Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
“Open concept” and “clear sight lines” are all the buzz.
This can be good: in an open concept space, your family can cook, play and entertain together.
This can be bad: some of the sights you’re open to–you may prefer not to see.
My client’s great room had some good things going for it: natural light and spaciousness. But it also had Too. Much. Brown.
And a very dated Old World look.
We waved the Brown Be Gone wand (among other things) and now this formerly not-so-great-room is living up to its potential. What can you learn from this no-construction makeover?
1. Lighten up!
We started by painting the blah brown upper cabinets white. What a difference! Then we chose a light neutral paint for all the walls. (A rustic wood treatment defines the mantel wall but in a more current way than the sad caramel brown paint.) Along with minimal window coverings, light paint will make your rooms look larger and more cheery.
Rug-and-seating cluster stayed–but nothing else! You can see from the before photo that our mantra was “Out with the Old World, in with the New”.
2. Unify with color
In a great room, you see all the space at once, so color is an invaluable element to bring cohesiveness. While the functions of each area differ, using touches of blue everywhere pull it all together. For interest, we did the kitchen uppers white and lowers blue. Would you like two-toned cabinets in your kitchen? My client did! Another page from the unity/variety playbook: blue paint on the island–but with an aged finish.
3. Update furnishings and lighting
Some strategic furniture purchases and lighting updates made a huge difference. From kitchen to casual dining to seating areas, it is so much more fresh and current.
Truly, the bones of this great room stayed the same. We took out no walls. Flooring and appliances stayed.
But now, who wouldn’t welcome the open sight lines of this GREAT room, with its punch of blue and its lighthearted, welcoming air that the whole family and their guests truly enjoy.
You say you don’t have a great room but you’d like to? Walls can come down!
Or maybe your current great room has a bad case of The Drearies.