Summer decorating ideas for small, open-concept living and dining rooms with colorful and eclectic style.
Combo living and dining rooms or open layouts can be tricky to define especially when they are also small spaces. The natural tendency is to keep things minimal with a neutral color palette but what if you love eclectic and colorful styles?
I’m excited to share how I’ve infused global and eclectic decor/finds into our living and dining rooms with a few seasonal touches for summer. The best part is that it does not clutter the room and actually makes the interior spaces look bigger! So bring out the colorful and collected treasures and let’s get decorating!
Dining and Living Rooms Ideas
Welcome to the Bloggers Best Summer Tours hosted by my sweet friend The Tattered Pew. This is a great place to be for seasonal inspiration so don’t miss the full week’s lineup at the bottom of this article. If you are coming from, Cottage in the Mitten, welcome! We are a recently retired military family living in a single-story ranch home in Fort Worth Texas.
Our last two duty stations were in Japan so even though our 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home is around 1800 square feet, it feels like a good size! We brought home many treasures from around the world and my mother saved me many furniture, art, and decor pieces from my grandparents.
I searched high and low for combined dining and living room ideas pictures online but found very little that featured a colorful-eclectic style. So I thought for today’s tour I would share how I worked around our lack of walls to define the open concept in our house with plenty of character and pictures!
How to Define Your Dining and Living Rooms
- Use an area rug. This is the easiest way to divide an open concept layout. A good rule of thumb is that your furniture front feet should at least be on the rug. This helps make a connection and grounds the furniture especially if it isn’t against a wall.
- Think outside the basic floor plan. It’s easy to think that you should have furniture centered on a focal wall like a fireplace. Ours happened to be off-centered and at first, I wanted to cram everything into the corner of the area so that it was symmetrical.
As soon as I decided the fireplace itself should be the center of the room it opened up our entire living area. One side is flanked by the built-in bookcase and the other is a hallway but the rug and sofa centered on the mantel make a great design and plenty of walking space.
(Please excuse the paper and blue tape on the floor if spot it in pictures, we are dealing with termite damage in the back half of the house.)
- Use tall furniture to divide spaces. I have an entire story about this tip you can read about. But using a tall piece of furniture is a great way to split a larger area and adds extra storage! After trying a few pieces, I finally decided to hack an Ikea cabinet into a cane cabinet with an easy DIY.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust light fixtures. We decided to use the breakfast nook for our dining room since I have a piano studio in front of the open concept living area. After living with a few different arrangements, I realized the off-centered chandelier was messing up an ideal layout. I had an electrician come and move the ceiling outlet but you can also sway a chain to make sure your light sits over the dining table where you want.
- Forgo traditional furniture in tight quarters. I tried to make a buffet work with a smaller glass dining tabletop and banquet seating to one side. I really wanted a more open space with easy access around the table so we sold the buffet and moved the china to the top kitchen shelves.
The table in the center of the dining area made the room look so much bigger! Instead of furniture against the wall, I took the opportunity at trying my hand at wall mural. It is now one of my favorite features.
- Use art to define rooms. Just like rugs help define the floor layout, wall art can let you know where one space stops and another begins. When decorating a living and dining room combo with one big wall, hang pieces grouped together centered on each defined side. I used art, window treatments, and a cabinet on the dining room side and left the living room sidemore open so there’s no guessing where the rooms divide.
Summer Decorating in Our Open Concept Living and Dining ROoms
Now that I’ve shared tips for defining separate spaces I’m dying to show recent changes and seasonal touches for today’s summer home tour!
I shared my office and piano studio last week and my grandmother’s portrait was really the starting off point for decorating this house. You’ll notice that different shades of blues and greens are the cohesive colors used throughout our home. But grandma’s portrait added a pop of red. Here she is!
She’s wearing a bright red St John’s suit in the painting and to be honest, red is not my favorite color to decorate with. I painted the wall she’s on dark green to tone down the red and did my best to ignore it. But recently I found the PERFECT curtains to go on the front window that made me fall in love with it!
They are gorgeous teal velvet curtains with warm-toned flowers. I decided to use the pops of reds, pinks, and orange through the rest of the living and dining room for summer. 🙂
The throw on the couch came from a night market in Chaing Mai, Thailand and the koi pillow was a recent gift. I also found darling hand-stamped pillow covers on Esty to add to the cozy-global vibe.
Along with the warm tones for summer, I brought out pampas grass, air plants, house plants, and monstera leaves for more seasonal touches.
I especially love how a money plant now looks on the foyer with a few other decorating tweaks.
I’m ready for guests whether it’s for coffee or cocktails! I used yellow barware mixed with Okinawan blue glass tumblers for a quick setup on a desk.
The art, desk, and brass candlesticks are all second hand finds!
Just to the right brings you back to the dining table…
Do you take cream or sugar? I found a darling set of robin’s egg blue teacup set in a Japanese thrift store and here is its debut! The cocktail napkins and painted ivy plates were my grandmother’s.
I’m thrilled you could join me today! Next up on the home tour list is Brick’ N Blooms!
Blogger’s Best Summer Home Tour
Join 30 bloggers all week long as we welcome you into our homes. You can visit each summer home tour by clicking the links below.