Laying Out Your Space


Function-Driven Interior Design


Lesson Info

Laying Out Your Space

So let's talk about the idea we've been talking about the conceptual part and the loosey goosey free form and now it's time to really get into thinking about the actual space and how to start really laying out your floor plans have given you some tools and some rules of thumb and some measurements and that sort of thing let's talk about how we're actually going to start to do this so in that last section we were talking about assessing and measuring and photographing and all that stuff and there's a million ways to do this whether it's just freeform sketching um or you actually use something as specific as cada computer aided drafting but it's certainly not necessary to do that so we're gonna look at first a few uh maps that and things that I love to use and then I'm going to give you a demonstration of one of them in a in a little bit when we have time at the end of this course. But one of this is a tool that I love that I've discovered kind of recently um not too many months ago and ...

I really, really like it it's an ipad app and it's called more folio um trace and so I think this more folio company has several different acts but the one that I really like is called trace and it allows you to sketch projects that allows you to even do elevation so if you don't know how teo and perspective drawing so if you're not I'm skilled at that it can give you some tools to help you do that and I'm gonna show you how that works and just a little bit and it's also offers you the ability to import images that you've taken and draw on top of them, which is really fun and so just to show you a little fun example or two of this my daughter loves this at nasa we started playing on this one and I realized later that I have my cabinet tree going downhill on this side it should technically be going up the wall for a correct perspective, but this was just one that she and I played together when we first started playing with this app so it's that simple and so now she's on here constantly she was on last night in the hotel room when I was arresting she was making all kinds of designs on this more philia trace steps so this one is done this particular drawing by importing and grid into the back that allows youto have perspective lines that shows you if you're looking at a wall you know, gives you guidelines for drawing things on and I'll show it to you in just a little bit so you can see how it works but really fun has all kinds of options for changing the color the line. Wait, you can import actual pictures into the space and even leave them. There are make them go away afterwards. So this one was totally free form. But this next one was actually created. But she and I created together of course you can tell she has a part of this because all the artwork has moustache is in it so that's one of her latest craze is his mustache is but we started creating this space by drawing over an existing image of an interior. So it was fun to see that you could then use this in your own space. If you had a room that you wanted to say, change some of the elements, but you were going to keep the stairwell in the walls were going to stay in place. You could trace those in over a photograph, and then you slide a little tool a little toggle on the on the app, and it makes the picture go away in the background. And you just have this clean slate that you could then draw in other things that you wanted to say it's really, really fun and it can help you start to visualize what something will look like I'm going to show you how that works. And just a little bit, but there there are several others, but this happens to be one that I'm actually using. We've tried some of the others, but I really, really like this one, um here's another one that's. Ah, I called for the floor planner and let's see what the actual at address is floor floor planner, dot com and it is a way that if you aren't, if you don't have the ability to use cat or you can't really put floor plans in yourself with any other kind of ah, um, you know more, I guess design school type of a tool like cat or sketch up for some of the more technical one. This is a great, easy way to start creating floor plans for yourself, so definitely want to check out if you're interested in learning toe lay out your space and then this is this is an actual ipad app also, and it's called floor plans pro. So all of these are going to start doing that same kind of thing for you as faras laying out a floor plan for you. If you have the measurements and start helping you get a visual of what the floor plan looks like, this one is actually somewhat expensive as faras aps go, but I think it has a lot of great capabilities. Like fifteen dollars and a lot of laps or like in the three dollar right? So you want to make sure that you really I need this one probably before you invest in it there's all kinds of other sources out there that you contest out, but really, this one has a lot of cool features that you might want to check out. Of course, you can view some of those features in the app store and see what all its capable of but certainly great to have him on your ipad and if you had that and the more fairly a trace and all your images and all your measurements with my measure, you basically have a you know, couldn't walk around with your ipad and have all of the project there at one time, which would be very helpful. Yes. So toby, are these these air all ipad specific? The one before I think was not the floor plans pro I think it was on the computer I don't think it was an app. This one is an af and so is the more folio