Achieve an Open-Concept Layout Without A Major Renovation

Picture of Posted By

Posted By

Helene McQuaide

Achieve an Open-Concept Layout Without A Major Renovation

Picture of Posted By

Posted By

Helene McQuaide

Open concept is a popular architectural and lifestyle trend that enhances connection and togetherness by combining different areas of the home. An ideal solution for small spaces, the open floor plan maximizes square footage by removing physical barriers between living, entertaining, and functional spaces. When done well, remodeling to create an open floor plan can enhance your lifestyle and increase overall home value

Pittsburgh’s housing stock features many traditional closed floor plans that could benefit from the modern functionality open floor plans provide. However, reconfiguring a home layout–especially in an older home–is a complex undertaking that requires careful preparation and extensive renovations. These renovations often require restructuring the home’s load path to add structural support by installing beams, columns, and girders. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable design-build team is paramount. 

If you’re looking for a quicker fix, the following home design tips can help freshen up your current space and give the impression of an open-concept living area, without knocking down walls.

Be Mindful of Color

Paint is a powerful tool that can change the mood, style, and perceived size of a room. One simple and effective way to create a cohesive, open-concept environment is through the thoughtful selection and placement of color. 

Color drenching–painting walls, ceilings, and molding one continuous shade–is a home design trend that has risen to popularity for its ability to create the illusion of a larger space. When these elements are different colors, the eye automatically draws boundaries where the contrasting colors meet. By extending color beyond the wall the eye is drawn upward, creating the appearance of a higher ceiling.

Explore Remodeling Project Vernon
Our Vernon project started as a closed-in porch that you stepped down into. The remodel raised the elevation; the new hardwood flooring, wet bar, and lighting fixtures created a more open, seamless, and functional look and feel to the room. The cohesive paint color makes the living room and entertainment area appear as one big, inviting space. 

When deciding on a color palette, opting for neutral shades like soft whites, light grays, and muted pastels are most favorable for obtaining an open-concept aesthetic. These hues have a natural ability to reflect light and make spaces appear larger and more inviting. 

Continuing your chosen color scheme into adjoining rooms will produce a smooth visual flow and the feeling of ample space. Consistent wall color and flooring styles between rooms effectively blur boundaries, tricking the eye into seeing one spacious living area.

Strategic Illumination

Light plays a pivotal role in shaping our perception of space. Maximizing the influx of natural light is important for creating an open-concept atmosphere. Switching out heavy curtains or blinds for sheer, light-filtering window treatments will allow sunlight to permeate the space while maintaining privacy. Placing mirrors opposite windows or light sources will amplify available light and further enhance the sense of openness.

It’s also important to consider how light fixtures affect a room’s appearance. Dark rooms feel smaller, but bright rooms feel larger. Using all three types of lighting—ambient, accent, and task—creates a layered appearance and can enhance the mood of the space.

Swapping harsh overhead lighting for alternative fixtures such as sconces and lamps will redirect the focus of light from the floor to the walls. This simple upgrade will create a sense of spaciousness by adding depth, glamour, and dimension to a room. 

Refresh Architectural Elements

Certain architectural elements can declutter or visually expand a space. For instance, replacing traditional doors with pocket doors can seamlessly connect areas while saving valuable floor space. 

Pocket doors between rooms allow options for privacy between rooms of our White Oak project.

Thoughtfully placed shelving units can make ceilings appear higher by drawing the eye upward. This can be achieved in the kitchen by replacing bulky upper cabinets for open shelving. Shelving placed between the kitchen and living area facilitates interaction and visual connectivity. Pass-throughs are another option for visually connecting adjacent spaces.

Open kitchen shelving featured in our White Oak Remodel.


Reconfiguring Furniture and Decor

The wrong home furnishings can make an already cramped room appear even smaller. To create a more open living space, embrace minimalism by decluttering and removing unnecessary furniture and decor items. Choose furniture that is lightweight with clean lines and exposed legs to create the illusion of more floor space. Low profile furniture makes a room feel open and airy by creating an expanse of empty overhead space.

Also, consider repurposing underutilized space in the home. For instance, if your formal dining room is hardly ever used, it may serve you better repurposed and integrated into the main living area as a cozy sitting area or a dedicated workspace.

Ready to transform your home into an open, inviting space? These home design tips are a great place to start, but to truly bring your open-concept vision to life, partnering with a professional design-build firm is a must. The professionals at Master Remodelers have the expertise to create seamless, open-concept living areas that enhance both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Connect with us and start your remodeling journey today!


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