Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Space planning tricks

Several days ago I posted about my new living room arrangements and asked your opinions.
It was a pretty even split in opinions with a few additional suggestions.
I thought I would show you a few tricks to space planning without a drop of sweat or furniture sliders.

Mapping things out to scale is a good start. I got the bones of my room done on cardstock and raided the kiddie art supplies for my furniture cut-outs.

Previous arrangement on left--current on right
Above you can see the arrangement with the sofa on the long wall that has the huge painting. A lot of you want the sofa back there. They both look fine on paper as does this arrangement that was suggested below.

But wait! I also use another paper tool to really understand the space. Years ago some TV decorator guy said you only need 18 inches between furniture pieces. My knees hurt just thinking about that. I shoot for around 22-24 depending on the piece and maaaaaaybe 20 in a conversational group.
I make  a scale 24 inch square to test the arrangements.

See? Too close. This makes me claustrophobic.

Previous LR arrangement

In this one you can see that all of the seating is miles apart and I think that is why no one ever sat in there. It felt weird.

In this current set up there is plenty of room to move around without tripping over things but a close enough grouping to facilitate conversation.
It was also mentioned that chairs flanking the bombe chest would help ground the painting but as you can see it would be a bit tight. It is a problem I still haven't solved. I think I just need an extra two feet on the front of my house.
One more quick space planning tip.
I happen to like all of my readers out there and that is why I broke out the ruler and cut out little shapes for this space plan but its not my favorite activity. I hardly ever do it.
When I was deciding on an arrangement for my son's room I used the tape trick.

Without the bed in the room, I wanted to figure out where the desk would go. It fit perefctly on a small wall next to the closet but I wanted to make sure it was not too close to the corner of the bed. I placed tape on the floor marking the width of the headboard on the wall and from there measured to the spot where the corner would be. It was a great way to see clearly that it was not the spot for the desk.
You can get super crazy and do this with all of the furniture if you like also.
Either way, its a good idea to explain to the family that they are to leave the tape in place. My husband pulled this tape up within minutes and proudly, exclaimed, "I got all of the tape that you left on the floor!" 
He is really freakin' helpful.


Vel Criste said...

Great tips Kerry! Your right though about things looking great on paper but too tight in reality, I love your new arrangement and I wouldn't change it for now, if it were my space. The tape trick is pretty smart too, I had to do that for my son's bed. :-)

Elizabeth Day said...

I have to agree with some of the comments about the sofa in front of the window - not my 1st choice, and the imbalance of the picture over the chest. That being said, I do find the room much more inviting from the double opening. I like the way, this arrangement pulls you in and I think you will find the room more useable because of it.

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

You are hard core and I love it!!! Great advice all around.

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

What great advice. My husband would never pick up tape, so maybe that's good that he helps?

Elisa of Fancy Free Me said...

I love mapping things out on paper, saves me some back pain ;) I like your 2' square too, good idea.


i like to play with the sticky notes too! BUT, i discovered via pinterest a way better tool!
check out and go to room are going to LOVE playing on it!!!!

Kim said...

Love your tips ... I think we all cut and paste far more than we would like to admit!! xo

Kimberly Lemmon said...

You're so smart. And so right. Furniture in 3d always feels bigger than shapes on paper. Good to know.

An Urban Cottage said...

The bombe chest is too big to work with the chairs in front of the window but what if the smaller chest (I don't know what that is) was paired with the chairs in front of the windows? The bombe chest could go over on the wall by the stairs.

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Have a great Sunday dear

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