking beauty everywhere she goes and finding it in art, nature, family, and home. Passionate about just living life to the fullest, she’s into home decor and healthy lifestyle, trying to be the best version of herself and make her surroundings match.

For more useful articles, visit our blog at https://olyfurnitureworks.com/blog.

What’s new in the furniture world?

Much as I obsess about my own business, Furniture Works, I’m also interested in the furniture business as a whole.  Here’s some more recent news about the industry.

Importing

80% of case goods (chests of drawers, etc.) and 45% of upholstery sold in the US comes from overseas.  Overall, the percentage has increased 2% over 2016 with increases for Canada (1%), Malaysia (6%) and Poland (13%) and decreases for China (-1%), Taiwan (-16%) and India (-18%).  The biggest increase is in upholstered goods.

Ditto, exports from the US have fallen by 2% overall, the biggest has been metal furniture parts (-12%).  The largest change in buyers have been France (up 28%) and the UAR (-28%).  Canada’s imports dwarfs the other countries at $631.9M.

Costs

This fall, costs for constructing furniture have gone up.  Frames, foam & packaging have all gone up 15% which has driven up the prices of upholstery by 2%. It would have had more of an effect on retail prices except that overall sales have not risen by much.

The Players

The “big boys” in the business are Ashley HomeStore (#1 at $3.8B in revenue), Mattress Firm (#2 at $3.4B) and Ikea (#3 at $3.2B).  These are followed by Williams-Sonoma, Rooms to Go, Berkshire Hathaway & RH.  Big Lots, interestingly enough, comes in at #8.

Online?  Yep, it is having its impacts.  Wayfair had $1.2B in sales and was up 41.9% over a year ago.  They are not yet profitable, however.  Amazon has begun selling upholstery with a couple of lines.

And what would you like for Christmas?

61% prefer gift cards & certificates, 55% clothing, 39% books & other media, 33% electronics & 24% home décor & furnishings.  59% will shop online, 57% in department stores, 54% in discount stores & 46% in grocery/supermarkets.

And what’s the future for us?

We’ll continue to bring you the best quality used furniture & reasonably priced new furniture that we can.  Just to add a couple more numbers, there are nearly 500 items available at any time in our 6000 square foot store.

Furniture Arrangement Ideas for Small Living Rooms

If your home has a living room which is on the small side, you may feel cramped or even isolated, as though you can’t relax with your family or even entertain guests for fear of them feeling claustrophobic. You’re not alone, but there are actually a lot of tips and hacks you can use to make the most of your space. Not only can you make your living room appear larger, if you are savvy with your arrangement you can actually open up a lot more space – and that means enough room for both you and your visitors to feel cozy, but not cramped.

Tips for Making Your Living Room Spacier

Be Smart with Light, Shade and Color Palette

When you make use of white pained walls, subtle pastel furnishings, and tie it together with neutral drapes and carpeting, your living area will feel much brighter and lighter, which will result in it appearing much roomier.

Make sure that you make the most of the light entering the room, as this illuminates and further visually expands the space. The easiest way to achieve this is by keeping your window treatments as simple as possible to avoid obstructing the light from the windows. Using visually light furniture also goes a long way toward creating a light, open feel to your living space. Light wood, metal and glass pieces all fit very well with this approach.

Create an Unobstructed Path

A great way to create a free flowing space is to ensure that there is a clear path through the space. Be sure to arrange your furniture in such a way that it directs traffic centered around the conversation midpoint, as opposed to directly through it.

Functional Furniture

Let your furniture provide function as well as decor, and make the most of that functionality to maximize the space you can get out of it. An example of a very handy space-saving furniture piece is your bank of cabinets. This provides storage to de-clutter the room, and if it is a pale wood then it adds to the airy lightness of the room.

Choose furniture which is appropriate to the scale of the living room. For example, a small bench or ottoman can double as a coffee table without requiring additional space.

Let Your Decor Multi-Task

You don’t need so much furniture if your pieces have more than one purpose. For example, your window niche can become a small relaxing area, complete with a window seat, which can further provide storage functionality. You can even add extra storage space by building shelves in between your wall studs.

Choose a Focal Corner

Your living rooms space is determined by more than just it’s square dimensions, If you can arrange your furniture and decor to accentuate the vertical lines, as well as additional lines to converge at eye level, then your living space will never feel cramped or claustrophobia.

About the Guest Author

Apex Window Werks provides wood window repair services in Chicagoland area. Their specialists can replace a broken window glass, remove moisture from double pane windows and even replace your old windows. Feel free to get in touch with Apex for a free quote.

Everything you know is wrong

I’ve been married for more than 15 years so I’m accustomed to being told I’m wrong.  I used to think that maybe I was occasionally right, but now I know even that was a mistake.  And as a note to my wife, honey, if I really was right, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to be.  Like most folks, I’ve even been wrong about furniture. In this article, we’ll tackle a few myths about furniture that I used to cherish.

Furniture made long ago was built better than today’s furniture.  Yes, the quality of the wood was probably better because first growth forests were plentiful with tighter grains and there were some cuts of wood (like quarter sawn oak) and kinds of wood (like Cuban mahogany) available that are not available anymore but the tools of today’s trade allow for accuracy in cutting and joinery that were impossible a hundred years ago.  In addition, most furniture is glued and the glues of today are much better than the old hide glues especially the polymer glues like Gorilla Glue.  Finishes of today are also much more resistant to wear and tear than was the shellac of yesteryear.

