Guest post by Laura McHolm
Designing a floor plan in your new home is a step that is frequently overlooked. However, it is essential to create a floor plan for your new home before you move. Not only is it the step that saves you money on moving day, it also transforms a new house into your new home.
If you have a plan for where each piece of furniture will be placed in your new home, you will save time and money on moving day. The movers will not be rearranging your furniture for hours while on the clock. Sadly, the easy act of creating a floor plan before a move is a rarity. If you are not an interior designer it can be extremely challenging to know how to create a floor plan and envision a layout for your new home. So naturally, I called upon an experienced pro, Interior Designer Kathy Geissler Best of Kathy Best Design, to unwrap the secrets behind creating a beautiful and functional floor plan.
Here are Kathy’s seven steps to create a well-designed floor plan:
Edit your furniture. Move only pieces you love and use. Now is the time to get rid of furniture. You want your new home to look open and feel fresh. Give items that you no longer love to the Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, a family member, or sell at a consignment store.
Once edited, measure your key pieces. You don’t need to measure every piece of furniture, just the large items like sofas, beds and main tables.
3. Take a Field Trip
With furniture measurements in hand, take a trip to your new home. Stand in each room and think about how you are going to use each space. Rooms will be used more often if they have multiple purposes. For instance, a living room can be both for entertaining and a family game room, and a guest room can double as a home office.
4. Don’t Rush
Walk around the new home. Experience the light in each room at different times of the day and if possible on different days. Think about how you want to use each room and what will be the focal point of each room.
5. Take Note
Once you have a purpose and a feel for each room, it’s time to make a sketch. Draw a rough sketch of the room and jot down measurements. Note locations of electrical outlets, windows, light switches, chandeliers. This information will help you place furniture and décor later. Be sure to measure the path of entry to be sure big furniture items will fit through doorways, halls, and stairs.
6. Play & Design
Another way to get ready for the move is to make templates of the large furniture pieces on butcher-block paper. Move the templates around and play with them, rearranging them in different places of the room, until you find a layout that feels right. Then adjust to these pro rules:
- Think about where you want to look in each room. At the fireplace, the view, TV? Face the furniture to work with this focal point.
- Figure out where you want the bigger pieces and then build around them.
- If you can, place dressers in the bedroom closets to open up space in the bedroom.
- Leave an open welcoming path into each room. For example, do not have the back of a sofa facing the entrance to a living room.
- Think about seat heights. A dining chair is taller than a lounge chair. You want chairs and a sofa to be at the same level in a sitting area.
- Leave at least 18 inches to walk around beds. If guest rooms are not large, a queen bed will make the room appear bigger.
- Use rugs to define areas. For instance, define a reading space in the living room with a separate rug. Be sure to make note of where rugs go so the movers can lay them down first in the correct locations.
7. Sketch & Post
Now that you have figured out where you want each large piece of furniture, complete your sketches. Tape the drawings of each room layout in the rooms. The movers will know where to place the furniture.
Congrats, you have a plan and the fun part is just beginning! At the end of move day, you will be walking into a home that fits you. The furniture staples will be placed just where you want and need them and now you get to add the décor accents! Furniture is like a wardrobe, dress it up with seasonal throw pillows, side tables and other accessories. You want to feel happy when you walk into each room. With the layout done now you can make your new home your happy place.