READY, SET… SPACE PLAN!
Proper Space Planning Made Simple and Fun
Space planning is not to be taken lightly, yet we have a tendency to eye-ball our furniture and place it wherever we think it fits. However, when it comes to creating beauty, as well as optimal functionality in your home, planning is the most important, and can be quite fun.
First Thinks First!
Before considering the final outcome of what your space will look like, the wisest way to proceed in achieving a room you’ll love and live in forever is to first think through how you need the room to function. Does it need to be multi-functional? Will it be used by several people or just a few at a time? Would you like the room to exude a sense of calm after a long day? How much more lighting will it require, or is the existing natural light sufficient?… etc.
After ascertaining your needs and creating your must-have list… Well, you’re not done yet!
Before running out to get that new couch you saw in your favorite color, think twice. It may not work in your intended space because it doesn’t allow for ideal flow. Of course, interior design rules, like all rules can skillfully be broken, but having a little basic knowledge of clearances will make all the difference in determining the size furniture you need in order to navigate your way through the space comfortably. Here are a few basic rules:
- The distance between a sofa and coffee table should be around 18″, which gives ample leg room, and will allow for drinks appetizers to be reached without straining.
- ¥ The distance between seating furniture should be between 3.5′ and 10′. This helps to allow for conversation and flow, without over-crowding a room.
- ¥ The distance between TV and sofa (and other seating options) should be about 7′.
Having a basic knowledge of general clearance guidelines will help your space planning endeavors tremendously!
There are quite a few interesting and fun ways these days to space plan. One is using grid paper as your floor plan. Each 1/4″ square equals one square foot. You can either draw all your furniture directly onto the grid paper or make paper cut-outs of your furniture from another sheet of paper. Then have fun moving things around to discover the best laid plan!
There are also several simple interior design software programs to choose from that will allow you to create a 2-D (overhead), a 3-D version that shows a virtual view of the room from standing or walking around the inside. Additionally, these programs have a library of literally thousands of interior design choices, from light fixtures to appliances. Material choices (like wood, glass, bricks), carpet styles, paint colors, and more can be selected as well. You can have even more fun by assigning a time of day to see how different lighting will cause your room to look.
Have fun with space planning and remember, without the proper pre-planning, a room can result in being uncomfortable or unusable. Both are easily avoided.