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Category: Interior design tips

  1. The importance of a furniture layout

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    How to measure the space


    I hope the list of decisions needed for a project that I gave last week helped you to visualise all the decisions to make on your project.  It might feel a bit overwhelming but great to see them listed and I hope it prompts you.

    The other hugely vital point was the importance of a furniture layout.  If you put the effort into designing out mistakes at the drawing stage it will save you money and wasted time - and will be so much less stressful.  


    Measure your space as accurately as you can. I have a guide that will help you which you can download here.  Measure the floor area and doors & windows.  Get the wall areas in between windows measured correctly.  Add socket, switch and lighting positions.    Draw all this on grid paper.  Measure any fixed items such as fireplace and add.  Measure items of furniture you’d like to go in the space - whether existing or new.  You could draw the footprint of these items and cut them out so you can play around with options.  Or overlay a sheet of tracing paper.  If you are introducing only a few new items into the space - then use newspaper or cupboard and measure out the exact space. Seeing the space in 3 dimensions early on will help you to feel more sure about the work. If you are drawing the floor plan - have a look at elevations where things are happening on walls - check they work in relation to each other. 


    It doesn’t matter how you do it - use the method which works best for you.  


    • How is the flow/circulation through the space?
    • How is the view into the space from the adjoining space?
    • Are you making the most of any nice views outside and maximising daylight? 


    Are you looking at large items in your design?  

    1. Look at whether they are delivered in one piece or not

    2. Look at your door sizes (including the front door)

    3. Look at the hallways, staircases and any turns need to get the item into the room


    Please do this before going too far with your design and DEFINATELY before you order!  We want to design out mistakes!


    Now look at your furniture layout in conjunction to existing sockets, switches and lighting.

    Is everything easy to access?  Are any sockets covered up that need repositioning or new sockets adding?  Is the lighting going to light the right areas or do you need a rethink?  Would the space benefit from some different types of lighting with this new arrangement.  How often do you use the central pendant light?  Could you use layered, low level lighting instead - table lamps?


    • Can you still reach the window to pull down blinds/drawer curtains?
    • Is any heating clear of obstructions?  Have ugly radiators appeared that now need addressing?
    • Imagine using the space.  Have you got enough storage for real life living?  Can you factor in anything that will improve the day to day use of the space?
    • Have you had a rethink about a new item?  Update the drawing just to be sure of the fit.


    I can’t stress how important this is to do if you want to plan the project well.  You will thank me for encouraging you!  It’s good to know any knock on effects early on as it all affects budget and we all know that’s when it becomes stressful.  I really hope this helps you!


    Can you see parts of the process you’d like to do yourself and other parts you really don’t want to do?

    That’s where I can help.  I can help you on the parts you need help with.  

    A TWO HOUR CONSULTATION can happen in-person (in Brighton & Hove area) or online.   

    In addition to two hour consultations - time can be pre-purchased in 10 hour or 20 hour blocks.  

  2. What decisions are needed to stay one step ahead?

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    In my blog last week I talked about a project that started as fun for a client but quickly became overwhelming and no longer fun.

    I don’t want clients to be hard on themselves.  There are a HUGE amount of decisions to make. Even if looking at a room or two.  Being organised and one step ahead will save costly mistakes and will alleviate stress.  It IS possible to enjoy the process!  But an early understanding of the types of decisions needed will prepare you.


    Perhaps if I list the decisions it will help!

    (deep breath...!)

    1. Look at the space - could flow be improved, are door positions good? are views out of windows optimised,  how are the views within the building?  use of skylights, best positioning of the space for maximum daylight? 

    2. The space in conjunction with the furniture.  Choosing the furniture and getting it on a furniture layout - get it on paper with the exact furniture you are using.

    3. Audio visual - much of this is furniture layout dependent - at the very least - is a TV involved?  Where will it go?

    4. Lighting and sockets need to correspond to that furniture layout

    5. Lighting decisions - functional as well as aesthetics and correct lamp selection

    6. Heating and cooling….  At the least - what type of heating - what does it look like - where do radiators fit in with the furniture layout?  (are you getting that the furniture layout is so important?!) 

    7. Home automation - if you are having it, this is the time to get this factored in while walls and floors are open.  Made your home super energy efficiency with lighting sensors, temperature control, window shading as well as security

    8. Flooring decisions - choosing a specification that is right for the space AND the right aesthetic.

    9. Timber selection floors, furniture

    10. Woodwork - door types and designs, skirting, door frames

    11. Metal finishes: sockets, switches, handles, door furniture, taps  - plus what shapes are they all?

    12. Sanitaryware - WC, basin, bath, shower, enclosure, 

    13. Brassware - taps, shower fittings 

    14. Wall and ceiling finishes 

    15. Tile 

    16. Appliances, equipment 

    17. Fabric selection for soft seating, window coverage

    18. Window coverage type and operation

    19. Artwork 

    20. Decorative items 


    Even an interior designer will not have the answers for all of the items on the list.  But we know specialists to use and we can guide you through the process.  

    I realise not everyone has the budget for this.  Plus there are parts of this process that clients really enjoy doing themselves.  I don’t want to take the fun bits away from clients!

    Can you see parts of the process you’d like to do yourself and other parts you really don’t want to do?

    That’s where I can help.  I can help you on the parts you need help with.  


    A TWO HOUR CONSULTATION can happen in-person (in Brighton & Hove area) or online.   

    In addition to two hour consultations - time can be pre-purchased in 10 hour or 20 hour blocks.  


  3. Top 5 tips for a luxurious and sustainable room design

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    1. Take a little time to review what you have at home already.  Can you use things from other rooms instead of buying new?   Are there loose or fixed items in the room that you can reuse?  Do you really need to strip it all out?  You’ll be surprised what moving lamps, mirrors, art and decorative items into to different rooms can do!
    2. Reuse.  Do family or friends have unwanted items you could reuse or that need a repair?   A home with collected items from travels, family and friends and has so many more stories to tell, is so much more original and luxurious looking and it has a soul. It’s all about vintage.  I believe every room needs at least one vintage item in it in order to ground it.  
    3. Recycle.  An easy thing to do is look for recycled content when you source things like tiles, flooring, rugs, bedding, fabrics. You can even buy paint that has been recycled.  Better to recycle materials that are already here than making new ones!
    4. Avoid trends - unless you love those colours and designs.  Buy things YOU love rather than what magazines tell you to like.  You will like it for longer and that  Let colour in if it brings you joy!  Experiment.  Paint onto lining paper and try colours on different walls. Perhaps you have friends who have been doing the same thing and you can share sample pots?  If you are decorating yourself - it’s worth reading the guidelines and use the paint calculator given by manufacturers for coverage because we always buy too much.  It’s good to keep some for future touching in and repairing - but did you know an estimated 50 million litres of paint sold each year goes to waste in the UK?
    5. Buy quality.  If that means saving up a bit longer for that quality item or buying preloved.  Being savvy - better quality items have a resale value, so if you do fall out of love with it - you can sell it on.  If you buy anything made from new timber - always check it is from a sustainable source.  This means it’s timber (or paper goods including wallpaper) from a well managed forest that has a replanting program.  Look out for the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) logos.