Decorating Dilemma: Peter’s Open Concept

Decorating an open concept living room and kitchen

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I’m looking to rearrange the seating area in my living room and kitchen. It’s an open concept area that is giving me trouble! The living room flows into the kitchen, and there is a large kitchen island in between.

The living room is not very wide, as you can see in the picture. The sofa is too large. I am thinking two small love seats in front of each other beside the fire place? What do you think?



view from kitchen
facing the stairway
looking into the kitchen


Creating functional living areas in smaller rooms begins with space planning. Start by dividing your Living room into 2 separate seating areas with furniture that is smaller in scale.

Ground the room with a larger rug in a color and texture that will compliment your stacked stone fireplace and the granite in your kitchen space. We’ve shown you the Beckett Hooked Chevron Rug in a 6×9 placed horizontally to bring balance and symmetry. Choosing furniture pieces that are multi-functional will assist you in saving space while also serving the needs of your family. Using smaller end tables; Durham Bunching Tables, in place of a coffee table will make the area seem roomier while also giving you options for storage underneath. The Graham Loveseat, upholstered in Trilby Basketweave Natural, is a perfect fit in style, size and comfort. The Graham’s streamlined thinner arms allow optimum flow of foot traffic from one space to another. Also, look at incorporating pieces without arms to maximize the space in your living room. Our Leyland Armless Chairs upholstered in Austell Spice bring in subtle color while also bringing balance to your space. Placing the Leyland chairs directly across from the Graham Loveseat, will complete 1 of your 2 seating areas mentioned above.

From the photos that you’ve provided, the space underneath your staircase has great potential for added seating or open storage. The Courbe Storage Bench would be a great spot to rest book bags or briefcases on top, while also giving you the extra convenience of storage. Another great option to utilize the space for storage would be our Belgard Cabinet. The cabinet can double as a solid surface workspace on top with the added benefit of doors and drawers below.

With a bit of editing using the ideas and selections we’ve provided, we know you will be headed in the right direction to make your space feel like home.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating an open concept living room and kitchen

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.