6 Steps to Successfully Design a Space: Step 3 – Determine How You Will Use the Space


You can’t design a space without first knowing what the space is for and how it is to be used. Be realistic and include your needs as part of the design process. The room can be as stylish as you want, but if it doesn’t work with your lifestyle you’ll never use it anyway.

Let’s say you’re designing a living room. Ask yourself how the room should function and what it needs to accommodate. Some possible question might be:

  • Is this a place to sit and watch tv with the family?
  • Is it for conversation and gatherings over entertainment?
  • How many people will it need to accomodate on average?
  • Do any members in the family have special needs that should be addressed?
  • Is it a pet and child friendly space?

All these things should be factored into your decision making process.

Another thing to keep in mind is, what was problematic about the old space? Did it limit you from doing things you wanted. Maybe the furniture was too big and bulky, making it difficult to move around in. Maybe the room appeared dark and could use more light to make it feel inviting. Take a moment to write down what you disliked from the old space and make sure to correct it with the new design. Cosmetic touch ups are great, but if the underlying problems continue to exist, the room will continue to annoy you.

Next up – break out your camera and take photos of everything. Assess what you have and whether or not it will fit into the new design. Taking photo’s of each item, helps you envision new schemes as you can easily move pieces in and out of your overall design.

What’s also great about taking a picture of each item individually, is that, it allows you to sort them into 3 different groups.

  • Group 1: Items to Keep.
  • Group 2: Items to Change
  • Group 3: Items to Give Away or Throw Out.

When deciding on which group an item belongs in, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I love this?
  • Do I need this?
  • Does it fit into my overall design?

Be thorough with your items. You may have a number of pieces that, with a fresh coat of paint, new lampshade or a re-upholster job, might be ideal for your new room.

Once you have filtered down your list, measure all the keepers. This way you will know exactly what works where, when experimenting with floor plans.

If anyone has additional tips for this step in the decorating process, I’d love to hear about them. :)

(featured image from: http://maximum-home-design.blogspot.com)