Hi, there friends. How are you doing on this Friday? It is a rainy day here but that doesn't mean we can't still have some fun diving into the design process further. I'm Becky Bonnell with Lykke Haven Design which is a purpose-driven interior design company in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. We love to create spaces with intention, mission, and connection. We have been taking this get week to go through the big, scary design process, and we have went over all kinds of information on how to get the color palette and then, yesterday, we talked about how to create a home that serves you. So, we're getting these zones and those zones are important as we dive in today talking more about floor plans and how to create them. We're going to dive into this design process.
I am just excited because the kids are out of the house. Nana decided to take them on a fun trip Friday excursion. I checked in with my mom just to make sure that maybe it wasn't raining there and it actually is sunny. So, that's great and another bonus is our youngest made it all the way there. It was about over an hour away and she gets car sick. We took a trip to Kentucky. Which was about six hours away and I think she threw up like five or seven times. We lost track. So, I am excited to say that she made it. And it is sunny and they are having a fun Friday field trip and I know that you are here because you are looking for just as much excitement as we talk about flowing floorplan Friday. Maybe that's a little too much. But what can I say, when you live with my husband you end up with corny dad jokes all the time. I love him.
We're going to dive into floor plans today and talk about how you get them before you start making any kind of selections. A lot of people start diving right into those selections instead of taking a step back. What is our floor plan going to even look like? What do we actually need? What's our shopping list for space and how much room do we have for those objects as well? So, we're going to take that step back. We're going to dive into how we develop a floorplan and then some tips and tricks as you're going through that checklist to remember.
A lot of times people think that developing a floor plan takes a lot of tools. A fancy software and there is fancy software out there, there's Sketchup, there's Chief Architect, to name a few. I also use Foyer to do some renderings. So, there's all this fancy way to get floor plans but trust me, you do not need them. As an eight-year-old, I was already making floorplans with very simple, low level tools. You don't even need all these drafting tools. There are so many drafting tools out there, drafting boards. I will say, when I was taking classes at the New York Institute of Art and Design, they had us hand draft. We didn't even start with the fancy software tools. We started with hand drafting. I have a very deep appreciation even more for hand drawing your floorplans. Not that I necessarily do that now. I do use software tools instead. But
I wanted to come today and show you that you do not need fancy tools. Not even drafting tools to make your floor plan. All you need is simple graph paper. You need a pencil with an eraser preferably. Your room and that's about it. There's not much to creating a floorplan above that. So, where do you get started? I know it can be a little intimidating but honestly, you guys just start by measuring the outside of your room and we're going to go over how to make a floorplan today that isn't necessarily a remodel. It's just a freshening up of your current space. There's so much more and it's a very different training if you're doing a remodel but today, we're just going to look at if you have an room to freshen.
I'm going to use a bedroom as an example, and you want to freshen it up and change out the furniture. This is where we're going to start. So, you measure the outside circumference of your room and you start with a simple sketch to get the measurements down. We are not drawing to scale yet. Mark where the doors are, where windows are. That's it and you honestly just sketch on your paper the start of a floor plan. Not drawn to scale.
You're then going to take that sketch and make a scaled drawing on graph paper. When I say scaled drawing, what I mean is that each box on your graph paper is worth a certain amount of inches. So, you're going to figure out how many inches that is, so that you can fit your room on one piece of graph paper. So, there is a little bit math involved. I know it's a little scary, but trust me, you can do this. It's math that we learned in elementary school and I, by all means, know that you can handle this. So, you figure out how many inches each box is worth so that you can fit your room on a piece of graph paper. For my example, each box is worth 4 inches. So, making three boxes equal to one foot and sketched out my room to scale. So, I had 13 ft 6in. wall at the front and then, the side here is 18 feet and 2 inches. So, I drew that to scale. Then you put in your doors. You also mark where the door is leading to. So, I have to the hallway and then also to the bath. It's really hard to point on a camera by the way, and sorry for the lighting. I tried to add a light. I don't have the tools but we're going to get this training in anyway. So, you had those doors and then on the side here, I have three windows along the wall that you put in drawn to scale as well. Once you get the outside done, make sure you're adding in approximate locations of your plugs. So, that's the two little lines in the circle represents a plug on the wall. You want to make sure that you know where those are. So, if you want to plug in any lights or any electronics, you know where those plugs are in your space. Then, any floor vents that you don't want to cover up or wall, radiators depend on your heating system in your home. Make sure that you are also marking those as well.
This is your sketch of your room. This is the beginning of the floorplan. There's nothing fancy to it. It's a scaled drawing of the room that you're focusing on. There. Something like that.
From here, you're going to do the same thing but with furnishings. So, you have your zones that you listed, previously. The ones you want and the ones you need. Starting with the ones you need. What furniture do you need in those spaces? To make those zones work for your family. For this example, it's a bedroom. I need a bed first and foremost. That's something we need. Almost anything else for a bedroom is more of a want. You could argue the end tables are also a need. So, a bed and end tables are needs. What I do is I will take the same graph paper, a different piece of graph paper, and cut out the typical size of bed you're looking for and the typical size of an end table. It doesn't have to match exactly what you're going to select. Just approximation at this point. I cut those out and add them onto my sketched room. I'm moving them around trying to figure out what's going to work. Then I also will do that for all different zones that I want to have in our room. For this example, I made a place for two chairs so that we can converse together. And then I wanted to add a fireplace to the room as well. So, there's a lot of I different ways that furniture can be moved. In this specific instance, I have a gas line in a certain wall, so it had to be against that wall. There's not as much to play with, but let's say there are a lot of ways to move things around. Take a picture of your floorplan layout with your phone. Then wipe it clean again. Move things around. Create a different floor plan with those cutouts. Take a picture. And then do it again. Try to get at least three to five different ideas going for your floor plan.