trace that I really like and there's a lot of other ones out there, but these are just some of the ones that seem like there's fairly simple to use I've used several other things to the thing I like about this one is that it has ah more uh the graphics khun b more interesting and have different pattern and color to my view some other ones that are more just grids and line drawings that have templates of furniture that aren't quite as fun and interesting as this one s so this one has a lot of detail to it but really when you're starting to think of your floor plan you could do a lot just by sketching and this is the kind of stuff that we really do in our work rooms so if you happen to have a floor plan of your space already like to be of a house plan um you can just take trait without we call tracing paper or trash paper a roll of tracing paper that you can get at the craft store and you can start just creating your own drawings even if you're going to think about moving some walls or other things by just starting to trace over your existing floor plan or you could take a picture of it I'm gonna show you how to do that in a little bit and trace on to it in this more folio trace at but often what I do for clients is when we're thinking about a space I go back to thinking of it as a completely blank slate so that I'm not influenced by baby what they already have in the space what's existing I wantto sort of clear clear the space in my mind and go back to square one so a lot of times about doing that, I'll draw just the outline of a spate of the space on tracing paper trash paper like this to start planning the room for the project. Funny quick story, toby. When I bought my very first home in london, I put out an apartment I had the floor plans all laid out that came with the, uh, sale and I used them to order all my carpeting and they weren't the real at the real measurements at all. So all the carpets showed up in. None of them have been fitted eso eyes use that, but verify all the measurements and write them down on that. It also showed me how my real estate had lied about all the sizes of the rooms. And so you should really pay for a lot less than what you got. Yes, yes. Good. Yes, it was well on also it was it was a real mess. Wow, that is a good one. This one's the carpet's being college it's cup it is that's true. Wow! Not a fun story. Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but it is good. And just seeing that picture reminded me that I remember those horrible food like I hate think well, note to self right is teo use this is the guy I want to do what we did earlier and go measure and that's actually true, because a lot of times we have plans for clients houses that something did change and it the as built as it is in the built situation what they call as built is not the same as on the plan or people will bring us our plans and say, here are floor plans but it's actually flip flops in the met in like a mirror image and the master bedroom's over here. So it just it's it's a good idea to verify before you start purchasing all the measurements, I think that's a great, great rule of thumb or bit of advice there um and then you can start adding furniture and you can actually, if you want to do this the old fashioned way the way I learned a draft in school, they do make little templates that you khun trace pieces of furniture if you want to do this by hand. And so for some people, doing this process by hand is the way that they I think for me, putting things on paper is kind of the way I think that's, why I love to ride and free form like we were talking about earlier and just brainstorm cause that's really how I get their ideas to really come to mind so starting to lay in furniture and this is where you can start to get a visual lisa, like you were talking about earlier, you be able to see how far is too far for the furniture because when you're looking at something on the floor plan, it gives you a lot of information even and that you don't necessarily get standing in the space sometimes now in both directions because sometimes things can feel like it's going to be really close on a plan and you get it in the space and you think that's actually feels right, but it might help you start really getting a feel for how much furniture you can put in a space by starting to draw it in um we love to take it the next step, and you might be saying, well, I could never do that, but once you see this app and the way it works, I think you really could do something like this, which is really fun. But, um, this is a sketch of the show house that I showed you earlier, so you saw the very beginning of when I plan that actually on an airplane, just sketching the layout and riding all the ideas that I had for it and then before was even designed, we were asked to make a drawing of it for the the program for the the show house that they were going to give all the people that visited it. So we had to draw a concept drawing of what we envisioned this space looking like, which is this? So that was the next step and then to take to the the result we were ableto really create something that was a whole lot like both my sketch drawing and this sketch rendering things ended up almost exactly where I thought they would be in the drawing. So it's a center hall of ah house on the james river in richmond. So I had this whole americana kind of color palette going on there, and everything really did lay out almost the way I envisioned it on paper, so I think we had to tweak the size of maybe this center table just a few inches, but for the most part, it really wass what we thought it was gonna be and sketching it out and drawing