My 3 Monsters: {31 Days to a Brand New Room}Day 2: Space Planning

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{31 Days to a Brand New Room}
Day 2: Space Planning

Hi!  Welcome back!

If you're joining us for the first time today, this is day 2 of a 31 day series about how to give a room in your home a brand new look, from top to bottom, completely DIY.  

Today we're going to talk a little bit about space planning, which is vital to creating a room that really works for you.  It's important to consider who will be using the space and how they will be using it.  For example, my daughter is a teenage girl and this is her bedroom.  It needs to be a place where she can sleep and store all of her stuff {thank you, Captain Obvious}, but it also needs to be a place where she can escape from her brothers and entertain her friends.  She likes to read and play guitar, so a comfy place to sit is a must.  Oh, and she would love to have friends sleep over more often, so extra sleep space would be nice.  She's not naturally organized which means we need to give her an obvious place for everything to go -- that aspect needs to really function and be very intuitive.  All three of my kids share a bathroom, so it would be really nice for her to have a mirror and/or a place to get ready in the morning.

That's a pretty tall order for a 12-foot by 12-foot room, right?

Once I have an idea of what I need to do in the space, I like to get an idea of what I have to work with.  Since I'm a visual thinker, it helps me to draw out the room to scale on graph paper.  Measure each of the walls in the room and transfer that to a piece of graph paper.  I usually use a scale of 1 foot = 3 squares on my graph paper.  Then I measure all the furniture and draw that to the same scale on another piece of graph paper so I can cut each piece out and move them around in my scale room outline.  This helps me to get a general idea of how to arrange the furniture.  It's important to remember, though, that a 2-dimensional floor plan drawing will look a little bit different than your actual 3-dimensional room.  Sometimes things that look like they will work on paper are really terrible in real life and vice versa.  It's not a fool-proof tool, but it's a really good jumping-off point.

Here is the old layout of our room:

It's not horrible, but it's just not really working for Sis.  She has a daybed that sits awkwardly in the middle of one wall.  There's not really a good place to put a side table within reach so her books and magazines end up on the ground next to the bed.  I hate that.  Her dresser is really tiny and doesn't hold all of her clothes.  And those bookcases are the bane of my existence.  They are always filled to the brim with . . .stuff.  On the plan it looks as though she has a ton of free floor space, but in reality the room feels cramped.  When she has friends over, the only place they have to sit is on the bed.  It's fine, but not ideal.  The one thing this plan does have going for it is the extra mattress we can store under her daybed and pull out for guests.

Here is the new plan for this same space:

Sydney's biggest request for the space was that it feel open.  I wanted to remove lots of unnecessary "stuff" from the room and make sure that every single piece in there was there for a reason.  We decided to dump the daybed and use a plain-old twin bed with a cool minimalist headboard so that we could tuck it right into the corner.  Sis always felt like the daybed was hard to make in the morning.  This should be much easier.  I also wanted to give her a side table right next to the bed with a couple of drawers for storing little things.  We'll put a reading lamp up on top and a basket for all her magazines underneath.  

I knew I would be able to find an old wing back chair at a thrift store or on Craig's list that would give her a place to sit and do homework or play her guitar or talk on the phone with some blessed privacy.  I hoped to also find an upholstered ottoman that she could use as extra seating when she has more than one friend over.  A giant floor mirror leaning against one wall will bounce some extra light in there and help her practice her yoga and dance.  PLUS, it's a place where she can sit on the floor and do her makeup in the morning or see how cute and sassy her outfit is on her way out the door. 

I also moved the bookcases into the closet so she can use all that awesome shelving for storing her clothes and shoes.  This would allow me to take the dresser out of the room and open everything up even more.  

Once I had a plan, I knew what new furniture pieces I was going to need so I could start keeping an eye out for them as I was out thrifting.  It really helps when you are doing a major overhaul on a budget to focus your efforts by having a plan.

With the room all planned out, we can roll up our sleeves and get to work.  Come back tomorrow to see where I always begin.  Now, my friends, go forth and measure your rooms!

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