Space planning is one of those topics interior designers deal with quite often. If you’ve ever wondered how to arrange the furniture in a room, that’s exactly what we are talking about when we say space planning.
Space planning allows you to create a room that flows and functions well. It’s the difference between a room that everyone always wants to be in and a room that hardly anyone ever goes into.
Here are some of our thoughts on the magic of space planning.
1. Embrace Your Space
First, you must embrace your space. Yes, that means embracing the big column or the off-set fireplace, or whatever it might be that is a challenge for your space. You can furnish around those challenges. Trick is to create balance in the room.
In my bedroom, I have at least a door or floor to ceiling windows in each wall. That makes it really hard to figure out where to place the bed and other furniture in the room. This is where space planning lends its magic.
2. Draw Yourself a Floor plan
Start by drawing a floorplan of your space.You can use an online tool like Roomsketcher or SmartDraw to create a floor plan that is to scale. Be sure to show where the doors, windows electrical outlets, vents, light fixtures, etc. are in the room.
3. Identify How You Need the Room to Function
Now think about how you want to use the room. Will it have multiple uses? For example, if your living room does double duty as your WFH home office, then you’ll want to define those zones in the room.
4. Play Around with Furniture Placement
Now start drawing your furniture in the room. Start with your largest or most important item for the room. For example, for a Living Room, this is likely going to be your sofa or sectional; for a bedroom, this is going to be the bed.
Play around with the placement. Think about features in your room, like a fireplace or a big picture window, that your eye is automatically drawn to. Consider your sofa placement with respect to that feature.
5. Consider How the Room Flows
As you add additional items to your floor plan, consider how people will move through the room. How does the placement of each new item you introduce work with other items that are already in the room?
Is there an obvious entry point into the room? Can you move around without hitting furniture or doing a sideways shuffle to access a part of the room?
The trick is to balance all of these considerations as you add pieces of furniture to the floor plan.
Beware of the need to push everything against a wall. Unless your space is small, that will not look good. Consider floating your furniture and using a rug to pull it all together.
6. Get the Scale Right
Getting scale right is one of the trickiest parts of space planning. You want to balance the size and number of items in the room.
While you will want to steer away from crowding the room but the room might feel unfinished if it has too many bare sections. Play with the furniture placement to create the feeling of full without overcrowding.
7. Incorporate Accessories & Lighting
When you incorporate accessories and lighting into the space, play with vertical and horizontal lines in the room to draw your eye up and down as appropriate. This will enhance these accessories and create interest in your room.
Think about how to best take advantage of the power outlets in your space to add lighting and have the functionality you need in the space. Ever been in a bedroom where you don’t have anywhere to plug your phone into charge?
Furniture layout is the biggest challenge we see when designing a room. Space planning can make or break a room. These are just some of the things to consider when you’re looking at how to place furniture in a room.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a room is if you can’t properly move through it or use it the way you intend. This is where a designer can really help you get it right.