Avoiding Common Interior Design Blunders in Space
Space… The Final Frontier. Ok, maybe not so much the final frontier in this case but it is something many people don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about when they are considering design for their home. You’d be surprised at how many calls I get from people who need help “fixing” their design mishaps but I’ll let you in on a little secret that I employ religiously… space planning. Yep. Space planning. It involves the simple concept of taking a room and analyzing all the elements that incorporate that space like ceiling height, window size and placement, hallways and entries etc. Then we take that data and plan a room with furnishings and accessories that support good design and accommodates the traffic flow your lifestyle demands. It may not be the sexiest aspect of the work that we do, but it is one of the most essential. Think of it as a behind-the-scenes bit of work that not only helps you visualize the end product but also helps you achieve the look you desire before you ever have to move a single piece of furniture or change a thing! Now that’s what we call design smarts. Read on to learn more about space planning and what I’m talking about!
BEWARE! Hidden Obstacles Await
So you finished the basement but before you go shopping for furniture and appliances, you need to make sure you have a way to get them installed on that lower level. If you have a walkout basement it makes life much easier but for those of you who don’t, make sure you take into consideration the size of your furniture and appliances to ensure that you can get them down the stairs, through any doorways and into your basement area. Oftentimes tricky angles in halls and doorways will force you to get creative, sometimes you can remove doors, railings or even dismantle parts of the furniture but better to be safe than sorry. I had a friend who bought a full size fridge for the basement only to find that it simply would NOT fit through the existing door and hallway. They had to return it for a smaller one which cost them money for restocking but also the time and effort to find a new one, and have it brought to the house and installed. Their superbowl weekend unveiling of their newly finished basement didn’t happen as they had hoped. All of which could have been avoided had they planned in advance!
For Good Measure
I remember one year I bought a live Christmas tree that looked amazing at the farm but when I got it home it turned out to be WAY TOO BIG for the space. Ended up having to move furniture out of the room to accommodate it since taking it back wasn’t an option. My husband wasn’t exactly pleased about having to haul furniture around in the cold weather because I hadn’t bothered to measure the space AND the tree. This same idea applies to your rooms – you have to measure not only the room but also the features that make up the room like windows, doors, fireplaces and built-ins. Once you have the dimensions you have to measure the furniture you plan to put in the space, then try to figure out how to place it so that it works well for traffic flow as well as being visually pleasing. Sounds easy, right? You’d be surprised at how many people skip this step and end up with a room they are not happy with. If you are planning on new furnishings you can save a lot of time, money and heartache by making sure everything is going to work in the space BEFORE you buy!
Being able to take the data from room and furniture measurements and laying out a floorplan digitally is one of the things we do with EVERY DESIGN. Not only does this enable the client to visualize how the pieces will work in their unique spaces, it gives everyone a chance to test placement and design before a single piece of furniture is ever touched. It is one of my favorite things about the advancements in interior design technology and I am so proud of the fact that Design Connection, Inc. has our very own space planner on staff to assist with making sure we get our rooms right the first time. If you are considering remodeling, we can even move walls and make major adjustments that you can see before you ever get started, it’s an example of how thorough we are with the design process.
Here’s the Plan!
We love challenges in interior design and one such challenge is when we are faced with rooms that have unusual dimensions or angled walls. As seen here in this actual space plan for a client, you can see how the windows, angled wall and hallway leading to this living area needed to be considered when placing the furniture and creating areas for traffic to flow easily. This particular project was one that I really enjoyed because we started with a completely blank slate and were able to work with the client to include the pieces they wanted without crowding the space. Whether it’s for a living area, bedroom or kitchen you should have a professional space planner to make sure that everything on your wish list is addressed, tested and incorporated before you commit to any kind of refresh or renovation.
The Finished Space
The space plan above eventually became the space you see pictured above. Everything from the height of the window treatments to the placement of each piece of furniture was pre-planned, checked and approved ahead of time which made for a perfect room from the get go. We did space planning and design for this whole condo from start to finish. If you would like to get a look at the great furniture, accessories, fabrics and other design elements we used for this project, click here to view our portfolio.
At Design Connection, Inc. we include space planning in all of our interior design projects. While not every designer in Kansas City employs the same ideals and concepts that we do, we feel space planning is a big part of what makes our service so extraordinary. We like to work with our clients closely to make sure that they are happy and in the process it helps us get to know them better and provide a level of service that you won’t find just anywhere. Saving clients time, money and potential headaches by planning in advance seems like a small price to pay for the big results they get when they end up with a room they absolutely love. Got a project? We would love to give you a free in-studio consultation! Simply click here then fill out the form and we’ll be in touch!