it out is what helped me know that it was going toe work out in the end with both on plan and in a rendering it's important, it makes sure, like we talked about in our measuring that you're including all sorts of things in your drawings like windows and doorways and stares and built ins and all of those things were really important for the whole process and so they're also great toe add function. I mean, just this drawing shows this is a project of my parents, a river house that they own, and so we haven't started the renovation yet, but this is an enclosed stairway right now, so there's a solid wall right there, and it really feels dark and dreary and, like it's going down into a lower level, it feels just like that, like you're going into the basement and we want to open it all up. And so taking out the wall is going to add a ton of function besides the fact that's going to bring a lot of light into the space, we're going to get storage underneath the stairwell and, ah, whole cabinet piece of cabinetry beside it that's gonna work more like a bar for a room, a game room that's downstairs, so not only don't forget jesus part of your traffic flow. Um, and part of really important, you know, space that the piece of the floor plan, but don't forget it for added function in storage, teo, because you can get a lot of tons of function out of built ins, um, and taking little nooks like this space under the stairs and really make it work for you, but this is a way to visualize how that's all gonna look afterwards, this was done originally on a little napkin sketch, literally a little tiny thumbnail sketch of me just going this would be a cool idea, and then I gave it to my staff and they put it into a drawing for me to really see how it would work. So then we start to emerge all that information we had gathered from the last session and really start to blend it with the actual house plan and how you can really start to use it in your floor plan to make sense to improve the function toe, add the kind of furniture and that you want to think about things like, well, trundle beds fit under this or can a murphy bed go on the wall and have room to pull out or us? You know, sofa, bed actually fit into space and be ableto, um, open up, you know? So you have to actually put that on plan to really know that so that you don't make mistakes. I think magdalena actually following your recommendation with that is right now using your tools to measure her space. She's written and said would never have thought of that very excited I'm off to measure. For the trundles and she you know, she says she has her mother, two kids, two dogs and her, you know, the problem in that room. So so you think about what we were talking about earlier this morning and a lot of us in this room we're starting now, I don't have all those life say just to deal with and I jokingly said, what if you had the kids and the elderly parent and the pitts and she and it was not a joke for her? It's what she's actually dealing with right now in a rental, right? And she's trying to make all of those things come together now, that's a very real for her. Yeah, not funny at all. Nice work on the tronto could save a situation and well, and that very thing, I mean, she is gonna need to put that on paper and really think about all the things we've talked about so far, which is exactly what this session is talking about. The traffic flow around those and how is it eliminating storage? Is she using the under bed already for storage? Does that eliminate storage? If it does, can that go in a cabinet like sometimes something that's working for you, like we said? Might get eliminated or altered when you do something else and so you don't want to end up with less function then you had to begin with so there's a lot of things to think about um and the best way is to start blending them here and that's when you're putting your ideas, your checklist into the actual floor plan and this is what I'm doing on a regular basis and we go back to the list and did we in the comparing the floor plan in the list and we bring all the ideas together and did we get all? And sometimes we can't get every solution they need in one space, so we didn't have to eat it prioritize or we go back to the client and say, okay, we can either have the trundle or we can have storage, but we can't have both which one's more important and we helped them make decisions um so and and then sometimes we get to the place where it looks great on the floor plan and you can see it in that two dimensional way, but you just can't envision or the client just cannot envision what it's gonna look like when it is in three d when it's really so we have to use other tools like the ones we're talking about to show them a drawing of what it would look like in um, more oven elevation form. So if this is their space, what is that going to look like? Toe have stripes on the wall or art, you know, on the sides of the bed or the bed that's this tall or all the symmetry, and they just really want to start understanding it. So we put it into drawings in this format, and we use a multitude of things to do this, but you can certainly easily use the floor, the act that I'm going to show you in a minute to do this. And if you cannot draw you, khun trace every one of these things which just really, really interesting because you can layer and you could start with the image of the actual wall. And then you could layer in an image that you had found of a bid and traced the bed onto the wall and start playing with layering pieces of photographs that you tryst until you build the drawing the way that it needs to be, which is really interesting. But