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Room of the Month Interior Design Guidelines : Open Living/Dining Room

This home is located in central Mexico City, but it is in a neighborhood so quiet, of pretty, winding cobblestone streets, that you'd never know you were in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.

While this may appear to be a room in a larger home, it's actually one of just four rooms, including the small kitchen, but it has the feeling of open spaciousness that makes the whole house feel welcoming and comfortable.

Looking at this room with the Sheffield Guidelines to Interior Design — function, mood, and harmony — we see first that it functions as both living and dining room, utilizing the open floor plan as many homes around the world do today.

The function of this dining room is fulfilled nicely by the long table that can easily accommodate six, and which has a leaf that extends the table to seat ten for larger parties. The entrance to the kitchen is at the near end of the room, so that ferrying dishes from kitchen to table is easy.

The living room here functions as a place to sit and listen to music — note the extensive CD collections on the left — or to read, or sit and talk. We thought the function of this section of the room could be improved with the addition of a chair catty-corner to the sofa. Something in a green pattern to match the sofa, and with a similarly modern design, would fit in nicely while making for an easier conversation area.

The mood here is both classic and modern. This tone is set by the fireplace, which is done in a blend of modernist and classic Mexican style, with the white stucco flue and the patterned stone. The sofa and the dining table and chairs continue the modernist mood, and along with the lighting and CD holders serve to firmly plan this room in a modern look. But the room is saved from sounding just one note with the antique chest to the left at the rear of the room, and the decorative Mexican placemats on the table.

Despite the eclectic mix of furnishings, this room sings with harmony. The geometric light fixtures echo the geometric patterns of the fireplace, the squared-off center of the fireplace, and the right angles of the window and the shelf behind the sofa.

Sheffield Tip: The right angles that dominate the room are softened by the tufted sofa and the plants, and the green of the plants plays off the green of the sofa. The predominance of wood in the room also helps to unify the look.

The owner of this home has traveled extensively, as is evidenced by his collection of art and artifacts that dot the room. But even though these pieces are from all over the world, each with its own unique style, they work together, having been chosen by one aesthetic during his travels.

Overall, this room provides a pleasant respite from the noise and excitement of Mexico City waiting just outside the door.

-Sarah Van Arsdale

Source: Sheffield School of Interior Design
ABOUT SHEFFIELD SCHOOL OF INTERIOR DESIGN:
Founded in 1985, Sheffield is the world’s largest interior design school with more than 50,000 graduates. At any given time, Sheffield has thousands of active students all over the world.
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