ASK THE EXPERT With Omon Anenih – Mordi (Managing Spaces)

1) My old dining set is too big for my new house, so I would like to change the dining area into an additional living seating area but not sure how to go about it to flow and be comfortable.

My first instinct would be to try and figure out how to repurpose your dining set into something more functional for your new space. Perhaps lose a couple of chairs and change the table top to something smaller while maintaining the base? I do hate to waste.

Ok, so back to the question you actually asked. The key to having two separate spaces that flow into each other is to actually have visual links. You may have two different styles of seating but you could easily tie them together with similar accent colours used in ornaments, artwork, cushions, rugs and so on. Another way is to have the same feature lighting repeated; so the same chandelier or pendant light in both spaces so that as your eye travels from one space to the next, there is a sense of balance and continuity.

This is not to say that one space needs to be a clone of the other. On the contrary, even while maintaining a visual link, each should be tailored to serve its individual purpose. For instance, one area might be a more formal  entertaining space with quite smart seating and elegant full length curtains. If the other end of the space is intended to be a more comfortable, informal area, you could have some simple roman blinds made using the same curtain fabric, select furniture in a similar colour palette but a lot cosier style, softer lighting, and sumptuous cushions you can sink into.

2) How do I accessorize my entryway to complement my doors and the rest of the house?

After you open the door my entry way disappoints. I wish I had one Naira for every dark, boring entrance hall I’ve seen. Suffice to say, you are not alone. Think of your entry way as a movie trailer. Short. Bold. Catchy. A promise of what’s to come. Your chance to grab attention and make a statement. Don’t be shy. This space is your opportunity to go all out. Use colour. Pattern. Texture. Art. A provocative sculpture. It sounds like you’ve got a stunning front door. In that case, try hanging a huge mirror on the wall opposite for double the delight. That expensive wallpaper you love so much but can’t afford to have in the entire living room? Put it up in here. Make an impression. Luckily for you, this is a transition space and it is unlikely that anyone will be sitting here long enough to get a headache from staring at your wacky wallpaper or bright yellow wall, so go for it. Whatever style or colour scheme you have going on in the rest of the house (or at least in the rooms that lead directly off the entrance hall) should be brought in here and amplified. You don’t have to give away the entire movie though, just as you don’t have to have all your favourite style statements going on in this small space. Just one or two of the highlights, but turned up!

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