isn't it? Isn't it great to use a drawing even particularly particularly one with color? To start helping someone get excited about the space if you're trying to design with your child like you were doing your teenager I mean being able to look at something like this is going to make both of you feel more comfortable to bring your ideas together right? What kind of what to ease pinterest right just pinterest yes and I think I told you this I learned that she's very bohemian world traveler style which actually is sort of an easy way to decorate because you can mix and match a lot of things um together and a lot of colors and her room is coming out really cute it's actually really fun that's great and I love that you were able to use some tools to help you both visualize because it would be really hard to get on the same page otherwise because when someone sent your saying I want this and they're saying that I don't want that but what do you want? You need some way for them to show you rum and you had her just pin images right there she is on pinterest now which is really fun but the initial it came from the wall color which was a very pale pink on initially she was like oh mom, I don't think so and I said trust me the orange the teal this it really pops that really looks really looks good and she's pleased okay with it so it just thinking about if you were doing a future project how much fun it would be to even take something to this level where you could start seeing or even she could start doing this which my daughter obvious I said already loves this but it was this would be a fun way for her to start showing you what she liked as well cause you could take a picture of the actual room and start showing certain pieces in the space which you're fun um so a ce farrah space planning goes there were certain items possibly on our list that we needed to make sure that they fit into the space too and so I said make sure that you take pictures of all of those and the measurements of all of those as you're taking that inventory because then when you start planning the space those were going to be some of the first things that you want to incorporate into the space right so before we get all of this lay down and start worrying about how to make these beautiful drawings of what it's gonna look like an envisioning at first on plan we need to make sure all of the important pieces are in the space so we're going to plug those in first so we have to do this on a regular basis with clients so this was a real project and the the image you saw right here was what the bed wall was gonna look like, what we were dealing with several things for the space, including the fact that we had a few pieces like this one that they already had that needed to be worked into the space. So we had to be able to show the client where this was going to go on what it was going to be used for, and they had a whole list of things that they wanted to happen here, it's a little girl's room, but they wanted it to grow with her. She needed a desk space, teo teo work, and she needed a place to sit down and read the bed wanted it to be really fun had certain colors that she loved, that you saw on that after image, and we had this cabinet to deal with. So we were showing the client's ways that all of this fits together. So these aerial tools that I used to show someone had a visualized this whole process, not only the beautiful color part, the style part and all the fun aesthetics, but the function piece is well. So when your space planning, um, thinking about some of the things reminding ourselves of what we've talked about, our already did you have furniture and other room? Maybe that wasn't working well and there, but that could fit perfectly in here so when you're starting to design a space before you go in and buy all new it's great to use what you have right so think about all the things that aren't currently working for you somewhere else and it just ask the question of could they be something that you could work into the space that you're working on because a lot of times you can find that there is a home for some of things in your home maybe just not where they are and then that list of what you need what's lacking whether it's storage or something that needs to be built in or things that you need to be to purchase or a certain kind of lighting it's too dark in the space all of those things really need to be part of this process of laying out the space so that you could make sure that when you're laying out if it's lighting or lamp lighting do you have outlets and all of the technical pieces to plug those in can they even fit on this wall? You want those all on your list and then certainly start searching for those new products a piece at a time based on those goals and plugging them into the floor plan based on their measurements so this is where the idea of that j k I was mentioning or that the person in the chat room was mentioning it's a good time now but all those other rooms aside and start really focusing on a space at a time and getting out the list of what you need to happen just in that room and start picking out pieces for that because otherwise here's what can happen and this happens to my staff sometimes if I'm not careful enough we're always saying don't be looking for referred don't be looking at refrigerators if you're supposed to be picking out headboards or vice versa because you can go out and start shopping online for things or in stores for things and it can become really overwhelming because you know all this stuff is on your list and you get distracted going oh pretty shiny thing over here that I need for my kitchen