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Master the Art of Space Planning – Getting the Most Out of Your Space

An empty space has many possibilities, but when it comes to interior decorating, it also has constraints. Determining what you can and can’t do with a space is one of the fundamental rules of successful design. The Baer’s Design Team understands the temptation to start buying paint, curtains, and furniture, but if you want to decorate like a pro, you need to assess your space fully. This article will provide you with the guidance you need to evaluate your space properly. If you follow this advice, not only are you much more likely to be happy with the end product, but you can avoid some costly pitfalls at the same time.

Measure & Photograph Your Space

Before you start checking out new furniture, take a few minutes to take a few measurements and take pictures. You’ll want to know the following:

  • The wall-to-wall measurements in both directions

  • The ceiling height if you will be buying taller pieces, like cabinets or bookshelves 

  • The height and width of the doorsThe distance that a door swings into the space. 

  • Stairwell width if you will be bringing pieces upstairs

  • Elevator dimensions if you live in a condo or apartment building

  • The distance of windows and doors from the corners of the room

  • Take pictures of any specific elements that will need to be worked around--you can't have too many pictures!

When shopping for furniture, bring your tape measure with you. Baer’s Furniture always has tape measures on hand for customers--come in to any of our stores and get one today.

Consider Architectural Features that Affect the Space

If you looked at the previous section and thought that the list of measurements was a bit extensive, you’re right. However, there is a reason why you want to consider all of these measurements and distances. Your space will be nothing like a showroom display. For one, most display sections have fewer than three walls, and your space will have up to four. You may also have architectural features that affect the placement of pieces. For example, you don’t want a TV console blocking your window or a sectional sofa preventing you from closing a door. Making sure you're armed with ALL y our measurements and distances can help you make a better buying decision.

Consider this placement of the Tommy Bahama Home Island Estate West Indies Canopy Bed, look at the room scenes for this bed. The challenge for the decorator is placing the bed in a logical position in the room while not obstructing the gorgeous wall of windows.  In this case, choosing a bed with a rattan latticework headboard allows the maximum amount of light to enter the room. There are, of course, other ways to address this challenge, but this is an elegant solution to a common problem.

Tropical style bedroom with a canopy bed in the center.

Here are a few architectural features that you may have to address when decorating:

  • Columns in the center of a space

  • Thermostats, circuit breaker panels, light switches, air intakes, etc., can affect furniture placement against a wall

  • Closet or adjoining room openings

  • Recessed floors or steps

  • Low-hanging light fixtures or ceiling fans

Does the Room have Built-in Character?

This is something that a lot of amateur decorators miss. Many Florida homes — particularly older ones — have a distinctive style. You may not have chosen your space based on the existing architectural features, but they can be a free boon to your interior design. 

For example, many Florida homes have large windows in a specific room, which was popular before all homes had central AC. Cool terrazzo floors are another common Florida feature. If you like Florida design style as much as we do, embrace these design elements. 

Look at how this Tommy Bahama Home Ocean Club Paradise Point Bed compliments the intracoastal view of this Florida room.

Large bedroom with full window exposure featuring a king-size bed in the center.

Match the Size of the Furniture with the Space You Have

Like many Florida homes built in the past 25 years, you may have an open floor plan design that would swallow up smaller pieces. On the contrary, if you live in a luxury condo near the beach, you may have exchanged square footage for easy access to a popular area. In that case, a large sectional may not be appropriate for your living room.

Consider Traffic Flow

This living room featuring the Natuzzi Editions Giulivo Six Piece Power Leather Sectional is positioned at an appropriate distance from the walls and windows. There’s even plenty of space for reclining.

Living room featuring Natuzzi reclining sectional.

With showrooms throughout Florida, Baer’s Furniture has the styles and pieces you need for your space. Take your measurements, take pictures, then stop into a local Baer’s Furniture today.