You recently moved into a new home. Your kidlet is leaving for college, and soon you can have the craft room you’ve always wanted. You’re frustrated by a space that doesn’t live up to its potential. In all of these cases and more, space planning can save the day!

Some people have a gift for space planning and can do it effortlessly. For others it requires more work. Some don’t even try—they shove furniture against the walls and call it good. For good. I promise, if you use the tips below and put a little effort into space planning, you will enjoy your home a lot more.

1. Determine your purpose:
What do you plan to do in the room? Watch movies, work, exercise? Make sure you know all the functions you want the space to accommodate and allow adequate space for them. Remember, just getting your stuff to fit may not be enough. For instance, make sure your exercise equipment fits and plan enough room so you can use it comfortably.

2. Start with fixed features:
If you’re moving into a new space, make sure you know how many fixed features you have and where they are so you can space plan accordingly. Windows, doors, fireplaces and built-in cabinets will significantly impact how you plan your space.

3. Establish good sight-lines:
“Practice” watching movies, playing games or conversing with guests in your space to make sure you have planned for comfortably distances and clear sight-lines to view whatever you want to do.

4. Consider ventilation and temperature:
Does your space have a drafty fireplace or windows? Will people freeze during cold months if you place the sofa next to the big picture window? Will your giant sectional block heating or air ducts? You know your space. Make sure you’re asking the right questions to stay comfortable year-round (you may have layouts that work well in some seasons but not others depending on weather, sunlight and other comfort factors).

5. Plan for plenty of juice:
Many of today’s computers, gaming systems, TVs, and other electronics involve cords, cords, and more cords. You should plan ahead to get all the power you need for all your cool stuff and have a safe system to keep ugly cords hidden or at least orderly.

6. Make it sound great:
Your home may require quiet zones and areas for heavy metal music to literally rock the house. Don’t forget acoustics as you plan your space. For instance, don’t place a conversation areas near noisy windows or a loud stereo next to an adjoining nursery. Sound travels through windows, doors, and walls to varying degrees so make sure you do sound checks before you solidify your space plans. Check 1-2-3. 

7. Make it interactive:
Consider how the people using your space will interact. Will they want to cuddle to watch movies? Or relax in their own space to read, work or concentrate? Will they need plenty of floor space to play with Fido or the kids? Plan ahead so you can live like you mean it.

8. Don’t forget adequate walkways:
As a rule of thumb, allow at least 18” of space between furniture items to be able to move freely through a space without having to turn awkwardly or take another path. If you have a large dogs or children, you may need to expand that amount by a factor of ten or so!

As you can see, a lot goes into making a space feel just right. Space planning should not be taken lightly. Give it its proper respect, and you’ll be well on your way to loving where you live.

TIP: Check out our Redesign Toolkit for more great tips!

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


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