DESIGN 101: FURNITURE LAYOUTS - BEDROOMS!

This month, Design 101  is all about furniture layouts!  Last week we talked about master bedroom layouts.  We’re making our way around your home, offering you tips and tricks to furnish each space.  Next on our list is kid's rooms and guest bedrooms:

Bedroom Layouts: Kids and Guest Rooms

Guest_Bedroom

Guest_Bedroom

Photos from Pinterest

Step One: Find a Focal Point

Like in the master bedroom, the main piece of furniture in any of your other bedrooms is the bed.  Therefore, it is the natural focal point.  Additional furniture will be placed around the bed, so you want to ensure you place the bed, or beds, in a location that works.  For tips on finding additional focal points in kid's rooms and guest bedrooms, refer to our guides for finding the focal point in master bedrooms.

Room_And_Board

Room_And_Board

Furniture available at Room & Board

Step Two: Refer to your Furniture List

Each week we have discussed making a list of essential items for each room of your home.  In your secondary bedrooms, essential items could be things like beds, dressers, end tables, and accessories (rugs) or accents (art and lighting).  You may also want to add a reading chair or desk. Remember that if you own pieces that aren’t essential for the bedrooms, it could be that they work in another part of your home.

Guest_Room

Guest_Room

Furniture available at Room & Board

Step Three: Arrange Furniture, Art, and Accessories

  1. Start by placing beds.  You will want at least 24″ on either side of a bed, between it and any walls,  for space to walk around.  This also allows you to make the bed easily!  Also allow for 36″ between your bed and any doors. Twin beds should be spaced at least 20" apart.  Cribs should be kept away from windows and window shade cords.  If you are using bunk beds, you'll want to ensure they have sturdy ladders, handrails, and safety rails.
  2. If you are tight on space, try a bed without a foot-board.  This will make the room seem larger.  For guest bedrooms, you could also try a space-saving daybed or sofa bed that will sit against a wall.
  3. The easiest way to increase your square footage is to add a mirror to the room.  Mirrors reflect light, making rooms feel more open and spacious.
  4. Reading chairs are particularly nice in kid's rooms and guest bedrooms.  In kid's rooms, they give  your children a place to curl up and enjoy a nice book.  In guest rooms, they can provide a relaxing area for down time.
  5. If you have space, placing a desk in a guest room is a nice benefit.  It allows guests to catch up on emails, the news, or go the old fashioned route of writing a postcard.
  6. If you have young children, consider flexible furniture.  There are a lot of options out there for cribs that can be turned into larger beds, or changing tables that can later become dressers.  When choosing a crib, there are federal safety standards to adhere too.  Slats, spindles, and corner posts should be spaced no more than 2 3/8" apart.  Also, you will want to look at furniture that can't be tipped over.  Especially if you have climbers!  Fastening large pieces of furniture to the wall can provide an additional safety precaution.
  7. You can maximize storage by placing bedside tables as big as your space will allow.  We find shelves and drawers offer helpful storage.  We like to place bedside tables that are the same height, or slightly lower, than the top of the mattress.
  8. You should leave a clearance of 36″ in front of closets, dressers, and armoires so that you can open doors and drawers
  9. Think about whether or not you want a rug in the space.  Rugs will help reduce noise in your bedroom.  In kid's rooms, or if you have elderly or disabled guests, you will want to avoid small area rugs that could slip easily.  If you would like to place an area rug, we suggest placing a larger scaled rug under the bed area.  That way it provides something soft to step out of bed onto, but avoids ruining any weekends by having your guests lose their footing!
  10. Consider additional lighting in your room.  Do you want to give your kids or guests the ability to read in bed?  In November, we discussed various types of lighting that could enhance bedrooms.
  11. While thinking about how to light your room, also consider how to block light.  We typically install some kind of blackout window treatment in bedrooms to block light in the morning and provide privacy at night.  In October, we devoted the entire month to window treatments.  In kid's rooms, you will want to ensure you eliminate any dangling cords on window treatments as these can be choking hazards.