oh but I'm working on the bedroom so this is a place that you can stay really focused and it'll help you actually finish this space putting the others out of mind so start looking for those goals in those pieces just for this space and start plugging him into the room to make sure that they're working for you anybody have that trouble of going out to look for the one refrigerator and you find yourself looking itself is there something else that's much more fun and interesting so that happens to us all the time so I wanna show you a fuse rooms that I have designed and worked on and really show you how the floor plans change and I think this is the part where we actually have the images of the before and after if not there in this segment so um space planning here thinking about the flow of a room this is one of those places where the client was using only a percentage of their space so you see that there had this giant room but they're really only using maybe fifty percent of the room on this little rug and there's a number of reasons for that this is a fireplace against this wall that looks like a big rectangle there's wind double windows on either side of it there's a hallway just beyond to the bottom of this that you can't really see but there's columns that open to that there's a double wide opening into the breakfast room another double window on that side in a triple window on the back so they can't really figure out where to place their furniture's really challenging space and so starting with a typical probably eight by ten or nine by twelve one of the standard size drugs that you can imagine that there is um that's what they purchased and basically came to me and said we can only fit four people in this gigantic room so it is a challenge on die even still I mean this is where I can't wave my magic designer want and suddenly make this room not have all those openings but I certainly can improve upon the space for them and help them with some of their challenges. The other challenge was, um they had recently married blending families and we're going to have children soon and so and and while we were working together did have children and we started dealing with toy storage and so they were definitely coming from one life stage into another life stage and lots of things to deal with here and so we started dealing with all of them with them which was fun so here's what the after looks like for them now and custom custom rug right off the bat started giving them permission to use that hole face it just expanded that part of the room that they were using a sectional sofa here allowed them the the tv already was over the fireplace in this instance but it's really the best place for because there's not another wall to put it on anywhere in this room really other than maybe where that chest is and I think this really is a more better focal point because you already have this fireplace which was kind of the obvious focal point in the space so we ended up with a sectional sofa, a large ottoman two chairs flanking the fireplace and two chairs down here um lounge here so already we have seating for about two, four six, eight at least and then for other events or holidays, kids could sit on the ottoman and more people could pile onto the sofa, right? So we've expanded their seating a lot, and then we custom made this really long console table for behind the sectional, and we have tons of toy storage underneath, because by the time we worked through this whole project, they had two infants and little children. And so we have storage all underneath that in big basket, so everything's tucked behind the sofa, which j k o would love in these been so this is what your sister needed with with her boys because it wasn't practical. They had a playroom upstairs, but the kids were little and they just weren't going to go up and down the stairs by them. So we had to make all of this happen in this space. And then, even though there are windows on the front of the room just to help give it some more interest, we put console tables but their open underneath there like an x space so the light can still come through. But it's okay to place things in front of the window, sometimes depending on how you finish it, and usually I use drapery on windows to make a backdrop. And then allows the furniture. It allows the friendship of float in front of it a little bit better. So I think hopefully we have out the after before and afters will be in in a moment. We'll go through the floor plans first, okay? Here's, another of one of my favorite clients and this was what their furniture look like before. And this is where we're getting into off the crazy angles. And so we have this city on an angle over here. Two very large pikus trees, two tables that were matching but used in different one was going one direction. One was going in other direction, not a very large sofa could have had a much larger sofa coffee table that was a good distance from the sofa to feel like it's feeling some of that space, but it's really not that functional. And then we have all this other room out in the middle of the floor that you could just almost a cart, wheels or whatever you needed two out there, but really not functioning and not looking very balanced. And this is the first room you see from the entry hall. So you're coming in the front door and looking at this space, and it just really wasn't working for the client. S o the after is just really squaring it up, so this is kind of what I was talking about this morning when we were talking about the fireplace on the angle or earlier today just different for the sake of being different is not necessarily a