Painting an open concept living space

Our home is open concept, yet has distinct room differentiations. With 22 foot ceiling in the great room it is visible from upstairs. I so desperately wish to paint (it's sandy beige everywhere including the ceilings), but do not know where to start and stop because the rooms "flow" into one another with shared walls. Has anyone tackled this problem?
  5 answers
  • Therese C Therese C on Aug 17, 2013
    Deborah, could you please post a couple of pictures from different angles so I can get an idea of just how it all flows? If you feel really camera savvy, maybe a shot in all fours directions and one going up to the ceiling?? I would genuinely like to help you with this, so please let me know and grab that camera! :)

  • Linda Linda on Aug 17, 2013
    Had same layout and chose three different shades of one color and used a stained 4" piece of wood (running ceiling to floor) to delineate "rooms." Worked really well. Not sure this idea would work too well, with totally different colors tho.

  • Shari Shari on Aug 17, 2013
    I agree with floor plans/different rooms with shared walls are generally not conducive to drastic color changes. In doing so, the rooms can end up looking chopped up instead of open and spacious. With that being said, like Linda, I used different shades of one color in my previous home's living room, dining room, kitchen and family room, which were all open to one another. But even using shades of one color can be tricky. I did have some common walls to deal with but I did not try to change color mid-wall. For instance, the living room and dining room shared one common wall but I carried the living room color the entire length of the wall into the dining room. The other dining room wall that intersected with the common LR/DR wall was painted one subtle shade lighter. You'll just have to decide what makes the most sense for your home's layout. Maybe the different shades of one color will work for you and maybe it won't. If it won't, perhaps just painting the ceilings white and painting over all the sandy beige walls with a color you like more will be enough of a change to make it all feel fresh and new.

  • Kathryn Kelly Kathryn Kelly on Aug 19, 2013
    I have successfully used several colors in an open layout. The trick is to use colors that go well with each other and have one color that is in all areas as perhaps accent walls.

  • Deborah Gray Deborah Gray on Sep 18, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm going to go lighter throughout. Your input really got me thinking. Thanks again!