Happy Sleeping.

RB.

Next Up: We kick off a new month of Design 101 all about Budgets!

READERS: Do you have a room that is impossible to furnish?  Let us know and we might feature you next month and give you free advice.

DESIGN 101: FURNITURE PLACEMENT - THE BASICS

Happy New Year! We're excited to kick off a new year of Design 101 with a topic we get a lot of questions about - furniture placement!  It can be a challenge to figure out how to fit furniture into your home in a way that is both functional and appealing.  We have walked into a lot of homes where our clients have said, "something just isn't right".   If you find  yourself saying the same thing, you're not alone!  This month we'll give you tips and tricks to use furniture in a way that makes sense.

Although it may not be the most fun aspect of redesigning your space, figuring out the basics of furniture placement is an essential step!  Later this month we'll discuss furniture layout ideas for every room of your home.  But first, you'll need to understand your space!  Below are easy to follow steps to help you get started.

Clutter

Clutter

Step One: Clean

One of your new year's resolutions must have been to organize, right? Lets get started! It's always easier to plan a space when you have an empty canvas to work with.  If that's impossible, at least try to remove anything you no longer need or use.  Getting rid of clutter can help you look at your space with a new perspective.  Especially if you're going to start moving around heavy pieces of furniture like your sofa or dining room table!

Measure

Measure

Step Two: Measure your Room

As industry professionals we have software that allows us to interpret the dimensions of your space.  But that can be expensive for those of you who are DIY types!  If you're software savvy, there are also websites that will help you measure your space and drop in furniture ideas.  But we often prefer to do it the good old fashioned way - with a measuring tape and some graph paper!  Follow these simple steps to measure your room:

  1. With a measuring tape, measure each wall of your room, the windows, and the doors.  Take not of whether the doors open in or out.
  2. Living_room
  3. Draw the room on graph paper.  Each 1/4 inch square should equal 1 foot. This will create your floor plan.

Step Three: Furniture List

Whether you're using your existing furniture or buying new furniture, you'll need to decide on the essential pieces for each room.  For example, a living room is completed by using seating (sofa, love seat, chairs) with side furniture (coffee tables, side tables, shelving units).  Perhaps you also have additional accessories for your living room (TV, sound system) or accents (art, books, lighting).  Also think about the flooring - do you have a rug in mind?

If you own pieces that don't fit within the essential list of furniture for each room, keep them on a side list for now.  Ultimately, if they don't work in the room you are planning now, they might work in another part of your home!

Furniture

Furniture

Step Four: Measure and Arrange Furniture

Before making purchases or placing anything, you want to make sure pieces will fit in a way that makes sense.

  1. Measure your furniture.  On a separate piece of graph paper, make a template for each piece of furniture using the same 1/4" = 1'-0" ratio.
  2. Rearrange the furniture templates on the floor plan to see what you like best!
  3. If you want to take additional precaution before ordering or placing furniture, or if the idea of drawing a floor plan overwhelms you, fear not!  You can mark each piece of furniture in your actual space with masking tape or painters tape to get an idea of how the furniture placement will work.  In lieu of tape, you can also lay down newspaper to mark out where each piece will go. Trust us, even the experts do this!

Additional Tips:

If you want to go the extra mile with your floor plan, you could cut small pieces of your furniture fabric and glue them to each furniture template.  This will help give you a sense of how the room will come together aesthetically.  If you don't have fabric snippets available, markers will do!

Basics copy

Basics copy

READERS: Do you have a furniture layout dilemma in your home?  A room that is shaped in a way that makes it impossible to furnish?  Let us know and we might feature you next month by giving you free design advice!

Happy Measuring.

RB.

Up Next Week in Design 101: Living Room and Family Room Furniture Layouts! Stay Tuned!