Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 Days: Room Design

One of the biggest challenges with home relocation is moving your stuff from one house and making it work in another. As you tour houses with a realtor, you are looking at someone else's belongings and asking yourself "How will my belongings work here?"

Our house was a blank slate. The previous owners had already moved out, and the rooms were empty and waiting to be filled. This can be tricky. An empty room can either appear small when it is not furnished, or it can seem huge and cavernous and nearly impossible to fill.

The family room is not a small room. It measures 21 feet by 15 feet, with a feature wall that includes a brick fireplace and built-in bookcases. Because of the fireplace wall and the surrounding wood paneling, this has become our cozy room where we like to watch movies on the big television. However, our family room furniture has seen better days. Twelve years, several big moves, three kids, one dog, and a lot of college kids have taken a toll on the stuff. It has seen a lot of love and held up pretty well, considering.

Yesterday, my husband said that he'd like to look for new furniture for the family room. And let me tell you, friends, that is a rare celestial event! My husband is not a man that likes to a.) shop, and b.) spend money on big ticket items. I had to hop on that train before it left the station!

We had a great time talking with our sales associate at Macy's. Mechita let us take a tour around the showroom and helped guide us on our thought process. My husband and son gravitated to the HUGE leather sectionals with recliners and cup holders, the kind of seating that belongs in giant basements. Nope. Not gonna happen.

"If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Mechita reminded my husband.

We found some smaller scaled options and began to pull together a color palette.

I love it! Rich colors and textures, soft leather and upholstery, solids and patterns. So pretty and warm!

We brought home the spec sheets.

I printed off the photos.
And then the fun begins! Using grid paper, I measured off the room and made scale models of the pieces we are considering. This helps us determine if we need to go with the smaller loveseat...
...or the larger sofa.

Scale models work well, but in the end, the only way to really visualize the furniture is by mapping it out on the floor of the room. So, we moved out most of the furniture and measured newspaper models on the floor. This can also be done with masking tape, but we used what he had on hand.

It helps to visualize the clearance around tables, sofa, and chairs. Will there be enough room to walk freely?

Will there be enough room for tail wagging labrador retrievers?

We are still debating...loveseat or sofa? One leather recliner or two? Ottoman or coffee table? Two chairs or three?

Any opinions?


Before you begin the house hunting process, take careful measurements of your current furniture pieces. Keep this information (and a retractable measuring tape) with you as you tour homes. With these measurements handy, you will not have to second guess whether your dining room table that seats eight and the matching hutch will fit into the room space. Remember, a lot of furniture pieces, like armoires or accent chairs, can be moved and utilized in different rooms at the next house. Just because you've always had that armoire in the living room doesn't mean it will have to fit into the living room of the next house. It could work much better in a bedroom. In other words, rethink your furniture pieces and room layouts, and have some flexibility with room design.

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