The Ultimate Guide to Space Planning Your Home

Whether you are simply looking to make the most of your existing home layout or are moving into a new house, it is essential to understand space planning and the impact it makes on a well-designed home! Space planning is a part of the design process that can help you avoid costly interior design disasters down the road. It is fundamentally the stage in the design process where you assess the space you have to work with, take note of any opportunities or limitations, and figure out how to effectively make use of the overall space. This stage often includes taking careful measurements, creating floor plan drawings and arranging furniture and other elements within the space to optimize its functionality and flow.  

If you feel lost and don’t know where to begin, here are some tips to help you get started in creating a well-designed and effective space plan in your home:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Take some time to assess your needs and think about how you plan to use the space based on your lifestyle before you start making any design decisions or rearranging furniture. How do you want the space to feel and what different types of activities will you be doing within the space?
  1. Measure Your Space: Measure the dimensions of each room and start on creating a floor plan to scale. If you are unsure how to do this, grab a piece of graph paper and start sketching on a quarter-inch scale (¼” inch on paper = 1” foot in real life). While creating your floor plan, be sure to include any existing windows, doors, and other architectural features within your space. This will help you visualize the layout of your room and determine the amount of space you have available to work with.
  1. Consider the Traffic Flow: After you’ve carefully measured your space and visualized the layout, it is now time to consider the traffic flow. How much room is needed for people to move throughout the space? For pathways, the typical traffic pattern allowance is 24-30 inches but 36 inches or more is best. Leaving fewer than 24 inches between furniture could result in people tripping and falling, and you definitely don’t want that! Be sure to have clear pathways that leave enough room for people to easily move around. You should also avoid placing furniture in front of doorways or windows, because that could become a safety hazard.
  1. Consider the Lighting: Lighting plays a key role in setting the mood in your home and creating a well-designed space. Be sure to note the natural light sources within your space and add in accent, task, ambient lighting to create an inviting atmosphere and help take your design to the next level. For more tips on lighting, read here!
  1. Create a Concept: Think about what you would like the concept of your space to be – Mediterranean, modern, farmhouse? Maybe you would like the feel of your space to transform you back to a trip to Italy you took years ago and you decide on a Tuscan Villa design. Once you have a concept in mind, you can start to brainstorm the types of artwork, textiles, and accessories to incorporate into the space. This will help add warmth and character, and maybe there’s even a painting you bought while you were in Italy that would add as a great touch to your design! 
  1. Choose the Right Furniture: Once you’ve determined your main design concept, now it’s time for the fun part – selecting furniture pieces! When selecting the right furniture, make sure they are appropriately sized and fit the scale of the room. Consider how each piece will be used in the space and remember that less is more! Keep in mind that storage space is always essential, so try opting for multi-functional furniture such as storage ottomans, under-bed storage, couch beds or storage benches, to maximize space.

Now that you’ve read these tips, I hope you have a better understanding of how accurate space planning can help you create a well-designed and functional space that meets your needs and enhances your life. If you are still unsure where to start, consider booking a free design consultation with Amy here!




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