As an interior designer planning is everything! Currently I’m working with a couple of clients who are re-doing their semi-formal living room. You know? The open floor plan that has large family rooms that needs to look dressy but still very livable. This whole process can get very overwhelming, so making decisions and costly mistakes can be the hardest part for my clients.
This is the first part of a few series that I will post on how to get your room started. I have dealt with a lot of clients who have made mistakes and racked their brains on how to get started myself included. HA HA
So let’s get started shall we.
When planning a seating area in a living room you should provide at least enough seating for 6 people minimum. I know. I know. Not all of you have the space for that, but think of when you’re entertaining and how you could bring in a bench or side chair for more conversation clusters.
What is a conversation cluster?
Conversation clusters happen when larger groups of 8-12 people break off into smaller groups of 3-6 people. The overall diameters of conversation clusters are 12 feet to 13 feet in order to support interaction.
Anyway, I won’t bore you with all the technical design talk… Therefore when planning seating chose your focal point be it a fireplace, entertainment wall unit a beautiful view etc. The sofa should flank or support the focal point.
Direct traffic. Consider how to move people. Eliminate traffic blockades by substituting movable occasional tables for a too-long coffee table for or sleek sectional for two bulky sofas. Crate an easy path that avoids interrupting conversations or television viewing.
Measure Up. Crate a floor plan so you know what will fit. Make sure the furniture will fit through the front door and narrow hallways or up the stairs. (I know this all too well from my many military moves)
Once you have figured out you general furniture placement now it’s time to consider you actual pieces that will go into the room.
For this one PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!!!
Think outside the set. Acquire furniture one piece at a time rather than buying matching sets that often crate inflexible arrangements. Choose pieces in a compatible style so you can move them from room to room.
Take your time. Design is marathon not a sprint! Especially with the kind of investment you will making. I’d rather you buy quality not quantity.
Don’t let some pushy furniture sales person try to rush you into making fast decisions and buying more than you need. TRUST ME I HAVE SEEN THIS A LOT IN MY LINE OF WORK!
This is where hiring an interior designer such as myself to shop with you would be helpful for the day to keep you focused , make more realistic and better design decisions. It’s better to spend a couple hundred on a designer then to wast thousands on custom furniture that is over stuffed or buy one too many pieces for your space.
Start thinking of a REALIST BUDGET and stay tuned for next post and I will cover that in more detail. Not sure of how much things cost? Do your homework and “shop” magazines and catalogs first. Focus on furniture scaled to the room size.
While “shopping” the magazines and catalogs be thinking of interior design ideas. Try to think of the room as a whole. Make a folder and stash away all your ideas for when you ready to pull it all together.
Here are some of my ideas of a well designed family rooms
Image and Content resources:
Residential Interior Design, A Guide To Planning Spaces: Textbook
Better Homes and Gardens: New Decoration Book
Domino Magazine aka Lonny Magazine
Urban Grace Interiors
Pink Door Designs