What To Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation: Week 2


How to plan your space

Implementing effective space planning is a crucial part of all of our projects. And yes, we are taught how to successfully plan a space in design school, but its also something that you can (and should) practice independently in your own home! So maybe right now you’re thinking “Darby what the heck even is space planning??” Well first of all, great question. Secondly, its the process of analyzing how you want to use a particular space and figuring out how to design your room’s layout accordingly. Good space planning is the key element in creating a functional space regardless of the design and it ensures that we’re always using a space to its full potential! To help you get pointed in the right direction here, keep reading and I’m going to walk you through a few steps that you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of each space in your home!

  1. Give user direction!—  Arguably the most important goal when space planning is to give users direction on how to use the space. This is often achieved through the visualization of items that we place in a space. For instance, if you place a big, squishy sofa in your living room, that space will be perceived by guests as a casual lounging space where they can kick their feet up and relax. In contrast, if you place 4 accent chairs in your living room, all facing a central coffee table, that room will be perceived as more of a formal space for adults to chit chat.

  2. Create intentional paths for users!— Your space plan should also be a tool in helping to physically guide users through space. Let me walk you through an example. Imagine you have an open floor plan living room/ kitchen situation and you’re walking towards the living room from the kitchen. The first thing you get to when entering the living room is a beautiful set of matching, white leather accent chairs. Now, do you want a guest walking directly between the middle of those chairs, possibly dropping their Cheeto crumbs or rubbing their dirty jeans on the luxurious white fabric on their way? NO!!! NIGHTMARE!!! Instead, you want the furniture layout to direct users around the chairs. To accomplish this, you can simply position the chairs so that there isn’t room to walk between them or add a cute little side table in the middle, while leaving plenty of space on each side of the chairs so that guests automatically perceive the space to the sides as a walkway.

  3. Face a room towards its focal point!— When space planning, always take into consideration what the focal point of the room is. Is it the fireplace, the tv, the view of your perfectly manicured backyard? You decide! And then design accordingly. If the focal point is your fireplace, for example, then face your primary pieces of furniture (your sofa) towards the fireplace to highlight its importance. Something else to take into consideration here is that we never want anything obscuring the view of the focal point.  Don’t put your cute accent chairs directly across from your sofa in front of the fireplace, move them over a little bit and let there be a clear path that allows the fireplace to shine!

  4. Balance your space!— Ok guys… balance is so important. This is the element of design that really allows a space to look secure in itself. You can have the most drop dead gorgeous sectional in the world in an unbalanced room and its never going to look as fabulous as it really is. To achieve balance in your furniture, stick to combinations such as 1 sofa and 2 accent chairs, 1 sectional and 1 accent chair, 2 sofas and 2 accent chairs, etc. Beyond our primary prices of furniture, also make sure you’re practicing balance in things such as colors, textures, and shapes. If all of your end tables are round, go for a rectangular coffee table! Evenly disperse all of the elements that you see in your space to avoid having all of your blue vases in one corner and all of your green vases in the other, you know?

  5. Fill your space! (Just enough)— In any room, it’s really important that we establish what purpose we want the room to serve. Don’t overfill your space just to make sure that that dust-collecting corner is hidden. And don’t under-fill or remove things from your space just because no one has sat in that chair in 5 years. Going back to the last point, there’s an appropriate balance for every space that allows it to be both functional and visually pleasing. To help a space look planned out and appropriately placed, start by looking at things such as your rug and your coffee table. A rug that is too small will always make the space look unplanned. At Lambert Home, we avoid rugs under 8’x10’ at all costs! And the rule of thumb for your coffee table is to place it 18” away from your sofa or chairs. This way the coffee table is accessible, the room doesn’t look too tight that it isn’t functional, and not too spread apart that it looks unnatu.ral.  Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist, balancing a space in these ways will really pull it all together and help it to best serve its purpose.
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