good thing and it's okay to have all of your furniture really square and simple and straight there's not anything wrong with that at all? You don't have to get super creative with the layout if that's what functions the best and so we were able we didn't really add a lot more seating in the space we just made the space look more balanced, more beautiful there's still traffic flow that runs through this space, but there's actually plenty of room to run between the console table toe what between the consul table on the two chairs? Um and they may even be moved up just a hair, but it was just more about in this room, going from a lot of visual clutter to going to something that was much more conducive for conversation simpler in the layout, just cleaner and much more attractive for the client and you'll see in the photos in a minute. What a big difference it made we talked earlier about not forgetting some of these other little details you can use like desk as a bedside table so as you start laying out and you're laying out rooms and you're dealing with these dilemmas that we were talking about. Don't forget those or you mentioned swivel chairs earlier. I love to use swivel chairs and anything that can really add function to a space and movie from one conversation area to the next. All of those little details, we're going to start coming into play when you're starting to lay out your, uh, your rooms wind possible, and I mentioned this this morning it's really pleasant to walk into a bedroom and see the front of the bit now it doesn't always work that way. You don't always have a wall that allows you to do this, but if you don't have a whole wall of windows that you want to preserve the view from coming ugh, it's, nice when you come in the door, does that make sense that you're looking at the front of the bid? So if you're trying to decide where to put the bed, that would be my first rule of thumb is try to put it opposite the door wakes that looks much more attractive now. This might be an instance where you're weighing the pros and cons and if the v's more important and you're trying to look at something gorgeous like the ocean. Certainly you're going to say okay, we're willing to put our bed over here and even come into the side of the bed when we walk into the space but but general rule of thumb this it's really pleasant to see it this way? Another thing to think about is round versus square dining tables or around versus rectangle tango learned we were thinking about this a little bit this morning when I showed you one layout and I told you why I used a round table in that space because it was easier to move around but typically dining rooms aren't such a traffic center of traffic flow like that one was this morning and so often it's a room that either only has one way in and one way out or you don't go in there that often so you're more concerned with less concerned with traffic flow through the hum usually and more concerned with fitting the table to the space so if your room is more square a round table is going to fit better and if your room is rectangular either a rectangle or oval table is going to fit better and this is another one of those things that I have people come to me and say we have to have around dining table and then we measure their dining room and use those rules of thumb we talked about earlier with the edge of the table to the wall and a round table often doesn't fit in a narrow dining room they have to have a long one so this is a case where I sometimes have to be the bearer of bad news and go, I know you want that, but maybe we can fit that in the breakfast room or somewhere else, but it doesn't fit in your dining room, so think about the actual shape of the space it's real easy to see on a layout sometimes we have to even show a client visually your room is shaped like this the round table is shaped like this thes aren't really compatible. So a great rule of thumb there first base planning um you can I was just saying that you can place furniture in front of a window if you need to it might not be ideal, but they're sometimes when you have rooms like we were just talking about that you don't have any other choice this is a sun room and literally the whole room is windows. The opposite wall across from the windows is a fireplace in two large opening, so we had no choice but to put furniture in front of the windows here, so we just made sure that the window treatments or whatever was around the space really grounded it to the windows made it makes sense ah lot of times I even use long drive three panels on either side of a window like this, where the sofa would sit in front of it. But it's just more about things, looking cohesive and balance where possible. I like to use things that let light penetrate it. So even though I have a big, heavy sofa here, I picked a leggy table. So we weren't just covering all the glass. We were letting some of that light flow through.

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley returns to CreativeLive for her third workshop on creating a functional, beautiful space for the way you really live.

Tobi will show you how to merge style with function. Tobi will teach you how to make use of every square foot of your space — whether that space is large and spacious or small and compact.

You'll learn about spatial planning, including how to read and use floor plans, as well as how to maximize small spaces and make the most out of large rooms (without blowing your budget on more furniture). Whether you're redesigning your home office space or studio apartment, Tobi will give you the tools you need to make your space function perfectly just for you.