Space planning is a fundamental aspect of interior design that involves optimising the use of available space in a room. It involves creating a functional layout that enhances the flow of movement and makes the most of the available area. Effective space planning is crucial to ensure that an interior space is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
If you’re undertaking an interior design project, you’ll want to make sure that you get the most out of your space. That’s where a professional interior designer can help. Many interior designers offer a space planning service to help clients optimise their space for their needs.
But, if you’re working on a DIY project, don’t worry – with the right tools and a bit of guidance, you can tackle interior design space planning and create an effective plan for yourself.
A 10-step plan on how to create a space plan for your interior design project:
Step 1: Measure the space
Measure the dimensions of the room and make note of any permanent features such as windows, doors, and fireplaces.
Step 2: Create a digital floor plan
Use design software such as Planner5D, SketchUp or RoomSketcher to create a digital floor plan, we have a range of free options in our blog post about interior design software. Alternatively, you can sketch a rough plan on paper.
Step 3: Define the purpose of the space
Consider how the space will be used and the activities that will take place in the room. This will help you determine the necessary features and layout.
Step 4: Determine the flow of the space
Consider the natural flow of movement through the space, and how people will move from one area to another. Ensure that the layout maximizes the functional use of the space.
Step 5: Prioritize function over aesthetics
While it’s important to create a visually pleasing space, functionality should be the primary concern. Make sure the space plan meets the needs of the occupants.
Step 6: Choose furniture
Select furniture that is appropriately sized for the space and fits the intended function. Avoid overcrowding the room with too much furniture.
Step 7: Consider lighting
Ensure that there is sufficient natural light and consider the placement of artificial light fixtures. Plan for adequate task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting.
Step 8: Experiment with furniture placement
Try out different arrangements to find the most functional layout for the space. This can be done using design software or by physically moving furniture around.
Step 9: Incorporate balance
Aim for a balance of prospect (openness and visibility) and refuge (privacy and containment) within the space.
Step 10: Revise and refine
Once you have a basic space plan, revisit it and make necessary adjustments. Refine the plan until it meets the needs of the occupants and maximizes the functionality of the space.
9 Factors to consider when space planning
Effective space planning requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure that the space is functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when creating a space plan for your interior design project:
Structure and architecture
The structure and architecture of the space can influence the design and layout. For example, a small room with low ceilings may require a different approach than a large, open space with high ceilings.
Space and volume
The amount of space available and the volume of the space can impact the layout and functionality of the space. It’s important to consider how the space will be used and how to make the most of the available space.
Scale refers to the relationship between objects in the space. Consider the size of the furniture, fixtures, and other elements in relation to the size of the room.
Designate specific areas for different activities, such as lounging, dining, or work. This can help to create a more functional and organised space.
Proportions refer to the balance and harmony of the space. It’s important to consider the proportions of different elements in the space and how they relate to each other.
Prospect and refuge
Prospect refers to the ability to see and perceive the space, while refuge refers to a sense of safety and privacy. Balancing prospect and refuge can create a more comfortable and inviting space.
Layout and flow
The layout and flow of the space can impact its functionality and usability of the space. It’s important to consider how people will move through the space and how different areas are connected.
Clutter can make a space feel cramped and disorganised. Consider how to maximise storage space and keep the space clean and clutter-free.
Lighting and decoration
Lighting and decoration can influence the mood and atmosphere of the space. Consider how to use lighting and decoration to enhance the overall design and functionality of the space.
Questions to ask yourself when planning a space
When planning a space, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that the resulting design is functional and effective. Here are some questions to consider:
- What is the space for and will it be multi-functional?
It’s important to establish the primary function of the space, as well as any other functions it might need to accommodate.
- How many people will be using the space and for what purpose?
Knowing the number of people using the space and what activities they will be doing can help determine the layout and size of the furniture.
- Existing furniture and its placement
Taking into account existing furniture and its placement can help with the flow of the room and potentially save costs.
- Natural light and lighting needs
Natural light can affect the mood and feeling of a room, while artificial lighting is important to create the desired atmosphere.
- Focal points and symmetry
Identifying focal points can create balance and harmony in the room. Symmetry can also help create a feeling of stability and balance.
- Other preferences
Other personal preferences, such as colour, style, and materials, can also be taken into account during the planning stage to create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
In conclusion, effective space planning is an essential component of any successful interior design project. By considering factors such as structure, flow, lighting, and furniture placement, you can create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and efficient.
Remember to ask yourself important questions, such as how many people will be using the space and for what purpose. And don’t be afraid to experiment with furniture placement and scale to achieve the best possible layout.
Of course, not everyone has the skills or knowledge required for space planning, which is why seeking professional help may be the best option. Whether you’re working on a small project or a large commercial space, a professional interior designer can help you create a space plan that is tailored to your specific needs and requirements.