Don’t be in a hurry when planning a room. People often fall in love with furniture first, only to realize it won’t fit or isn’t the appropriate scale for the room. Photo courtesy of Area Interior Planning
When it comes to measuring a room, it’s always wise is to measure at least twice. Photo courtesy of Area Interior Planning
Space Planning Tips
Cari Carter offers a few tips for space planning success:
- Don’t be in a hurry. People often fall in love with furniture first, only to realize it won’t fit or isn’t the appropriate scale for the room.
- Think about what furniture will do for your space and color scheme as a comprehensive unit rather than individual pieces.
- Consider the end-user. Furniture should fit the bodies of everyone in your home, at every life stage. If family members or frequent visitors can’t get up from a sofa or chair, it may not be your best choice.
Secrets of Successful Space Planning
How planning and measuring for furnishings helps eliminate costly mistakes.
- by Carrie Smoot
One of the most underrated aspects of interior design is space planning. It’s a skill that often separates true interior designers from decorators. Here are some inside space planning secrets that will help you create a home that feels good and works well.
Interior Designer’s Role
“Space planning is a preparatory game plan to decide where your furniture should go,” says Cari Carter, owner of Area Interior Planning in Orange County, Calif. “I’m involved in the process as much or as little as clients want me to be,” she says.
Carter looks first at how clients live in their homes. Do they entertain a lot, or prefer quiet family time? Do they want a home office, a media room or an eat-in kitchen? Space planning depends on personal interests, lifestyle and style preferences. Carter often shops with her clients to find pieces that inspire the desired mood or sentiment and help to really pull the entire look together.
“Scale is very important, or your room is not going to feel balanced,” says Carter. “I help clients with measuring their space to determine the best layout and dimensions of each individual piece ... depending upon the client’s wishes, I may or may not manage the project through to the delivery and placement stage of the furnishings.”
Space Planning First
“Buying furniture is the last part of decorating your new home,” says Lois Gries of Lois Gries Interior Design in Chicago. “Space planning is the absolutely critical first step. The floor plan is the foundation of a room design. If you can get blueprints, simply take the measurements from the plan.”
Gries does her own measurements to ensure accuracy and compares them against records to see if they match. “Drawing to scale is very important. If you don’t do that, the furniture you love will either be too large or too small for its designated space. It may have to be replaced, and big mistakes pay my fee,” she says.
When it comes to measuring a room, it’s always wise is to measure at least twice. Note your wall height as well as the height and width of doors and whether they swing in or out. Record window measurements, outlets, sprinklers and corner measurements—literally everything in the room and in the home.
Once the floor plan is complete, Gries says you’re ready to talk about colors, fabrics and finishes. “If it works on the plan, it will work in the space,” she says.