The 4 Steps to Create an Interior Design Space Plan For Your Project

Interior Design Podcast, Interior Design Career, Interior Design School, Interior Design Business, Interior Design Mentor, Interior Designer, design space planning

Do you want to learn about the technical side of design and make an interior design space plan for your client’s project?

Everyone can enjoy an interior designer’s expertise in organizing and utilizing home space. But, if you’re unfamiliar with Interior Design Space Planning, you may feel daunted by the task!

It is important to assess space and apply design principles that reflect your client’s style and lifestyle. So here are some tips to help you create a space plan that makes your client’s home look beautiful AND functional!

Don’t wait any longer – find out more by listening to this episode. Let me brush the surface and share a few tips so you can get started today.

This requires practice and experience, so I recommend that you do it before you take on your first client. Use this opportunity to space plan your home and run different scenarios.

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Learn about what Interior Design Space Planning is, its importance, and the 4 steps you can take to get started
  • Create your first interior design space plan with the 9 tips for designing efficient spaces
  • Analyze the different space planning software options available to you and choose the ones best suited to your needs
    Check out these episode highlights

    01:45 – What Interior Design Space Planning is

    02:23 – 4 steps you can take to get started with your Interior Design Space Planning

    1| Collect information to help lay out the space

    • How many people use it?
    • How often is it being used? (daily, formal, casual events)
    • Are there pets?
    • Are there kids?

    2| Find relationships between activities

    • Start with a bubble diagram with larger bubbles representing priority activities. This is a valuable step for thinking through all the things you need to account for in this space and making a plan for your space plan.
    • Scale the bubbles by size according to how important they are. TV and sectional sofa are the priority (larger bubbles), with accent chairs to the side (smaller bubbles).
    • Clear the path of travel and draw arrows.
    • Refine your bubble diagram until it becomes a concrete layout.

    Protip: I recommend hand-drawing your plans first. There’s scientific proof that putting pen to paper or physically touching something solidifies and helps you think through the entire process.

    3| Work on your floor plan by including parameters on it

    • Take measurements of the space
    • Know where your walls and flooring breaks are
    • Know what the ceiling looks like
    • Find out where your entry points are

    4| Plan your furniture for your space

    • Start with generic sizes for sofas and tables to see what would work in the space using general sizes that are pleasing to most people.
    • Once you’ve solidified your floor plan, select specific items and furniture pieces for the space.
    • Put the actual dimensions to make sure it fits the space’s scale. Why? Scaled floor plans are beneficial for visualizing and knowing ahead of time how the outcome of your design is going to be. Advantage #1: It ensures your design looks good, fits the space well, works, and your client will be satisfied with what you came up with. Advantage #2: It allows you to lay out lighting. So when the electrician asks how far away from the wall you want the light installed, you have your dimension line and center it over your furniture, ensuring adequate lighting for tasks done in the space.

    Protip: To do the initial layout, you should throw some generic sizes in there. Since you have yet to decide what you want to pick for the space, you want to ensure that your layout idea will work in a general sense. Having a list like that will help you move faster in your space plan and ensure it is a relatively realistic idea.

    07:04 – The #1 disadvantage of not using scaled floor plans

    07:54 – The book that can help you understand how wide your path of travel around a piece of furniture needs to be even if you’re new to Interior Design Space Planning

    09:04 – Different space planning software you can use

    1| Graph paper

    One square equals one foot. If you’re starting as a designer, do some hand drafting because it helps solidify spatial relations in your head. Then, as you transfer to the computer, you’ll still have those skills.

    2| AutoCAD LT

    I’ve been using it for years and haven’t had any issues. It’s an expensive program, but it meets all my needs, like sharing files with engineers and architects.

    3| SketchUp

    It has a free version, which I dabbled in during my early days, although it has been a while since I have worked on it.

    4| Homestyler

    The software you could use to get some drawings together and understand spatial relations and Interior Design Space Planning. Some of our interns use it.

    5| Chief Architect

    Like AutoCAD, it’s a little more unifying and an industry standard.

    6| 2020 Design

    If you’re more into kitchen design and cabinetry, there’s B2020.

    Protip: Since software constantly changes, visualize your plan in 2D before developing it into a 3D model. You can develop this skill with practice, which gives a general idea of how the room will look, even if it isn’t 100% clear.

    12:14 – 9 tips to remember when planning your space

    1. Major walkways should be at least 36 inches wide, while less frequently used pathways should be 30 inches wide.
    2. Allow 15 inches between the coffee table and the sofa or chairs to avoid bumping shins when sitting down.
    3. The front feet are usually on the rug, while the back feet are off the rug. So your feet should be comfortably on the rug while sitting on the sofa or chair.
    4. Dining room rugs should be large enough to push the chairs back from the table while still on the rug. Also, decide whether you want a kid-friendly, durable rug like Ruggable underneath the dining table or if no rug is needed. For example, sometimes, I won’t put a rug under the kitchen table because it gets abused.
    5. Bedroom rugs should sit under the bed with at least 12 to 18 inches of the rug on each side. It provides a nice, cushy space for your feet when you step out, especially if you have hard flooring.
    6. To avoid the wobble, side tables & nightstands should either be entirely on or off the rug because the tables need to be level, and if you set anything on them, you don’t want them to slide off.
    7. Consider window-sill heights when furniture goes in front of a window. You don’t want to block the view. Pull the sofa forward away from the window instead.
    8. Avoid overpowering the room with too many items or furniture too large for the space. Instead, make sure that piece of furniture fits the space well.
    9. Determine what the focal point of the room is and consider how your furniture lays out to address that. You can’t have two focal points in the room, so you will have to decide or have your client decide what is best for them based on how they live. Check what their priority is or if they want the conversation or the room’s purpose to be the focus instead.
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      Thanks for listening. I hope this helps you discover if interior design is the career for you. See you next week…