Author: DREIECK DESIGN editorial department
Last update: 21.10.2020
A separate dining room offers many advantages - but space is not enough in most apartments. That is why the dining area is often integrated into the kitchen, but a combination of living room and dining room is also becoming increasingly popular: the trend is clearly in the direction of open, multiple-use living spaces. But how can such spaces be optimally designed? In this post you will get tips, ideas and inspiration to furnish a combined living-dining room in a modern way.
To begin with, you should think about how the room works best in everyday life. After all, even the most tasteful furnishings are of little use if they are not also practical. The best way to do this is to imagine which tasks you have to do every day and how you can keep the distances to them as short as possible.
Especially the dining table plays an important role – it should …
... be close to the kitchen or the entrance door, so that serving the food is as uncomplicated as possible.
... be ideally located close to the cupboard or display case, so that setting the table is made easier.
… have additional storage space (Sideboards, console tables etc.) be surrounded, where dishes, drinks or food can be placed if necessary.
For example, a stylish sideboard next to the table, which can then also ideally serve as a room divider, is particularly recommended. If there is no other way than setting up the dining table far away from the kitchen, then a small crockery cart or a rollable side table helps.
The most important basic rule for rooms that are used multiple times: You need structure . If you have the living room and dining room in one room, you should optically divide it into several zones. Otherwise it will quickly appear chaotic or restless. Use room dividers on the one hand, but also connecting elements on the other. This creates an orderly but coherent whole.
To achieve this, for example:
You can play wonderfully with colors and delimit individual areas . For example, paint the wall of the dining area in a more striking color and combine it with a matching hanging lamp above the table.
Tip: Don't forget that the room still belongs together. For example, a uniform color scheme with different accents in the dining and living areas is ideal.
With the help of the floor covering, the room can be structured excellently, by creating individual "living islands" . A large carpet under the dining table, for example, is a simple, effective way to visually delimit it.
A platform under the dining area is a bit more complex, but even more effective. This creates almost two separate rooms.
Tip: If you value flexibility and always want to divide your living-dining room differently, then rollable furniture (e.g. a shelf or screen on castors) is ideal.
Whether sideboard, bookshelf or showcase: Elongated pieces of furniture are the ideal room dividers . Or simply place the sofa in the middle of the room, with your back to the dining table - voilà, a visual division into two areas is created.
In addition to furniture, you can also use large houseplants as separating elements - or how about a combination of both? For example, place a large monstera plant on a side table and an open shelf next to it. The modern room divider with green factor is ready.
Individual areas can also be marked as belonging together with the plants, for example by placing the same plant to the right and left of the sofa corner.
Last but not least: light plays an essential role in the effect of the room. So use it consciously to create different zones. For the living area, warm and subdued light is more suitable, the dining area should be emitted with brighter, cooler light .
The place of the individual pieces of furniture also plays a decisive role in the appearance of the room. In the following you will find a few ideas on how and where the furniture can be shown to its best advantage:
It is best to set up the table and chairs near the window : This way you get a bright, light-flooded dining area and you don't always have to rely on artificial light for meals. With a larger living-dining room, you can place the dining table permanently in the middle of the room.
In smaller rooms, however, this takes up too much space that is then missing in the living area. Here it is more advisable to push the table with one side against the wall . If there are guests visiting and you need more seats, then you pull the table a little forward for a short time.
The classic place for the couch is on the wall - this is also a sensible strategy for the living-dining room. Especially when the space is limited, the room can be optically enlarged.
However: why not place the couch in the middle - and use it as a room divider at the same time? In this way you can, for example, separate the living and dining areas from each other and create a pleasant structure. Such a setup is particularly useful for corner sofas or upholstered landscapes.
The television forms a kind of unit with the couch and must be located across from it. He should not stand in front of the window, otherwise the picture will not be shown to its best advantage in the bright daylight - also not directly opposite the window, because annoying reflections arise.
A place to the side of the window and at a certain distance from it is ideal. Many do not necessarily like to have the TV set in view from the dining table: In this case, it is advisable to set it up parallel to the table. As an alternative, a closed television cabinet which hides the device during the day.
Regardless of whether it's books or decorative items: there is a shelf in almost every living room. In the living-dining room, you can place this very traditionally on the wall - for example at right angles to the sofa and TV.
But you can also experiment little and try different places: Why not attach a hanging shelf with tasteful decoration above the dining table? Or how about a freestanding designer-shelf as a room divider?
The rough structure is in place, the furniture is in its place - but what is still missing? Of course, the right decoration to bring the living-dining room to life and give it your personal touch! Although you should use decorative objects sparingly, the room cannot work without them. We present 3 ideas to you:
The Scandinavian style is now well-known: Reduced, yet cozy living with everyday suitability. Natural materials are used here - a lot of wood in particular - and light colors are used - especially white, pastel tones and gray. The so-called "Warm Nordic Style" takes all of this and adds some strong splashes of color : bright orange, red or deep blue are desired here!
Decorate the living-dining room in a warm Nordic style, for example, by choosing a dining table made of light wood, a white couch and a white shelf - but then selectively put on brightly colored cushions, vases and lamps in the living area . However, make sure you only use bright colors in places - the clear, Scandinavian design language should dominate.
If you like it cozy, but find the classic country house style a bit too old-fashioned, you can try “Modern Country”. Natural materials also dominate here - preferably in their raw, unprocessed form. In contrast to the playful country house style, you will find rather clear lines.
To furnish your living-dining room in a modern country style , for example:
Would you like a puristic look without a lot of frills ? Then the furnishing in a minimalist style is ideal. The motto here is: less is more. Simple designs and furniture in geometric shapes are preferred.
So it is best to choose plain furniture with clear lines and limit yourself to the essential elements. Cooler materials such as glass or metal ensure a particularly modern, elegant look.
Accordingly, you should use decoration very carefully and sparingly. With individual designer pieces - such as a cubist painting or a designer coffee table you prove your taste in any case.
Knowing how: A cozy dining area can even be integrated into a small living room with a few tricks. A living-dining room in a small room, however, has to be furnished particularly cleverly. The following tips can help:
When it comes to colors and decoration, you should hold back a little in small rooms: Otherwise, too many different colors or decorative objects make the living-dining room appear overcrowded. On the other hand, a uniform color scheme in light, calm colors is ideal.
Open and multifunctional living spaces are on the rise: In modern interior design one likes to leave out walls and thus create lighter, airier surfaces. With the combined use of rooms - for example the living-dining room - it is important to give them an optical structure. With plants, paint, carpets and pieces of furniture you can create individual "living islands" and thus combine comfort and functionality.