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Basic Space Planning

SPACE PLANNING BASICS

As a professional organizer, I am frequently asked by my clients (and by others who are curious) about the topic of space planning. Some people think space planning is as easy as placing a piece of furniture in a specific location, then making sure there are big enough paths to walk around it. Most of you probably know space planning involves much more than that. Planning rooms in a home entails many factors: functionality, flow of furniture and objects, dimensions, physical restrictions, etc. Before you begin planning your next project involving analysis and design in your living or work spaces, consider the basic factors listed below.

1. Get exact measurements.

Measurements are a critical part of planning the design of a space. This is especially true when you are creating your initial plan, so double check to ensure your measurements are accurate after you take them. You can draw a floor plan use a computer program to replicate your space, then add in the details. Getting correct measurements will allow you to make a space more efficient and functional. This is especially important for clearance between fixtures and furniture. You will need to have enough room to travel through your space, work in it, and store items.

2. Determine function. Carefully consider how you want your new space to function, and who will be utilizing it. What are the requirements of the room? What is the capacity of people it can hold? Are there physical limitations due to family individuals’ heights, disabilities/challenges, or other attributes? What elements need to be accessible? Also contemplate what events will take place in the space. The more you think these things through, the more likely your room will be fully functional.

3. Create flow between your spaces.

Your finished spaces should have a plan that flows within each individual room, but also with the other rooms in your home. Having a synchronized visual flow involves function, color, and materials that are used.

4. Evaluate ergonomics in the spaces.

This component is often overlooked in the space planning process. One you figure out the function and the capacity of a room, then you can determine what type of furniture to use in it. Your level of comfort is an important aspect, but also consider the amount of support each article of furniture offers you. Consider replacing pieces of furniture that are uncomfortable or that lack mechanical support for your body. If you are purchasing furniture for a new space, consider buying ergonomic furniture.