Much of what I do as an interior designer is around space planning. When I first begin a project I talk to my client about the function of a room, how do you see yourself living in the space? What is the most important thing to you for this space to provide in terms of function? Once this is clear my next step is to measure up the room so that I am able to design cabinetry, source furniture, rugs and lighting without having to worry will it fit?
So below are some tips on how you can ensure you don’t make costly mistakes when choosing pieces for your home, and if you want to take your design one step further I’ve included a few floor plans and final room images so you too can draw up your room and work out how your furniture should best fit into the space.
8 tips when planning your floor plan:
1. Always work out the function of your room before you start out. Do you need a seating area? For how many? Do you need to be able to eat meals in this space? Would you like a peaceful space for reading? Be realistic about the size of your room and don’t’ try and fit too many functions into one space otherwise it may feel cluttered and confused.
2. Measure up your space. Do this by measuring the perimeter of your room including overall width and length. Also take ceiling height and measure doors swung open for clearance, window heights, and patio door openings.
3. If you live in an apartment lock with a life ensure you know the lift dimensions to ask the supplier if the piece you are buying can fit into the lift.
4. Decide what items of furniture you would like to introduce into the room and the best placement for this. A few things here:
a. Try not to place all of your furniture around the outside of the room, where possible use occasional chairs, side tables, coffee tables and lighting to break up this pattern.
b. If you’re using the space to entertain create a conversational area where seating is facing each other ideally in a circle, u shape or square.
c. If you are working with a smaller room choose furniture that can be flexible such as stools that can act as side tables, chairs that are light enough to be moved around easily.
d. When planning a dining space not only do you need enough space for the table you also need to think about leaving at least 70cm behind each chair so that people can get in and out of their chair easily.
5. Try drawing your floor plan (se examples below) this will give you a good idea on how the space will flow between furniture it will also let you know if the scale of your furniture works. All you need is paper and a scale ruler.
6. Don’t stop at one floor plan if you think your space can accommodate a number of different furniture layouts draw those and choose which will work best for you and how you want to live in the room.
7. Take your floor plan with you whenever you are buying items for your room.
8. If you’re souring a rug draw this in after the furniture, this will help you work out the size of rug required. Ensure that at least the front legs of any seating can sit on the rug and that it’s wider than any sofa so that the rug doesn’t feel too small.