Design Lesson

Design lesson: Open-concept living

Design lesson: Open-concept living Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson

Design lesson: Open-concept living

The problem
The 730-square foot main floor of this Toronto family home previously had a constrained layout, which divided and closed off the kitchen from the dining and living rooms. To make the most of the space's generous square footage, the homeowners called on designer Melissa Davis of Catherine + Davis to create an open-concept plan that would encourage family togetherness.

The solutions

  • Melissa treated the entire main floor as a single space, paying close attention to its layout, functionality, organization and aesthetic.
  • To maximize square-footage, the main floor was divided into three zones: kitchen, living and dining.
  • She kept the palette clean and consistent -- white walls and dark hardwood floors -- to avoid visual breaks between the areas.
  • Plenty of storage was incorporated throughout in the form of seamless white cabinetry that seems to blend right into the walls, keeping the home virtually free of clutter.
  • She added an 11-foot-wide bank of windows with modern French doors in the dining area to open it up to the outdoors. "This was about breaking down the divisions between common areas," says Melissa. 


Simple and seamless white kitchen
The key ingredients

  • White cabinetry with a simple profile (and no hardware) offers a seamless look
  • The Carrara-marble-topped island features a waterfall detail, which Melissa chose because the island is visible from other zones.
  • The grey Caesarstone perimeter countertop lends contrast and balances dark hardwood flooring.
  • The island's built-in wine fridge is a convenient feature. 

modern-multifunctional-couch.jpg Low-profile living room
The key ingredients

  • Texturally varied fabrics, including leather and hide, add interest and coziness to the living area.
  • Low profile furnishings were selcted to allow for unobstructed views to the outdoors.
  • The marble-topped coffee table matches the Carrara marble island in the kitchen, providing a clear link between the two zones. 

Mixed woods dining room

The key ingredients

  • Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry houses overflow items from the kitchen, as well as kids' toys.
  • The large dining table is a true family gathering spot -- it's used for daily meals, homework and more formal dinner parties.
  • The white pendant light fades into the background, enhancing the open sightlines.
  • A mix of woods, including teak and walnut, warms up the mostly white, black and grey colour palette.
  • Acrylic dining chairs don't visually crowd the space, and they're kid-friendly, too -- spills and crumbs are easily wiped away. 


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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Open-concept living