In my recent experience of shifting house, I was acutely reminded of the importance of interior design. This was for many reasons with the main reason being the maximizing and planning of space. We have downsized in square meterage yet still need to fit most of our possessions into this space.
Here are where my interior design skills come in.
You have to make every space work, not only for storage but also for the flow of people around your furniture and of course it also needs to look good. I realize now that I take this skill for granted. I have been told, you will never fit all that in there, - "watch me", I say. Also moving is a good time to get rid of those bits and pieces that you never liked, never use, and just collect dust in the garage! I am a great hoarder of emotional things, so this is the hard part, but by downsizing, there is no option for emotion, you need to make decisions based on space and traffic flow, and if it won't fit, (even though I can make it fit) it has to go. Yes, we could squeeze a spare bed in the children's playroom, but then they won't have any room to play - defeating the purpose of having these designated spaces. There is room for the sofa in the play room, but once again, no room left to play, so floor cushions it will be - (and an excuse to do some shopping and decorating).
It is a matter of bringing things into the room slowly and knowing when to stop. Space planning is easier on paper, you can see how people will move in the space, how much room you have place items and can easily experiment with different layouts to get the most advantage of the space. When you are pushing around heavy sofas and armchairs it does become tiring. If you are building a new home, I would definitely stress the importance of space planning before you sign off on your drawings. Think about where the doors are placed, for example you need to make sure that the door and pathway through a room doesn't go straight in front of everyone watching TV. Or the bathroom door opens the correct way so if someone forgets to lock the door, you don't see them sitting when you accidently barge in! Check that the windows have space to the side to place the stackback of curtains, ensure that there is wall room to place your bookcase, buffet, entertainment unit. I recently visited a home where all the walls were windows in the living room, there was nowhere for the curtains to sit off the windows, the TV was in a corner surrounded by glass so when you looked at the TV you had to pull the curtains so you didn't get the sun in your eyes. All these little design and space planning things are so important and as an interior designer you are trained to think about them and question a new build or when renovating, if there are things that stand out badly, it is time to change them.
I hope this little reminder about spaces makes you think about how rooms are used, how people react in a space that is cluttered and overflowing with furniture, how they feel in a room that they can move around freely in, the sense of harmony in that comes from a room that is visually appealing. There are so many interior design skills in creating these spaces and people do forget that this is what they pay professionals to achieve - make their interior spaces work, not just look good.
Thanks for reading - I still you to get involved in our interior design community, we are growing but need more design enthusiasts like you on board to start talking design with each other. Go and register now, it is free and you never know - you might just learn something!
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