The Life and Soul of the Home
When designing your open plan living and dining room, your main focus will be creating a space overflowing in comfort and warmth.
Having spent a considerable amount of time in our homes lately, we know how important functional and free-flowing spaces can be.
Creating an open and relaxed living and dining space invites us all to slow-down from the fast-paced lifestyle, pause for a minute, and connect with our loved ones.
By considering the layout, flow and styling of your living space, you can create a living space perfect for your way of life. A warm and inviting communal hub the whole family will gravitate to, time and time again.
So, what makes the perfect, dreamy living and dining area? We love to incorporate bright and airy spaces, along with cosy and intimate nooks. Creating a space that will serve you well when entertaining throughout the festive season, but one that also invites you to curl up on the couch with a cuppa and a good book.
A space that infuses your home with life and soul, regardless of the season or occasion.
We want to share with you all of our favourite features, tips and tricks, for bringing the life and soul into your new living and dining area. Trust us, you’ll want to take notes!
Dial up the soul in your living and dining
with these must-have features
Image: A show-stopping, open plan living and dining space. As seen in our award-winning Lauriston 32, on display at the Franklin Place Estate, Traralgon, VIC.
Since the walls of the home have come down and open plan living has proved that it’s very much here to stay, we love to make the most of the flexibility and endless opportunities that a free-flowing living space offers.
When making the big decisions about your open plan area, it’s important to think about how you come together as a family, but also how you like to spend time apart from one another in your living and dining space.
Our New Home Specialists are here to walk you through all of our home designs and any of our 127, and counting, display homes, to help find a layout that will have you entertaining well into the night, as well as curling up on the sofa when you’re in need of some rest and relaxation.
For inspiration on creating a living and dining space that’s brimming in comfort, we’re giving you our top 5 tips for bringing life and soul into your new living and dining space.
Image: Create a focal point for your living space with a fireplace and feature wall. As seen in our Palisade 22, on display at the Bluestone DV2 Estate, Mt. Barker, SA.
Get Toasty with a Fireplace
Is there a better sound in the world than a crackling fire, humming away on a cold winter’s night?
We don’t think so.
When the wind and rain are raging outside, or you’re just spending a relaxing night in, a fireplace invites you to lean into the Scandinavian lifestyle trend of ‘hygge’ - pronounced hoo-guh - which calls on you to embrace all of the small moments in life - like time spent by a fire, filled with good cooking and quality time with your loved ones.
We love features in the home that prompt you to pause and embrace the small moments, which is why we’re able to install a fireplace into any of our homes. From our supplier Jetmaster, choose from gas or electric, as well as a range of different profiles to suit your personal preferences and design style.
You might even want to anchor your fireplace as the focal point of your living space by including a TV niche above, and then tiling or using feature cladding on the projection. This not only creates a warm and toasty feature in your living space, but you’ll feel the soothing ambience radiate throughout the entire home.
Image: Lighting above your dining is a great way to separate the space from the kitchen and lounge. As seen in our Parlour 28, on display at the Minta Farm Estate, Berwick, VIC.
And Then There Was Light!
While we’re talking about ambience, we can’t go past lighting.
For a good place to start, see how you can coordinate the light fittings and pendants between your kitchen, living and dining. You don’t have to keep them exactly identical, but using similar fixtures that compliment each other is a great way to continue the flow throughout your open plan space.
For your kitchen, task lighting over your island bench is a no-brainer for when you’re chopping veggies and reading recipes, but with your dining, you can afford to opt for more ambient lighting that’ll continue the warm glow, while creating a cosy and intimate nook.
For our go-to tips and tricks for styling your dining space, click here.
Image: Create your own peaceful sanctuary with luxe sheer curtains. As seen in our Cobberas 26, on display at the Aspire DV2 Estate, Fraser Rise, VIC.
We can’t talk about lighting without touching on window furnishings.
We’ve fallen in love with Australian and family-owned Lovelight’s range of curtains, and we think you will too.
Sheers and drapes effortlessly infuse a space with a luxe look and feel, but they’re also great for reducing glare on the TV screen. While drapes also act as great insulators when thinking about noise, as well as heating and cooling.
If you’ve opted for a tiled living space, sheer curtains are a great way to add a touch of softness, but they also add a romantic flow when paired against timber flooring.
Most importantly, they help to create your own intimate sanctuary and block out the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Image: A wrap-around kitchen bench will have you prepared for all the long lunches and dinner parties to come. As seen in our Carnegie 30, on display at the Elara Estate, Marsden Park, NSW.
Your New Local
If there’s one way to bring a hint of old-school charm and glamour into your home, it’s with a built-in bar.
They’re a great way to entertain in style. Plus, with your own at-home bar, you get to decide on the dress code (hello pajamas).
We recommend having a chat with your Gallery Consultant to discuss all of your joinery options. They’ll help you to decide on the ideal spot for the bar, and they’ll walk you through incorporating any recesses or alcoves that are needed to get the complete, sophisticated look.
If you love to host long lunches and dinner parties, you might even want to include a wrap-around bench in your kitchen. This creates a dedicated, but accessible drink nook, where all of your fancy glassware can be on display. You’ll be able to relax and let your hair down, rather than spend half the night running drinks to and from the table.
Put Your Records On
Lastly, you can’t have a living and dining space brimming with life and soul without your favourite tunes.
You might remember in our Home Theatre Blog, we talked about pre-wiring and surround sound for your own cinema. Well, same goes for your living and dining. Whether it’s by doing the pre-wiring, or installing speakers throughout your home, we’re here to help make entertaining in your open plan living and dining an absolute breeze. And who doesn’t love to bop along while you’re prepping and cooking throughout the week?
Light your fire, put your favourite playlist on and you’re good to go!