Before & After: Open Floor Plan Makeover

How to Decorate an Open Floor Plan
Though painting quality wood cabinets is considered decorating sacrilege by some, this family used white paint to transform their dark, dated interiors into their light, bright dream home.

Before: Tone-on-Tone-on-Tone

Too much of a good thing? The answer in this kitchen is a resounding "yes."

After: Brightened Up

A new window cutout looking into an adjacent exterior-facing space fills the room with additional natural light. Swapping the sink and cooktop means dishwashing now comes with sunshine and a front yard view. White subway tile and wild-rice-color quartz-surfacing perimeter countertops also brighten this space. The new concrete-topped island brings distinct color and high function to a now-white kitchen. The floors throughout the rooms were sanded and refinished in a darker stain to ground the new white surfaces.

After: Fresh Face

The homeowner's husband was hesitant to paint the nice wood cabinets, but the overall vision (a new appliance layout, a larger island, and a banquette) was strong enough to sway him. Designer Ally Whalen, who worked with the homeowners on the transformation, says, "It was my vision from the beginning to lighten up the home, and painting the wood made the biggest impact."

Before: Bowling Alley Effect

The space off the kitchen was ample, but a little too large for just a dining area. 

After: Zoned Functions

A new built-in banquette separates the sunroom sitting area from the core of the kitchen. Rough-cut walnut beams add character and warmth to the space. The sunroom space touts a desk and plenty of space for doing yoga.

After: Just-Right Seating

The shape and size of the seating and custom table were chosen to provide enough seating for the family, while still leaving enough space for the newly zoned "sunroom."

Before: Same Problem, Different Room

The adjacent living room faced the same issues as the kitchen: wood tone overload.

After: Perked Up

With fresh paint on the walls, built-ins, and trim, the overall look of the living room was significantly brightened, giving the decorating a chance to shine. A tag-sale chandelier spray-painted red "makes a statement, and the red accents in the living room work great with the teal," Whalen says. 

After: Personalized Touches

A large mirror framed in reclaimed wood adds a touch of natural texture to the space. The homeowner loves zebra print, which was incorporated into the living room's pattern scheme. 

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