reating an accurate and functional furniture layout and floor plan that suits my client’s needs is the first, and in my opinion, the most important step in good interior design. It’s one of the first classes I took in design school and a process I really enjoy doing! The furniture layout is the roadmap used to base all my furniture, flooring, rugs, lamps, and subsequent accessories selections from. It is also used to get estimates on many items such as flooring, carpeting, and wallpaper. If my client requires any 3D color perspective renderings to show them what their completely finished room would look like, an accurate furniture plan is needed to create those drawings too. My process to achieve the best furniture layout involves a few thoughtful steps, which I’m going to share with you below…
The first step in my process is measuring the entire perimeter of the rooms to be designed. Architectural plans are ok, but typically not completely accurate. Things tend to change during construction and the end result of a building will differ somewhat from the original plans. Floor plans that real estate agencies create are completely useless. Those tend to be generalized, often don’t show all the walls, and the measurements are often exaggerated for sales purposes. I need precise measurements so I can determine the exact sizes of the items that will fit in the rooms. Once the room is measured, I then draw the room(s) to scale and produce what’s called the Floor Plans. Now I can layout everything that will go into the room on the floor plan and determine the exact sizes of the pieces that will fit and the best placement for them.
My next step is to meet with my clients, ask questions, and listen carefully to what they wish for in their rooms. What is the intended use of the room? Do they need to maximize seating? Is it casual or formal? Do they have thoughts on colors or styles? Do they need storage pieces or need me to design any custom built-ins in it? We also touch on flooring options, window treatments, lighting, artwork, and accessories as these will all impact the layout of the room. Gathering all this information from my client will enable me to create the best furniture layout for their particular home and needs.
After my brainstorming session with my clients, I will have enough information to create a great furniture layout for them. Sometimes there is more than one layout that works well, so I will draw alternate options too. Sometimes a room has a challenging floor plan and there is only one layout that works well in it, so I will only have one good option for it. In either case, once we decide on the best layout, we now know all the pieces that will need to be purchased and the exact dimensions of each piece. This is the jumping off point for all my designs and now you can see why it’s so important to get it right.
Once my clients approve their favorite furniture layout from my presented options, I can then start the shopping process for those rooms. I can also create fairly accurate budgets, if needed, since we now have a real count of all the items needed and their actual sizes. I can give copies of the drawings to the carpet or flooring stores, and other contractors, to quickly and easily get quotes since all the measurements are spelled out accurately on the plan.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my process for furniture layouts and understand why they are so important in good design! Any questions? Ask it in the comment section below and I will try to respond soon! Learn more about my design processes, get great tips, and see the latest design trends by signing up for my newsletter today.