Emma Stergoulis Design
"Good design always starts from the ground up...."
OK so who has ever looked at a set of floor plans and their eyes have glazed over.??...In the excitement of purchasing a new home or designing a new space it is common to just jump to the final look..... "the icing on the cake" if you like. You have saved all those pictures of your dream home on Pinterest, followed the design kings and queens on Instagram, and draped yourself in comfort on the perfect sofa at your friends new abode..... The temptation to march on, and "ice the said cake" before we have thought about how we are going to bake the perfect base to showcase this dream design is far too strong. This is pretty understandable, after all, by the time most people are ready to design their home - whether it be a full renovation or a bit more low key like investing in their perfect sofa, they have been waiting and saving for a while and understandably as soon as they are able to go for it....... they well... go for it.
And this is where I say with a "motherly tone" be patient...... and take a small step back...
Whether you are doing a new build, a renovation or updating your living room furniture.... change is generally easier ( and lets face it a hell of a lot cheaper) to make whilst your home is still a set of lines on a piece of paper. Using a eraser and a pencil is a little simpler than moving a physical wall or returning a piece of furniture after the building has commenced or the orders have been confirmed.
Taking that step back and considering the floor plan and how you, your individual needs and family structure will work in the space, allows you the perfect opportunity, and last opportunity to ensure it works for you before your decisions become permanent ones that you will need to live with.
Often clients find it really hard to visualise a space, especially if all they have are the drawings in a 2D format and no physical space to walk around in.
Obtaining a second opinion from a design professional, is a great way to ensure that you are creating the best space and making the most of your time and money. Even making changes part way through the build are extremely costly. The small cost of getting this second opinion will far outweigh the cost of fixing the mistakes down the track...more often than not they may even suggest a few little gems that you had not even thought of!
Take a step back and think about how you and those living in the property function on a day to day basis? What are your routines, and how will they translate in the space? For example, how easy is it to get the shopping from the car to the place it needs to be? Are you a sporty family and need an entry where you can hide the muddy boots - or do you traipse that through the house before you find the cupboard to shove it in ? What type of storage do you need and where does it need to be? Can you supervise the kids when you are cooking dinner? How do you like to entertain? How much can a stranger see when you open the front door? Are windows placed in the correct spot to make the most of the natural light or will the neighbours get an eyeful when you are in the shower? ..... Will the power sockets allow you to have a light over your desk,...... ? the lists go on.......
There is lots to think about and getting these small details right in the outset mean that you will be able to enjoy your home from the outset and not be thinking.."If only..." It also helps you to think about what bugs you about your current home and what do you love....
Whether you are building a home from scratch, or you are choosing a single item of furniture, it is really helpful to ensure that you have furniture drawn to scale in the rooms. In conjunction with your thoughts around how you function ( discussed above) this will help you to see how you would circulate around the space, or get from one area to another?.... Will the sofa block off access (visually and physically)? Can you easily manoeuvre around the furniture? Is the scale of the furniture right for the space?
Think about the vertical space too, having a bunk bed in a room with low ceilings or even a ceiling fan may not be the best idea (I have seen it!).
Drawing furniture in a space also highlights a space within a home that probably lacks purpose or functionality. If you really struggle to think what furniture you would put there you are also struggling to think what purpose the room/space actually has and this would be a flag to think about whether you need to get the eraser out.....
Also think about how you are going to get the furniture into the place..... narrow access can limit the choices of furniture that we can use, as such it is not just a matter of measuring the space where the sofa will sit..... you also need to think about how you will get said sofa in......
Think about the long term
It is tempting to design solely around how you live now, and although this is very much part of your consideration you need to think about how you will live in the future an what are your intentions for the property. I have had clients in the past want to set bathroom vanities lower than the standard height because the bathroom is for their children..... yes a tall vanity with an above basin sink can mean that it is hard for children to reach, but children soon grow and that little boy will very quickly become a 6 foot basketball player...... a $5 step is a little cheaper than a new vanity. How will the bedroom configurations work as babies through to adults....or are you renovating to sell... what would be an ideal layout for your target buyer in the area ( are they elderly, single or young families)
ULTIMATELY - Measure twice ( or more ) and build once. Making the initial small investment to get a professional to help you do this in the outset can save you a whole lot both emotionally and financially in the long run. Call me for a commitment free chat to see how I can help.