Designing a floor plan can be a challenge and with design trends leaning more towards do-it-yourself ideas through online and marketplace sources, there is no reason to not incorporate your own style within a floor plan, plus make it workable with a home design that fits your needs.
5 Helpful Ideas in Designing your Floor Plan
With the hundreds of ideas, suggestions, advice and advisement from professionals and others out there today for floor plan development, here are five (5) helpful ways to design your very own floor plan, which include the following:
Before you think about going full force with a floor plan design, get a pencil and sketch pad and draw out your own floor plan. You don’t have to immediately search online, buy design software or engage a professional designer to discover what is best for you. Whether your plan is just for one room, or a whole house, brainstorming is an easy way to get something down on paper that represents what you want. Also, come up with specific features that you have thought about incorporating within each room. A rough sketch can be a starting point for any room in your home.
- Incorporate Measurements
Precise Measurement – One of the most important aspects of designing a floor plan is taking precise measurements during the brainstorming process while actually coming up with your own rough sketch or drawing of what you think you want in a floor plan.
Flat or Digital Tape – Measurements should be done by using a flat measuring tape or a digital tape that gives you an exact read out of measurements. Lay the tape on the floor and take the dimensions of the room in several places. You want to know how much room is available to you for placing furnishings and other accessories. Another important note is to never guess or assume that your walls are perfectly straight or aligned.
Room Obstacles – Before placing furniture examples within a plan, watch for electrical outlets, switches, heat and air conditioning vents, thermostats, windows, and any other features that would alter or change your floor plan measurements or placements.
Directions – When actually placing furniture models within a plan, determine which direction you or others will be sitting. Your measurements should allow enough room for putting furnishings in the right places and also in the right direction to allow for flow and the right lighting, either natural or artificial. You don’t want glare to interfere with reading, playing games, watching television or using a computer, tablet or iPhone.
Distances – In thinking about walking space between furniture pieces and any walls, there should be at least a 30 to 36 inches of distances between the furniture and the wall. To make it easier to create space for the flow of traffic, use a line of tape on the floor to determine what various dimensions and walkway patterns would feel and look like.
Avoid the Wall – You definitely don’t want furniture square against a wall. As much as possible, there should most always be sufficient space between furniture and a wall. To give your plan the right look, you want furniture and accessories to be placed within the room. Couches, chairs, end tables as well as rugs, lamps and other accessories should be positioned at angles within a room to get away from the sterile look of direct placement on a wall.
Sufficient Spaces – Concerning sufficient use of space, cabinets, filing cabinets and desks should be placed to allow enough space to open drawers completely for access whether that action involves sitting or standing near them. There should be at least 18 inches of room for anyone using a filing cabinet or other cabinet drawer.
- Focus on Elements
Your brainstorming sessions have probably included a list of elements that you have thought about featuring in your floor plan. Any elements or features should be prioritized as to their complete necessity and attention to budget restraints. Maybe you want an area devoted to a breakfast nook that is located by a front window so you can enjoy an early morning view as well as allow for added seating for your family, but you have also thought about equipping your kitchen with an area strictly devoted to food preparation and that prized chef’s stove. Whatever is most important to you, of the greatest need and fits your budget should take priority.
- Placement and Activity
Once your rough sketch has been refined, consider where you have located your rooms within the floor plan. Think about how certain rooms will be affected by the flow of activity to and from various spots as well as how different family functions will operate within those spaces. Bedroom and bathroom areas should probably be located away from any main living or gathering areas of a home where noise and disruption occur. In addition, more open areas should be incorporated within the plan, particularly when there is ongoing activity and foot traffic to and from living spaces, entertainment areas, kitchen areas and dining rooms. A floor plan should be adjusted to accommodate the lifestyle of the people living in the home and allow for flow from room to room.
- Future Plans
Say you have a double story duplex and know that the second story is going to someday become a living area for either a renter, other family members or even a designated spot for a home office or accommodations for out of town guests on special occasions or holidays. If so, any floor plan should take the future of the duplex or home into consideration and make certain that a floor plan is in place that can accommodate the type of changes that might possibly occur over the years. Whatever you find is the best future scenario for your second story or any other part of your home needs to be contained in your floor plan.
Whether designing your floor plan on your own or following the lead of an expert in design, there are certain preliminaries that need to be considered before jumping full force into a complete design change. The five ideas given here are a start and can go a long way in making any floor plan transitions a much easier process.