Open concept can be cozy

The dictionary defines “open-ended” as something “not restrained bydefinite limits or restrictions” — and that also applies to anopen-concept home.

The dictionary defines “open-ended” as something “not restrained by definite limits or restrictions” — and that also applies to an open-concept home.

But when it comes to arranging furniture there, having all that freedom can be tricky ... unless you know what you’re doing.

“Open-concept homes can sometimes confuse a homeowner, because there are so many options,” said interior decorator Meg Wallace. “But when the furniture is properly placed, you can create areas for cozying up with a book, as well as maintain a functional layout for entertaining friends.”

Wallace, the manager of Harmony Interiors, recently worked her design magic at the model suite for Collingwood Court. The two-storey townhouses, located in Portland Hills, feature a spacious open-concept area on the main floor.

“A Collingwood Court home is the kind of space that could easily work for one person, or for a family of five,” Wallace said. “It’s just a matter of setting up the spaces to suit the buyers’ individual needs, because the open-concept plan means it could work in a variety of different ways.”

A 25-year veteran of the interior decorating world, Wallace’s goal for Collingwood Court was to make a “warm and welcoming home.”

“I chose the cream-coloured upholstery to keep the furnishings light, and contrasted that with the darker wood of the dining room set and coffee table,” she said.

An important element sprinkled throughout her design was a soft shade of turquoise — used as a wall colour and in accent pieces. “It gives background to the cream fabrics and dark woods, and it also shows people not to be afraid of colour.”

Wallace explained when it comes to choosing the shade of a big-ticket item — like new countertops or living room furniture — neutral is not only a safe bet, but a versatile one.

“When you have neutral pieces, you can really add any colour as an accent —lime, navy, orange, teal, or even fuchsia,” she said. “Changing the accent colour of your glassware, cushions, or flowers can create a whole new atmosphere in a home.”

A Collingwood Court home features natural gas heating, a garage, and a finished rec room, which Wallace said could work as a fourth bedroom, a playroom, or even a home theatre.

– Heather Clarke is a Halifax-based writer with a penchant for pretty things.

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