One of the very first things I do when I decide to tackle a room redo is a floor plan. It’s not nearly as fun as, say, shopping for accessories, but it is a foundation for the whole room and thus a necessary evil. Now this isn’t always a formal thing – sometimes I can just stand in a room and mentally place the furniture (that was what I did with my living room and it worked out fine). Some spaces need a more in-depth approach though, especially if they are overly large (master bedroom) or small (craft studio). This room in particular presented a challenge because:
1) there is an awkward jut out for the closet that makes the entrance feel cramped even with nothing in the room
2) there are two huge windows (yay!) on two very small walls (boo!) that I really wanted to leave as unblocked as possible.
3) I have alot of craft/art stuff, so I need to squeeze lots of storage and work space into a very small room.
Now when I say small, I am not kidding – the room is nine feet long and ranges from ten feet at its widest point to just under seven at its narrowest. It’s smaller than my walk-in closet! Couple that with the door and window placement, and it’s a challenge to say the least.
My first step was to sketch everything out to scale on my computer – there are a bunch of ways to do this online, but I used my old standby, Adobe Illustrator. I just happen to be really comfortable with that particular software (yay for graphic design backgrounds), but it doesn’t matter what method you use. Even pen and paper is fine (that’s what I used to take down the measurements) – the important part is to get it into a form you can play with. Here is my illustrator plan, sans furniture:
Next up was to create furniture blocks to represent any large items (furniture, shelves, rugs, etc. ) that are going in the space. Remember that you don’t have to get the overhead silhouette perfect. Plain old squares are fine, as long as the square represents the maximum dimensions of the piece. In my case this was especially important since I was using furniture that I already had (read more about my $100 budget here), so I couldn’t feasibly buy smaller scale furniture specifically for the room. If you are using paper, just cut your furniture blocks out of another piece of paper so you can literally move them around. If you are going the digital route, just create a new layer for your furniture. In the craft studio, I had two desk options, a chair, and a shelf unit that I knew were staying.
After that, it’s all about moving things around and filling in the holes with new pieces if necessary. Have fun and play around with placements you might otherwise not do. Because it’s digital (or paper), there is no heavy lifting involved, so it makes sense to figure out the best layout, even if you have to move things around a bunch of times.
Here are some of the plans I came up with – the pieces I own are in blue, and the new additions are in yellow. You will see I also kept a running total to the bottom of what I would need to buy so I could see at a glance where each plan would put me in my budget. I also added some notes at the bottom for my reference so I could remember what I was thinking – my ‘lil pea brain only has so much room!
After looking them over, hemming and hawing, and sleeping on it, I am down to options 2 or 3. As much as I love the idea of having one long, glorious expanse of counterspace at my disposal (option 4), it would involve alot more buying, which would eat into my budget for cute accessories (for shame!). Plus, options 2 and three give me both room to leave an easel out and a standing desk for my computer – something I have been wanting to do for awhile to get away from being so sedentary.
Stay tuned for a post on the colors/mood board for the craft studio later this week, as well as a closer look at the light fixture I talked about here.
Till next time,