When you are designing a new space or redesigning an old one much of the fun is in picking out your new “stuff”: new cabinets, furniture, and decorative notions. It can get a little tricky when it comes to your design; where to put these things to optimize form and function? It’s important for space to have flow cohesion contributes to an aesthetic sense of continuity. The goal is to maintain a cohesive look while allowing each space to have its own identity through distinguishing characteristics. Let’s use a clothing analogy, where your entire living space is your “outfit” and each room is an individual piece of clothing or an accessory: you want your kitchen (a sweater) to go with the living room (your jacket) but you want to be able to distinguish one from the other; for each to be distinctive, but taken as a whole they create a total look.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you achieve line of sight between rooms in your home. Read on:
• Cohesive doesn’t mean “exact match”: For example, when you are doing a combination kitchen/living room area you don’t have to choose the exact same cabinetry for both spaces to keep the look cohesive. When you are designing two separate spaces that flow into one another your goal is to blend rather than hit an exact match.
• Think of it as blending: Using different finishes that complement one another is a stylish option. Pairing stains with paints with glazes works well because the color in the stain helps to pick up the color in the glaze. An alternate option is using two different, but complementary stains.
• Using doors to your advantage: Another trick to creating a cohesive line of sight is to coordinate two or more doors. For example, you can choose the same door style but use a raised door panel in one area and a recessed door panel in another.
• Contrast, but don’t clash: If you want to create a distinct separation between two continuous spaces you can choose two completely different cabinetry looks. The trick is to separate them but still create a visual cohesiveness. This can be achieved by using the same color, two colors from the same swatch. Moving from one room to another should create a smooth feeling of transition rather than a Bewitched-style blink-of-an-eye (wait, that’s I Dream of Jeannie) now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t moment.
• Moulding matters: Using moulding and trim is a great way to create continuity between two rooms or to distinguish one room from another. If your goal is to create continuity and flow simply add the same moulding and trim to connect the two rooms visually. If you are trying to create a distinction from one room to the next, such as between a kitchen that is connected to the dining room, try adding a heavier moulding to the dining room (like crown moulding) to give the dining room a more formal feel without straying too far from the overall style of your home.
• More on doors: Take advantage of areas with less visibility and less traffic to get creative. If you have rooms that are separated from other rooms by doors—a laundry room off of a kitchen, for example—it’s easy to incorporate doors in different styles, colors and finishes in these areas because they are not as easily seen from one room to another.
• Change the game with countertops and hardware: If you are keeping cabinetry the same from one room to the next you can use countertops and/or hardware to add the distinctive elements between the two spaces. Choose countertops in different colors or materials, add different hardware for each space, or change things up with a different finish; it’s about finding the perfect balance in keeping with your personal style.
• Nothing to see here: Most of us have an area or two in our homes which we would rather others not notice; service areas, sinks, butlers’ pantries. If possible, using doors is a great way to close off these areas and keep the line of sight clean. No room for a door? Distract the eye by creating other focal points with plants, big splashes of color or bold patterns elsewhere in the room.
If you have questions and would like to talk to one of our designers about your home redesign line-of-sight concerns, please stop in and visit us at Cabinets & Designs. Let one of our professionals illustrate some of these points in our showroom to help you visualize the possibilities for your home.