Wood finish needs to be fed.  As we talked some months ago, there’s nothing you can add to a finish (unless it is more finish) that it can absorb or bond to.  The only thing a finish needs is a good waxing with a paste wax once a year and that’s just to put a protective layer between you and the finish.

Wood is alive and needs to breathe.  Sorry, once the tree was cut down, the wood died.  In fact, there’s some reason not to expose wood to the air since that makes it more likely it will absorb (and give off) moisture, making the wood move and causing cracks and loosening joints.

Wood veneer is bad.  Plywood, with its grain running in alternating direction with each leaf is actually more stable and harder to break than straight lumber.  What we’ve sadly become accustomed to is cheap pressboard furniture where the veneer is just painted paper that can peel off.  Real wood veneer is an opportunity to have visible wood grains that would be impossible to purchase if the entire piece were made of them.  And the choice of veneer can be one of style.  I’ve seen solid oak furniture from the 1940’s with a walnut veneer because oak was not a popular “look”.

All the wood in a set will exactly match.  Even if all the wood came from the same tree, there will significant differences in the grain between areas of the tree.  As the saying goes, wood is a natural product…some variation is to be expected.

The most expensive fabric is the most durable.  Silks and damasks can be gorgeous looking fabrics (and quite expensive) but they won’t hold up like some of the new nylon and olefin materials.  If you really like the look of silk, consider a blend.

You can’t clean leather or keep it looking clean.  Leather does change with time as the oils and dyes in the leather shift but this can be as much an affect of the type of dye as it is the leather.  Pigmented leather will change color less than aniline dyes.  Most of the places you can buy leather furniture will come with recommendations for how to clean it.

Fabric on the bottom of leather cushion is a cheap shortcut.  When you sit on the cushion, air escapes.  The fabric helps the air to get out of the cushion quickly.  Otherwise a leather sofa would feel like sitting on blown up furniture.

Box springs don’t need to be replaced as often as mattresses.  Sometimes the sag can be the box springs and not the mattress.  Most manufactures design box springs and mattresses to work together, when it’s time for one to go, they both should.

That said, I still prefer real wood to veneer, older furniture to newer and organic fabrics to synthetic.  What the heck, I may be wrong but at least I’ve got my opinions.

Shopping Case Goods

Let’s talk about the Great American Pastime…shopping…and how to find good furniture.  First of all, I’ll start with 3 axioms.  Everybody wants a bargain. Value is made up of both price and quality. And, lastly, you should buy the best quality piece of furniture you can afford.

Of course, there are exceptions to this last one.  If you’re moving every year, or on an extremely tight budget, you may want dispose-a-furniture, but for your sake and the sake of the environment, it’s better to get something that lasts.  It’s better to give something away than to throw something away.

We’ll start with case goods.  These are chests of drawers, vanities, dressers, sideboards, armoires, entertainment centers, think anything big and rectangular.

Low budget case goods may be made up of particle board or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).  Their finishes will be paper or vinyl veneer with the grain painted on or covered in house paint or enamel.  The joints are butt-lapped (end to edge) and held together with staples.  The back is likely to be cardboard (glued or nailed on) as will be the bottom of the drawers.  The drawer fronts will be attached with glue or screws.  If it’s an armoire or entertainment center, the doors won’t open all the way back to the sides of the case.  The carved details will be plastic or resin rather than carved wood.  Based on my own experience, expect three to five years of use.

Middle of the line pieces will be made out of plywood with multiple ply veneers and have a finish of colored lacquer or Formica.  The joinery may be a mixture but the best joints will have dovetails, dadoes or mortise and tenon joints.  The back will be recessed in a rabbeted joint and be nailed or screwed on.  Only the back of the piece will look different than the front or sides.  The drawer bottoms will sit inside a dado joint ( a little groove) and be either masonite or thin plywood.  The drawer fronts will be attached with a mortise and tenon joint.  The drawers will use metal glides and you’ll be easily able to access the back of the drawer.  The inside may be sanded and finished. Depending on use, you’ll have these items for ten to fifteen years.

Heirloom pieces, those which you can pass down to your grandkids, will be a whole ‘nother cat.  They’ll be made out of solid wood or may have up to 7 plys in the veneer.  The look will be a hand rubbed finish, although, truth to tell, most commercial finishes are sprayed on with a high volume low pressure (HVLP) sprayer these days.  The inside of the cabinet should have blocks in corners to increase stability.  The blocks should be at least glued and may be screwed.  Almost all the joinery will be dovetails, dadoes, some mortise and tenon and even some miter joints.  Like before, the back will be rabbetted in and sometimes will have a finish (although since this is rarely seen, not all do).  Under the drawers, which set inside a dado groove, you’ll see corner blocks and the bottom will be made of plywood or solid wood.  The quality of the drawer glides should be noticeably better and allow full access to the inside.  The inside of the drawers may be stained and finished.  The doors should have either piano (long) hinges or slide back into the cabinet (pocket doors) or be double hinged so they’ll open all the way to sides of the cabinet.

It’s worth noting that these are really ideals and you’ll frequently find a mix of better and lesser qualities (hey, just like me) in the same item.  A visit to an antique or used furniture store (shameless plug) is a good way to see a variety of techniques, woods and finishes.

And I highly recommend talking with your customer sales associate (aka salesman) if you have any questions.  Shopping is all about trust.  You trust that what you’re buying is worth your money.  The salesman trusts your check is good.