I had an experience recently that made me think of some questions – Feeling stressed on how to layout your living room? Is the importance of Space Planning & Interior Design overwhelming you? How does the room all go together?
Last week, when I was accepting furniture deliveries for a client, it dawned on me that most of my clients do not initially see the value and importance of space planning and interior design. They think placing the furniture is an afterthought, whereas it is actually the most important thing.
For this client’s condo, her living room is about 195 sq ft and it is a multi-functional room. Her living room is the family room, office space, & walkway to the patio. Her furniture had to be scaled proportionally to the space. She wanted office furniture, a sofa, a recliner for her husband, a fabric side (club) chair, end tables, TV / TV console, and lighting. When she provided me with her furniture needs, I started working on her furniture layout or the space planning needs for her living room. I figured out what size her furniture would be based on the room size, a layout that will accommodate her multi-functional needs, who will be using the space, comfort, and aesthetics (beauty).
Based on my client’s room size and the functionality, it became three zones: a sitting / watching tv zone, a work / office zone, and a walkway to sit out on the patio on beautiful summer days in MN 😊. The furniture that was selected was in stock at the showroom or stocked in the warehouse in another state. The work / office zone was a secretary desk which is a fold-down writing surface with cubbies. It was perfect fit for her multi-functional living room. The husband can pull over one of the kitchen chairs to be able to work at his office space. The walkway to the patio was the first area I figured out for the client. It is the path one would naturally take to get to the patio. With that being said, the sitting / watching tv zone, became half of the living room.
Another consideration is easy circulation. A room cannot be considered functional if navigating it is a hassle. As an interior designer, I need to make sure there are not any obstacles obstructing the walkways and that the distance between the furniture and existing walls is comfortable enough to walk through or work around. I also considered my clients accessibility needs. They will be watching their 18-month-old grandchildren who are always on the go. They might be carrying them or getting them out of sticky situations. Your walkways will need to be wider to accommodate having a child on your hip or taking your BBQ items to the patio.
Remember you can make the room as aesthetically as you want, but if the space does not function with the elements or the people using it, the whole point of space planning gets lost. Adding too many elements or going overboard with accessories or furniture leads to a cluttered space. Without space planning, you cannot build a functional and comfortable room. It will become inefficient and make you stress out….