17 June 2014

Six tips to help you to think like a designer


Getting your interior space right is an important part of enjoying your home. Without the space working the way you want it to, you’ll feel on edge and ill at ease – the opposite of what your home should achieve – so SigmaLondon have some ideas to help you get what you want from your interior. But first of all you need to step back and look at your home dispassionately…

1. Analyse the Space.
Look around your home, the same way you did when you were buying it and identify the best features; the things you don’t like quite so much and the bits that are just plain nasty. Make a note of which way the room faces – does it get a lot of sun, or mostly shadow. Now look at how many electrical sockets it has – enough for your needs? Do a sketch floor plan and note the door swings and number of windows.

2. How is that Room Used?
Does the area assigned to a particular room offer enough space for the way it is used? Would it actually make more sense to change the room sequence around to take advantage of more or less light? For example a room that is used for watching television benefits from not having direct sunlight, but a kitchen without good lighting is hard to work in. Consider then, if moving the space around will give you a more flexible home and one that works with the natural features you already possess.

3. What is the Most Logical Layout?
Some properties simply don’t allow the flexibility to add an extension. In this situation you’ll need to be clever with how you use the space to really achieve what you want. Look at the current locations of the rooms and decide if it really makes sense to have a bedroom beside the reception room. Some rooms are better grouped together – that space would be better used as a kitchen or dining area – it keeps the ‘public’ spaces together and gives the bedroom a quieter location. Grouping bedrooms and bathrooms together is also practical because this type of zoning allows for a calm and sensitive handling of the more intimate spaces. It will also enable you to create a suite of rooms around your bedroom area.

4. Note the Position of the Services.
Kitchens and bathrooms need easy access to drainage – which generally runs down an exterior wall. As part of the process of considering the layout of your home, make sure you take note of this because any building work that involves reconfiguring the layout, will involve pipework being moved and this cost will only be practical if the structure of the building allows the work to be done easily.

5. Are the Rooms Overlooked?
Depending on the location of your house, some parts of it are likely to be overlooked by your neighbours. For the more public areas of your home, this is easily solved with window treatments or plantings that screen the room from view. Sometimes though a bedroom will end up in a location that is less secluded than you’d like – because that is the most logical place for it – and this highlights issues of privacy that using a window film for frosting the glass can solve. You’ll need to consider your views on this before you decide that this layout is right for you.

6. Check that the Furniture Fits!
Planning your interior space is like doing a puzzle, everything has to fit in its proper place before the job feels complete. If you allow your heart to dictate what you purchase, you’ll end up with a home that is overcrowded and not thought out. Never buy the furniture before you know how you want to use the space and always take the measurements with you when you go shopping – if something doesn't fit – don’t buy it. And keep in mind, if you live above the ground floor, how will you get the furniture into your home?

Getting your interior space right will allow you to relax within your home. It will feel welcoming and well planned. Sigma London believes that this is vital to any interior scheme and that you will benefit from the improvements you make – because your home should be your haven.

SigmaLondon – Interior designers in London. You can find them on Facebook.

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