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Sisler Johnston Interior Design Recommends Planning as a Solution for Designing Large Spaces

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Jacksonville, FL—When it comes to homes, bigger always seems better until it’s time to decorate. In terms of design, large rooms can create big challenges.

The secret to designing large spaces so that they feel as comfortable, cozy, and inviting as a small room is properly planning each area, according to Judith Sisler Johnston, the president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design and an ASID Allied Member.

Many of today’s new homes have large rooms with tall ceilings, especially family rooms and bonus spaces. A professional interior designer starts with a floor plan and uses templates of sofas, chairs, tables, and other elements to incorporate scale, function, and appeal into the design.

“When a residential or builder client comes to us for assistance, one of the first exercises we do is to space-plan furniture into each room to determine whether the home’s electrical outlets are properly located,” Sisler Johnston said. “With pre-planning, a floor plug can be located before the home’s slab is poured. This eliminates unsightly cords later on that are safety hazards as well as a red flag that says poor planning to a potential buyer.”

With large rooms, Sisler Johnston said it is important to utilize a design concept known as zoning, which visually divides a larger room into zones based on function, aesthetics, or both. One zone within a large gathering room may have a sectional sofa or a sofa and chairs facing the fireplace. Another zone may have a game table or billiard table while another area may be designed for home entertainment.

“For the Grand Hall recreation center at Sweetwater by Del Webb, I zoned the space into two mirror image seating groups,” Sisler Johnston said. “I placed an oversized console between the two groups and defined them with separate area rugs. No matter what entrance residents or visitors use, they see an inviting, intimate seating group.”

For a Brylen Homes model at Port St. John, Sisler Johnston converted a three-room bonus space into an open area zoned for billiards, games, and a home theatre, offering everything a family desires for enjoyment or parties. Another way to zone a large room is with overhead lighting. For example, a living and dining room combination might have a decorative pendant on the dining room side and recessed lighting or a ceiling fan on the living room side. Track or cable lighting can lend modern elegance to a space while giving definition to an area.

With planning, a large home office can be successfully zoned for both office and leisure activities. At Brylen Homes’ Port St. John model, Sisler Johnston zoned a home office into a leisure lifestyle space by adding a wall of bookcases surrounding the sofa. For dual function, she placed the desk on an opposing wall with a flat screen television above.

Virtually any large space can be improved with zoning. In a Mattamy Homes’ model at Oakbrook, Sisler Johnston added a free-standing island which increased the kitchen’s functionality. A large master bedroom could be zoned to include a sitting area for reading or television viewing. Large secondary bedrooms can provide playroom spaces for young children or study nooks for school-age children. A popular concept for tweens is converting a large bedroom into a cool entertainment space with sleeping, seating, computer, and television viewing areas.

Large spaces can be intimidating because there are so many design factors to consider. Before work begins, Sisler Johnston recommends consulting with a licensed interior designer, who can assist with proper planning, help prevent costly mistakes, and design an inviting room that functions well for its intended use.

Sisler Johnston Interior Design offers comprehensive interior design services for residential and commercial clients, specializing in luxurious living spaces for exceptional homes. The company designs residential and model homes as well as community centers and hotel and office suites.

ASID Allied Member Judith Sisler Johnston and her team of licensed, talented designers help clients enhance their surroundings with timeless elegance and classic style.

Sisler Johnston is Jacksonville’s leading authority on designing spectacular spaces that are beautiful, functional, and reflect her clients’ personalities and lifestyles.

Sisler Johnston’s design work has been featured in numerous books, newspapers, magazines, and television programs. Sisler Johnston Interior Design celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004 and has been recognized with nearly 100 industry awards.

For more information about Sisler Johnston Interior Design, call (904) 288-0908 or visit
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