Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Geeking Out on Floorplanner.com

Grab a cup of coffee, this one's a mouthful.

As our hardwood floors sit acclimating for the next couple of weeks, and we make progress on painting, painting, painting the main level of our house, my head is busy pondering furniture for our living room.  Our home has always been a mish-mash of hand me down furniture. It's always bothered me, but as a renter I wanted to put our money towards purchasing a house. I didn't want to spend money on furnishings that might only fit in our rental. So we were the dumping ground for any and all hand me downs from my family. Which is fortunate, because otherwise we would have been sitting on camp chairs.

Not having any furniture that we're attached to and invested in, while unfortunate looking, is actually a good opportunity. It means we get to start from scratch. We can buy a room full of pieces that fit the space, are size appropriate, the materials that we want, etc. For this reason and the expense that will be involved, it was important for me to start coming up with a plan early on. I wanted to make sure we make the most of our furniture choices, and that they serve the purposes we need. So, months ago, I turned to floorplanner.com.

Floorplanner.com allows you to enter your own room measurements, room features (such as windows, stairways, doors, etc.), and then play around with different configurations (the furnishing colors are not representative of final choices, I just utilized the options they had). I took an odd level of enjoyment from being able to see everything mapped out so clearly and proportionately. It makes my expensive furniture decisions feel a little bit more…worthy? Successful space planning is key to a great looking and feeling home.  It encourages flow, conversation, and intimacy. It allows you to get the most from your square footage. Basic access on the site is free, and I was able to play around with several configurations. I've gone back to the site regularly to update pieces as I think them through. Want a peek into how my thought process has evolved? Too bad...you're getting one.

Here is where I started: Option #1.

That gigantic couch is seated in front of what is now our planked wall.   That grey rectangle on the lower wall, is the estimated dimensions of what will soon (okay, nothing happens soon when it comes to our house) be our living room built-ins featuring our flat screen, storage and open shelving. I knew that I wanted to float some of the furniture, just a bit (having it just off the wall "floating" in the room). So I pondered this layout for a while.

I realized that I didn't like such a large sofa weighing down our long wall. It was reading as a little over bearing to me. 

I drafted up Option #2 for kicks. It features a arrangement that is completely floating in the space. While I love this configuration when I see it in homes, I just didn't think it was right for us. Because of  how things are centered in our living room, I thought it just left too much dead space that I wasn't really sure how to utilize. 
For Option #3, I got the idea to play around with a large sectional as an option for the main seating area. A sectional (while it is a dreaded word to some), would maximize seating capacity, and would be just as cost effective as the cost of a couch and two chairs. And istead of the large over bearing sofa to fill the expanse of the planked wall, my next go-to were two over sized chairs. So here she is, numero tres:


The over sized chairs are Chair-and-a-half's to be exact, measuring 53" wide, as opposed to a more average 36" size.  I got to thinking they would create a nice reading or conversational sit-and-have-a-glass-of-wine-and-not-be-staring-at-the-tv zone.. Oh, and I definitely needed to add in an area rug to define that space from the larger seating area (soon, I also became obsessed with a vintage flat weave kilm rug at our entrance to help enhance the "foyer" space, so you see that added above as well).

The yellow squares you see are ottomans. Something in a print to add some fun. We'll be able to move those around for additional seating when we have friends over.

In my daunting hunt for the perfect affordable worn brown leather sectional sofa (more on that in a post soon), I decided I had to be flexible. Perhaps something like this would work: Option #4.

One disadvantage of purchasing a large sectional, is that it may not travel very well with us to our next home. And, if I ever did get the urge to move things around in here, I wouldn't be able to. A sectional largely marries you to a configuration.  So perhaps two sofas would fit the bill, and provide just as much seating?

We also, through the course of our pondering and planning, decided that our entire fireplace space will be gutted. Yep. When Jon begins his flooring project, he's going to be demoing all of the stone and we'll be tossing out that 1980's far-too-large and brassy pellet stove. Honestly, I'm not sure what the plan is for our future fireplace, but I know it will look much better and be more space appropriate.

I can't wait to come back and talk more about my hunt for the right pieces that will be fitting into this puzzle. The hunt has been underway for months, and I think I'm on the brink of some final selections. How about you? Did you think through the layout of your furniture? Do you feel like your maximizing seating as well as flow and intimacy? I'd love to hear!

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