All too often in New York City apartments we are faced with this ridiculous conundrum of whether an area is a dining room or a living room. Yes, we need to dine. Yes, we need to live...but why do these cookie cutter apartments often not give us the opportunity to chose? No, we are forced to create a dining and living room all in one. Have no fear though...in the 'burbs they often call large eating, relaxing, television areas, great rooms. So of think of your living space as one medium size great room :)
The key to create a fabulous "great room" as we shall now call it, is to not try to separate the areas. In other words, don't have your couch block off the dining section. Be inclusive and make these areas one. More precisely, if you have a sectional sofa, have it open up towards the dining table, do not block it off. If you are tight on space (as too many of us area), consider placing your over-sized plasma on a buffet rather than in a bulky entertainment unit which will make the room feel tighter. One caveat however, make the sure the buffet is no higher than 31" or else it may be uncomfortable for tv-watching.
If your of a more formal character, than avoid a great room all together. Separate the dining area using room dividers such as open bookshelves, buffets and floor lamps to distinguish the spaces. Try to place the dining table closer to the kitchen and try not to block any windows in your attempt to create your perfect formal dining space.
Regardless of your dining and living styles, try to make the areas work together by being in similar styles and similar paint colors. For great rooms, perhaps opt for one large area rug , in separated spaces, opt for two area rugs that coordinate. We spend so much of our time living and dining, that it's most important to have these be great spaces. Until next time LT fans...