Then what you're going to do is take those pictures and open up a simple PowerPoint if you want to and put those pictures all right next to each other. Now what you're going to do is really focus on, what do I feel works best for our family? What floor plan is it? Maybe it's a combination and you make another floor plan option. You're starting to move around this stuff and compare different floor plans before deciding which floor plan will work for you.
That's how you start making a floor plan. Like I said, you don't need fancy tools, you don't, you just need graph paper, tape measure, a pencil, and scissors to cut out the furniture. But then you start moving things around, taking pictures, and comparing floor plans before you select yours.
A couple quick tips, further tips on floor plans that you might want to pay attention to. For instance, you want to make sure that the flow of people through the space works. You don't want to make it too cramped and feel more claustrophobic because you add too much furniture. Some good rules of thumb are, make sure that around the doorways, you have at least 3 feet. So, shade in around where doorway openings. The typical size of a door if you have a swing is already about 3 feet. It's into like 2 feet 8 inches. Shade in those zones. Another thing to know is that any walkway, if you have a flow of people going from, let's say, an entryway through the living room to the kitchen. You want to make sure that there's about three feet for the walkway all the way through that path. That way, people don't feel cramped and they can easily move through the through the room. Then if you have objects like a chair and a couch for instance, and they want to get in between there. You can lessen that to two feet. Then when it comes to a coffee table, in between it and the couch, or any kind of table and a sitting area, you're going to want about one to one and a half feet. So, three feet for main walkways, two feet in between objects, and then the closer intimate areas like a coffee table to a couch, you're going down to, one foot, one and a half feet. Those are just some things to keep in mind as you're doing this. You don't want to butt objects right against each other and then no one can get anywhere in your room.
Other tips, make sure to get those traffic flows from your empathy exercises. That way you know how you're moving throughout the space. Like I said, remember, where plugs and vents are. That's very important. You're not going to want to cover up any vents. Then, if you want to add a lamp, you're going to need a plug nearby. So, really think of where cords are going. Then, check back with your nice to haves and your wants and needs. How many can you get into there to not make it feel so cluttered. Take those into consideration. The biggest thing when you're evaluating different floor plans is check the balance. What do I mean by that? For example, I have finished floor plan here where it lists out each of my different furniture and then lighting. It's really hard to get this all in. What I mean by balance is you're going to cut your room into quadrants. So, into fourths. You're going to cut it this way and that way and you're going to check balance. You want to make sure that there is balance. That when symmetry is involved. You can see I have two chairs on either side of the symmetry line and then, when you're looking at the whole room, I have the bed balancing with the fireplace. You're checking to see if there's balance in the room and balance doesn't necessarily mean complete symmetry. Like there's a specific chair on this side and the same one on that side. You can balance it differently. Just make sure that with your eye, the weight of objects feels the same. For example, on this one, when I look at the vertical symmetry, so you're looking at the walls now. This wall, symmetry up the wall. I have windows all along here. It would look very unbalanced if I did not have anything along this wall because I have something on the opposite side wall. What I did in this instance, there's a door that helps create balance. And then I have a large piece of art on this wall. So now when you're looking at the walls from one side to the other side it's balanced; there are windows along the wall and then on the other side, there is a door and a large picture. So, it's not necessarily the same, right? I don't have windows on both walls but I did create that balance with art and a doorway. So, really check back and that's one of the checks and balances for your floor plan is to say, does this feel balanced or not when you're comparing your different floor plans? Once you select your final floor plan, that's when you start listing out what is that furniture in that specific floor plan? For this one, I listed out, there's a bed. There are end tables. There are two chairs. There's the fireplace and there's a beverage cart to help balance out that wall. Then you're going to go in with your second layer which is your lighting. Is there a chandelier? Are there lamps? Making sure that the light is spread out throughout the space as well.
That is about it. Now, you have your shopping list before you do your selections. If you were to dive into selections before this, you would probably get too much stuff and try to crowd it in your room or your room wouldn't serve you well because you don't have the necessary tools or furniture you need for the specific zones that you wanted to create. Maybe you didn’t remember the light that you wanted for the reading corner or you get too much art. That's another big one. You go to Hobby Lobby and you get a bunch of art and then you have nowhere to put it. So, first, please figure out your floor plan. How much do you need?
Tomorrow, what we're going to get into is how do you even start the selection process? How do you start what I call the prototype phase? It's where we're getting samples and selecting things now and we're also prototyping some of those areas that we have questions over before we're buying anything. This is a phase that not a lot of designers have but I am so excited to open your eyes to what it can be. I am taking things I learned from my engineering background and prototyping products and we're going to prototype some of those areas in your room that you're maybe just unsure about before you start making sections. So, join me tomorrow as we as we dive into to the selection side of things.
As your action step today, take the room that you decided for this design process and sketch out that floor plan. Cut out furniture pieces, move them around, and decide on what floor plan works the best for you. Making sure to do those checks and balances of a balanced room, of walkways, as well, and going back to your empathy exercises. Send me a message if you have any questions that you have. Please comment and share his to video, I hope that I could bring light into the design process because I know it can be scary.
We'll be back here tomorrow to talk about selections and the prototype phase. I hope you guys all have a fantastic Friday. Another alliteration, sorry. Join me tomorrow, one o'clock. See you there. Have a great Friday.
Lykke Haven Design is a full service, purpose-driven interior design firm serving clients in West Michigan. We work with clients from Ada, to Grand Rapids, to Holland (and the occasional out of state). Our mission is to create Intentional Interiors curated with a Meaningful Mission that Cultivate Connection. We do this through a process driven by Human-Centered Design. We would love to discuss your next project and how we can help.
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