How to Decorate a House With an Open Kitchen, Dining and Living Room

Updated February 21, 2017

Many new homes and apartments are constructed with open kitchens, dining and living rooms to promote an open space usually called a "great room." Decorating the open space so each room is distinctive while all rooms flow together poses a few different challenges. It is possible to decorate each room with its own style or colour scheme yet keep the open space connected through the creative use of a few common elements.

Choose a colour scheme for each room with at least one common colour. For example, cream, chocolate brown and lime green could work in all three rooms; or the lime green could be substituted with orange or turquoise in the other rooms. All three rooms should be decorated in the same style because a contemporary living room would look awkward and out of place next to a French country kitchen and Victorian dining room.

Paint the walls. Choose a neutral colour for all of the walls and paint an accent wall in each room with a different colour. Or paint each room with different colours that complement each other. Paint the trim and ceiling in the same hue in all three rooms to create a common thread that ties the spaces together.

Arrange your living room and dining room furniture so each space is clearly defined. The furniture pieces should complement each other but do not have to match in all three rooms. Neutral furniture might work best as the pieces will not compete and it is easy to update each room by changing the accessories. Area rugs can add to your decor and visually separate the rooms if necessary.

Cover the windows with the same window treatments for a uniform look that allows each space to relate to the next. If you prefer different curtains or drapes in each room, consider hanging the same colour and kind of shades or blinds. For example, white blinds or shutters would work under pink and yellow floral curtains in the living room, pink and yellow plaid curtains in the dining room and a combination of both patterns in the kitchen.

Hang wall decor that directly relates to the space immediately below the art, but still flows with the other two rooms. If yellow is the common colour in all three rooms, hang art in all three rooms that contain the colour yellow or use yellow frames.

Place accessories in all three rooms that complete the individual rooms. Houseplants, vases, candles, rugs, pillows and knick-knacks are some of the items you can use to decorate each room.


Use varying amounts of colour in each room if you decide to use the same colour palette, such as cream, chocolate brown and red, in all three rooms. For example, the kitchen could boast red pots and pans, cream dishes and chocolate brown dish towels. Set the dining table with chocolate brown place mats and linen napkins, red napkin rings, cream dishes and a red vase with cream flowers. The living room could include a red plate with cream-coloured candles, cream lamps and chocolate brown pillows on a cream sofa and red chairs.


Avoid adding too much. It will create an overwhelming chaotic effect. If you have multiple items you wish to display, consider rotating them so that each piece stands out the way it should.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Painting supplies
  • Furniture
  • Window treatments
  • Wall decor
  • Accessories
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About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.