Have you ever found yourself standing in the middle of a room that’s just one big hot mess begging for a makeover? I’ve been there! Or how about an empty room with so many possibilities – you don’t even know where to start? Yep, I’ve been there too!
I often hear people say, “I’m just not good at decorating. I have so many ideas but I’m not sure how to put them together and actually make a space look good.” If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! I promise, there is hope!
Before you dive in and start painting your walls, or buying curtains you should make a plan. the biggest mistake you can make in any room is starting without a plan.
To create the perfect room design, you need to first think about how the space will be used. This will help you develop a layout that maximizes a room’s potential. Interior designers refer to this process as space planning. It’s basically just figuring out where to place all the furniture in any given room to ensure the best possible traffic flow. Space planning also helps to create an aesthetically pleasing environment.
Planning your room’s design before you start is absolutely the best way to save time when designing a space. Creating a space plan to work from should be done BEFORE you even think about choosing colors or accessorizing!
By now you should know just how important this first step is, but you may be wondering how to go about creating a plan. Let’s break it down into a few quick and easy steps!
I recommend using graph paper and pencils, they are simple, fun and inexpensive.
Start by drawing a rough sketch of the shape of the room. Try to draw it to scale as best you can.
Once you’ve drawn all the walls, add windows and doorways. Next, add permanent fixtures like fireplaces or radiators. Include any other elements that may affect furniture placement. Lastly, draw in light fixtures.
Next, you’ll need to figure out where NOT to place furniture. Mark off any spaces directly in front of doors, wall openings or around air vents.
Identify the room’s focal point, if there is one. If your room doesn’t have an obvious focal point, you may have to create your own. Don’t overthink this step, a focal point is simply what immediately captures your attention upon entering the room. (i.e. a fireplace in a living room, a bed in a bedroom or a large table in the dining room.)
Once you decide on a focal point, you can fill in the rest of the room with supporting furniture. In this step, it’s important to create balance around your focal point. You want to create a design that places furniture around the focal point with symmetry throughout the room.
The easiest way to design a balanced room is to make little paper furniture cutouts and put them on top of your sketch. Use paper and scissors to make cutouts in the shapes of the furniture pieces that you plan to use. Do your best to match the scale of the cutouts to the scale of your sketch. The paper furniture cutouts are easy to move around on your sketch. This makes it painless to try several layouts and see what works best. Trust me, this is way easier than actually moving furniture around in the space!
Having a bird’s eye view and looking down at your sketch can really help you recognize if the room feels off balance. As you begin to move your cutouts around on the floor plan, you’ll start to see which layout combinations work best.