Decorating an Open Space


Roberto Bell

And with all that space to fill, should you acquire furnishings quickly so that you can’t hear your own voice echoing in the emptiness, or should you be patient and gradually decorate as you find the right furnishings and accessories? Are we just grasping at straws trying to target what’s not great about a large apartment? Probably a little bit.

The fact is that sizable, roomy apartments provide one of the most desirable and comfortable living situations. You are free to keep your space as spare as you like or to accumulate at whim. Do you have room for that adorable little Victorian bench you saw at the flea market? Of course you do. There’s always room. Studio apartment and other small unit dwellers envy you as they know they can only desire such treasures from afar they’re sometimes lucky just to fit a couch and a bed in their apartments.

And that’s not the only upside of larger apartments. Consider the freedom a large apartment gives. What do you do with all that space? If you have a family, you might just have enough room for everyone to have their own “space,” which could mean bedroom, but depending on how large the apartment is, it could mean a whole lot more.

For example, do you find yourself taking work home from the office at night or on weekends? If so, where do you work? In a large apartment, you might be able to set aside an entire room of your own or even a corner or nook that you can transform into an office for yourself.

What about hobbyists? Every household has its share of these. Why not divide out a special place for that hobby to be performed. Perhaps you have several small children and all the requisite toys that go along with them. A playroom or play area designated by a colorful rug and a toy box is also a strong possibility in a large apartment.

Another thing you’ll enjoy in a large space is the freedom to break out of the constraints of traditional decorating. You can trick the eye with clever furniture placement. Float a sofa with a table set behind it, or place the sofa diagonally across the corner. In a small apartment, you’d be asking for trouble with either of these solutions because they can eat up too much space. However, in a big unit, you have the freedom to try out unusual furniture placements. Take advantage of it.

Of course, large apartments do have their downsides. One of these lies in creating a sense of cohesiveness in the big space. Whether the apartment is older or brand new, a sense of unity in the decoration is always desirable in an apartment large or small. In a house, there’s usually room to depart from the mood of the general design on different floors not to mention attics and basements, but an apartment is usually taken in all at once, no matter how large it is. One way of creating cohesiveness is to stanradise things like floor coverings or roller blinds.

The smartest design professionals and apartment owners recommend that you consider the whole space when designing any one room or section in the apartment. If you’re just moving in, you might live in your apartment for a while to get a sense of the space before you call in the decorators.

If you’re redecorating the apartment you’ve been living in for years, start looking at the space as objectively as you can, analysing what really works designwise and what has never worked. While the rooms of your apartment need not appear as though finished in one fell swoop with one repetitive style, the goal should be to aim for a coherent background decor and compatible palette.

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Planning a Large Space


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Decorating an Open Space


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