How to Paint When You Have an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are great for entertaining, watching the kids while you cook dinner, and making your house feel larger. But when it comes to painting them that huge, blank canvas can feel like an impossible challenge. 

These five tips can help you create an amazing space. 

Choose your colors

Choosing colors is definitely one of the most intimidating parts when decorating in an open floor plan. Do you use the same color everywhere? Different colors for each wall?

Choosing a color palette will help cut down on some of that uncertainty. Be sure that you choose one light, one dark, and one medium color so that you have options. 

If you’re anything like us, being told to choose a palette makes you break out in an anxious sweat. Don’t fret. Head over to your home improvement store and start browsing the pre-designed palettes of colors there. This will give you a pre-selected light, dark, and medium color that all work together.

Create a focal point

One problem with an open floor plan is that it can feel unfocused with so much space.

The solution? Create a focal point in the space. Sometimes your focal point is pretty obvious, like a beautiful, brick fireplace. But sometimes you’ll need to work to create that focal point with an accent wall or a large art piece. 

Find your transitions

Even with a color palette and a focal point, you might still feel overwhelmed trying to figure out where one color should start and another should begin. The trick is to create transitions throughout the room.

Take a look around and see what you could use as a visual cue. It might be the wainscoting, or an exposed beam on the ceiling, or even just the corner where two walls meet.

If there isn’t anything built into the space to break it up, try adding a bookshelf or another piece of furniture to create a break from one part of the room to another.

Add visual interest

A big space can get pretty boring. So, it's important to add visual interest to your space, especially if you chose a subdued color palette. 

Accent colors can be a great way to add interest—and value—to your home. Just be careful that you don’t overdo it. Try using these brighter colors on small spaces, like the backs of your shelving unit. You can use your throw pillows and other small furniture items to carry your accent color throughout the space.

You don’t always have to use color to make things look more interesting. You could use existing textures, like the brick on a fireplace, or you could create something new by adding a backsplash to your kitchen.

Be cohesive

The last thing you need to do in your open floor plan is to find a way to tie everything together.

In the immortal words of The Dude, “that rug really tied the room together.” It was true for his apartment and it can be true for your open floor plan—if you choose carefully. A rug that includes colors from around the room will help make everything look well-planned out. 

Now that your open floor plan looks like it came out of Better Homes and Gardens, it's time to sit back and relax with a drink. Can we suggest a white Russian?