Whether you are considering a new build, renovation, revamp, or even simple organizing there are many things to consider in advance. Here is a list of the top 5 things that we take into account when planning any project for a client.
1. Traffic Flow - You could have the most beautiful room in the world, but if nobody can get in or out it might as well be a picture on the wall. At best it is a wasted space, at worst a fire hazard. Always make sure that there are clear lanes of travel from each entry to each exit that account for the needs of the actual inhabitants. This could mean doors wide enough for a wheel chair, or an island placed far enough back that the dishwasher can be opened.
2. Seating - How many people are going to be in the space at one time? Of them how many are going to want or need to sit? Seating is typically will dictate where smaller pieces of furniture and lighting will go. Once you have a traffic pattern and seating in place you will have a very good idea of the layout of everything else.
3. Storage - Every room should ideally contain the items used in that area. Setting a table from a buffet or sideboard is preferable to transporting grandma's fragile heirlooms from the other wing. Containing items in an organized fashion is also greatly added by having a place set aside for just such a purpose. Similarly items intended for display present better if they don't have to compete with non-decorative items (read here clutter).
4. Lighting - Now that we have a room that you can enter and exit, one where there is a place to sit if needed, and plenty of storage for all the items that belong there we have to add lighting so that you can see what you are going. Overlapping zones of light are ideal with general light for the room, task light where you need additional visibility, and accent lighting were we want to highlight an object.
5. Privacy - Bedroom, Bathroom, Office, or even just a place you need to keep the dog out of privacy and access control are the fifth considerations. This can mean window treatments to keep people from looking in (or the sun from intruding when you need to sleep), doors to prevent others from physically entering or screens that can give you a little extra feeling of privacy in an otherwise open area. Lastly depending on the setting sound can be very intrusive as well. Nobody wants their movie interrupted by the noise of a blender running or the cat crying during your conference call.