SALT SERIES // Design Your Family Room // Floor Plan


So here we meet again in our Salt Series! Continuing on in our trek together we are now diving into the Floor Plan portion of our room design sequence.  In case you missed the beginning parts of our series, we'll just go ahead and catch you up here: 

Design Your Family Room : Part One // Declutter + Edit

Design Your Family Room : Part Two // Organize

Design Your Family Room :  Part Three // Inspiration

Which brings us directly to our Part Four : Design your Floor Plan.  Now that we have a pretty good vision in our minds of what we WANT our space to look like and we have a nice clean and organized room to work with, we are ready to start the planning phases.  

When doing this, keep in mind the furniture pieces that you have decided to keep and use at this point, as well as any new furniture that you are planning on purchasing.  If you are trying to determine what SIZE furniture to purchase, this will be a very helpful tool for you because you will be able to determine just what will work and just what will be too big or not quite big enough. 

Step One : Measure and Draw the Room

Using a tape measure, determine the length and width of your room. If you're like me, you like to go old school and use good ol' fashioned graph paper and a no. 2 pencil for this phase. If so, one box on the paper represents one foot. If your more techie and advanced like my partner Leigh, you'll use a sophisticated room layout website like Roomle to get you going here. If your somewhere in between the graph paper and the website, here is a Printable Room Planner that you can use too. 

Once you have your four walls mapped out, add the location and size of your doors and windows. When adding doors, mark the direction door opens to note the lost space.

Step Two : Create Your Floor Plan

With your beginning floor plan in hand, let's answer some questions that will help us figure out which options will best suit. 

Question 1: Where are the balance lines of this room?

Sounds complicated, but this is super easy. Take your floor plan and draw a horizontal and vertical line directly down the middle, equally dividing the space into four quadrants. These are the balance lines of a room and they divide the room into 4 equal-sized areas. In order to have a balanced room, the visual weight of the furniture on one side of the room should be about the same as the weight of the furniture on the opposite side of the room.

Question 2: How will traffic flow through this room?

Every room will have a traffic flow where people generally walk through it.  You want to be sure that nothing is hindering the flow here, and this is a big thing to keep in mind when purchasing large pieces of furniture like a couch or big chunky armchairs.  

**As a Tip:  Add 36 inches of clearance in front of every door opening. Allow 12 inches to 15 inches of clear space in front of windows.

Question 3: What is the focus of the room?

When you enter this room, where do you want all eyes to go? All of our big furniture pieces should be designed around that space. In the Family Room we are most likely going to be working around the Fireplace or a TV in some sort of cabinet, built-in or console. If your room doesn't have a natural focal point, then let's create one. Try a large-scale piece of art, a gallery wall in lieu of a TV or Fireplace

Question 4: Where is the axis?

Now that we have positioned all of the furniture in relation to the focal point, let's focus on the walls. If the fireplace is your focal point, draw a line that runs floor to ceiling through the center of it on the floor plan.

In order to find your axis, simply draw an imaginary line that runs floor to ceiling from the center of your focal point. The purpose of this axis is to give you a line along which you can add decoration, such as a mirror or piece of artwork above the fireplace.

To take things a step further, extend the axis line to the wall opposite the focal point to create the same visual weight. In our fireplace example, this could help you to determine what you want to use to balance out the other side of the room, either a love seat, end table and a unique light fixture, or maybe a couple oversized armchairs with bookcases anchoring them in the back. 


Step Three : Arrange the Furniture 

Let’s get down to it.  Now that our room is laid out, we can start to play with the furniture layout. Draw paper scale models of your furniture, or search for printable versions online. To draw your own, use the same scale of 1 box equals 1 foot for your furniture pieces. Or go the super efficient route on your Roomle planner here and get really creative by using their database of furniture pieces. 

Keep in mind the balance of the room, your traffic flow and the focus and know that it may take a little hands on rearranging to get it all right, and that's all part of the fun anyways! 

**Helpful Tip:  This is a trick I regularly use to get a good visual of how big a piece of furniture will actually FEEL before I take the plunge and hand over my credit card.  Use some painters tape to map out the arrangement on your actual floor…x marks the spot for each corner of a couch/chair/table etc.   This will help you double-check that everything will actually fit the way you envision it…because sometimes the mind envisions something that just may be a tad out of touch with reality! 

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