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When moving into a new house, the most important thing to do is have a proper layout of how all the elements to be used in the house will come together. Apart from creating a beautiful home, it is also important to consider the functionality of every room in the house, a well-planned space will allow for easy movement and access to every inch of the house.
Space planning is the process of arranging, organizing and allocating space to suit the requirement of its occupant, whether it is to be used for residential or commercial purpose. A space could mean an entire building or a part of it, but it is the area the interior designer (or user as the case may be) works with. Space planning is the core of interior design, it defines the function of a room and how efficiently and effectively its occupant will be able to perform those functions.
When planning your home. You should ask yourself some important questions, these questions are often neglected by people and it often leads to mismanagement of space
- How many people will live in the house?
- How often will the space be used?
- What is the size of the space?
- If you do not have any furniture, what size of furniture will you get to fit perfectly into the space?
- If you have furniture, how much of it will you need or will you get more furniture?
- Do you have children and how many?
With all these questions answered you can use the following guidelines to plan your space efficiently
- Take measurements. Do not guess the measurement of a room before buying furniture, take proper measurements; you might just buy furniture that’s too large or too small for a room. Too much furniture in a room could lead to overcrowding
- Have a budget. It is important to have a budget before going to purchase new furniture or decorative piece, budgeting after arranging might just lead to not putting all the required pieces to complete your home design in place.
- Consider traffic flow. It is important to leave space between different furniture pieces and between furniture and wall to allow easy flow of traffic. Avoid clustering and overcrowding an area with furniture.
- Consider safety precautions. Especially for families with children, pets and old people. If your home has exposed staircase, try using a blockade to aid young children or any other person that might need protecting. Thick oriental rugs will also be useful for slippery floors to prevent accidents.
- When planning for a kitchen. Avoid creating an overall flashy outlook as it may be too distracting, instead of having a countertop that’s too busy with large patterns coupled with a very bright kitchen cabinet and very busy wall and floor tiles, find a focal point and complement that area with fewer eye-catching details. It is also important to consider kitchen safety precautions.
- When planning a hallway. A nice console with a mirror will do just fine instead of overcrowding it with items that do not fit into the living room. You can use a catchy wall design to arouse the senses of your guests and also to give them a longing feel of what the next room will look like.
- Consider shelving. For rooms that aren’t very large, create shelves as a way of storing excessive items instead of laying them around the house. Shelves can also be used for large spaces; it is used as a way of arranging decorative pieces and reading materials elegantly and neatly. It makes a room appear neat and well arranged.
- Use proper lighting. It is important that a room is well lit to prevent accidents and also to add to its beauty. Do not use dark lights in small rooms, it makes them look smaller. Always allow for natural light to enter a room, it enhances its size.
- When buying home accessories, consider the size of the room, do not over accessorize a small room with a lot of furniture and decorative pieces as it will overcrowd the area. Use a large piece of artwork in a very large living room to turn it to the focus of that space.
- Consider the needs of every member of the house. Do not plan based on general views, rather include what every member of your family requires. For example, for a house that doesn’t have enough room for study, you should consider creating a small study area in the children’s room, for your teenage daughter’s room, try including a mirror/ dressing table because young girls are very conscious about their looks. A child that has nightmares would rather his/ her bed close to a wall than a window.
- How often will the space be used? If you’re the type that receives guests very often you will arrange your furniture to allow easy flow of movement and put breakables far from reach. For those that use the kitchen very often and entertain guests in it, plan the space to aid easy movement in and out and around the kitchen also try to prevent overcrowding the counter table.