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6 living dining room ideas

Not every home will have a separate dining room. In many houses or apartments, rooms are merged together, with living and dining areas among those commonly in the same space. This could be due to the available square footage, or because the architect favoured an open-plan design. Decorating a living dining room can sometimes be a challenge – although with the right colours and furniture it can be warm and inviting, and not seem overly-crowded, as a space to both relax and eat. Here are 6 great ideas to help you.
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metallica dining
Living dining room – leaner mirror

1. Don’t let the room feel too closed-in

Something to consider with all living dining room ideas is how two separate functions will swallow up space. You effectively have two rooms to put into one and two sets of furniture. Before you know it, it could end up feeling a little crowded.

You can counter this as you would with small living diningroom ideas, regardless of the space you actually have. A lighter colour on the walls will help the area seem larger than it might if a darker hue was used. Also make use of the natural light you have – for example, position your dining table and chairs by the window to help the area feel more spacious.

You can try reflecting light as much as possible, which will also enhance the feeling of space. Use flooring with a slight shine to it, or a high gloss dining table.

Mirrors can also be used to help a space seem larger. And a chandelier above the dining table and chairs will throw light around the room.

2. Buy a space-saving dining table

One of the best living room dining room combo layout ideas is to have each area take up as little space as possible. This way the room will still flow and remain functional as a whole.

On the dining room side, you can limit the overall footprint with a space-saving dining table. This might simply be smaller than usual, or it could be a drop leaf dining table or a foldaway.

A round dining table is easier on the eye in a small space than one with straight lines and sharp corners, as is a glass dining table set. Also consider a bar table, with a set of bar stools, which will be slimline and out of the way.

In terms of seating, you can save space with a dining bench, which sits more people than chairs might and can tuck in under the table. Also look to folding dining chairs.

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Living dining – modern bar table
Living dining room – corner sofa

3. Plan your living space effectively

Something that all living room dining room ideas have in common is their desire to have both areas function as well as possible. To do this, each needs to maximise the space it’s been given.

On the living room side, the biggest item will undoubtedly be the sofa. Try a corner sofa, pushed back into the walls, to seat as many people as possible, or even a modular version where you can tailor the size to your specific room. A small-ish sofa, such as a two-seater or a cuddle chair, can also help you save space.

Consider less imposing furniture elsewhere in the room. A glass coffee table appears to take up less space than a wood version, and you could mount your TV on the wall rather than use floor space for a separate table or unit. Footstools, beanbags or cushions can be used for additional seating, rather than buying more chairs.

Be clever with storage too. Try shelves high up on the walls, or a tall, slim display cabinet that slots into an alcove.

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4. Look for multifunctional furniture

In a space that serves two functions, it makes sense to find furniture suited to the requirements of both – one piece that can help out in both a living room and dining room setting. All living dining room ideas should include multifunctional furniture.

There are some obvious ones here. For example, a slimline space-saving dining table that’s tucked up against a wall and covered in ornaments and framed photos when not in use, so it looks like a piece of living room furniture. Use it with folding dining chairs.

Any storage units you buy can keep items hidden for either side of the room. For example, a footstool with storage on the living room side could hide spare table linens and napkins for meal times, while a sideboard in the dining area could stash away blankets, books or magazines. Go for a bookcase that stretches across both the living and dining areas to create a link between the two, and makes a handy focal point.

Try some unusual multitasking items. A sofa with a high and firm seat might be good for watching TV, but also for dining if a small table is pulled in front of it, with some lightweight chairs either side. You can even get lift up coffee tables now.

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Living dining – leather storage footstool Alessia
Living dining room – modern sideboard Lurano

5. Create some cohesion between the two areas

It can be tricky planning your living room dining room combo layout ideas. How do you define each area to suit its own particular function, and how much should they actually blend together?

Sharing colour and theme between the living room and dining room spaces does make the room feel lighter, and is a lot easier on the eye. Try to make the backdrop cohesive, then focus in on details to pick out each area’s identity. Introduce white walls throughout the room, with the same flooring across it all to unite the space. You can have a different accent colour in each area to define the different functions.

There could be complementary furniture on both sides. For example, the industrial style is very on-trend, with tables and benches for dining, and sofas, cupboards and accessories that all work together.

You can coordinate some colours on both sides too. If you have grey dining chairs on one side of the room, then balance with a grey sofa or grey cushions on the other.

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6. Give each area its own identity

While living room dining room ideas should try to create some common ground between the different areas, with the same flooring and coloured walls, for example, subtle styling differences between the two can help to carve a sense of identity.

For example, if the living room and dining room spaces share the same laminate flooring, you can define the space for each using rugs – either different colours or shapes. Pendant lighting over the dining table or sofa sends a message about where things are meant to be.

You can also define the specific areas in the way you position the furniture. Depending on the space, a corner sofa could be placed with one side creating a partition through the centre of the room, helping to enclose the living room area, with the dining space behind it. A bookcase or a sideboard could be used as a partition in the same way, helping to separate both parts of the room.

Other indicators can be used to separate one area from another. For example, use a colourful patterned wallpaper just behind the dining table, or hang a large piece of wall art.

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Living dining room – multi-colour rug Celesta Rug

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