Practical Ideas for Designing a Bright, Open, and Airy Home

Home design and styling trends come and go, but there is one look or concept in particular that seems like it’s here to stay. It’s the open and airy home concept, which has been making the rounds on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram for the past few years.

Airy Home

And with good reason: This home design naturally allows for sustainability. Its open nature will enable homeowners to mix it up every few years because closed areas and barriers do not restrict it. If you want your home to feel airy, open, and light, here are some design and styling tips to keep in mind.

Choose a suitable canvas.

When taking a gander at houses for sale, make sure to prioritize properties that have plenty of windows—or at least ones that have potential. If your property is devoid of big windows, you can say goodbye to your open and bright home. Look for homes with walls you can see yourself knocking down to help add some light and warmth—having a house that allows for a lot of natural light is already half the battle.

Paint color is everything.

Here’s one common misconception we need to get out of the way: Not everything in your house has to be white for it to feel more open and spacious. This is why you must choose a paint color that opens up your space, like muted gray and ice blues. A warm white with an eggshell finish can also be an excellent option for a light bounce off the walls. However, you need to ensure that the colors you do choose are cool and light to the eyes.

Ditch the drapes

This may seem like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised by how many homeowners just can’t let go of curtains and drapes, hefty ones. Don’t cover up the windows if you truly want your home to appear open, bright, and big. Remove any piece of furniture that might obstruct the light, and if you must use curtains, opt for white, sheer ones that let the light in. If you’re worried about privacy, choose custom window treatments that allow you to change privacy linings and those with motorized intelligent shades.

Be strategic with the furniture.

Here are some tips for choosing furniture that can make your home feel more open:

  • Find pieces that do not overwhelm the space. This means choosing pieces that can leave plenty of open space.
  • Opt for movable pieces to add to the space when entertaining guests. Otherwise, keep your seating enough for you and your family.
  • Leave plenty of room in between the pieces. Follow basic interior design rules on the spacing between chairs and tables, and make sure that everything is ergonomic.
  • Add plenty of mirrors and reflective surfaces. These shiny surfaces will help bounce a lot of light and create an atmosphere of openness and airiness in your interiors.

Keep the ceiling as high as possible.

Ceiling details can make or break your room’s look and atmosphere. But when done right, they can contribute to your house looking more open and spacious. Here are some stunning ceiling details that you can ask your contractor to install:

  • Consider revealing the ceiling’s natural skeleton. Exposed beams can help create the illusion of a higher ceiling, and the exposed wood, duct, or pipes can also add a “raw” and industrial look to your house.
  • If you must have crown molding, keep it very thin. Like everything in interior design, the proportion is everything. Added trim and molding can make your ceiling appear lower and more protruded, so when your roof is already low, they may not be the most helpful or flattering. Paint the molding the same color as the ceiling as well—it will help create an illusion of more height.
  • Opt for low furniture pieces. When your couch, table, and other furniture pieces are softer than others, it tricks the viewer into believing that the rest of the space is taller than it is. Another upside to this strategy is that it makes excellent use of the natural light from the windows because the furniture pieces aren’t blocking the light.

To achieve the look of a modern, open home, all the elements need to come together to create a perfect whole. It might take some time and effort to train your eye into seeing what makes a space look open and bright, but once you get all the elements to work together, it’s all worth it.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.