Though we didn’t have the final engineered plans yet, we had the floor plan and window placements pretty well figured-out. It was enough to start making furniture plans for our new space, which we hoped would help with some of the design detailing. This is what we were working off of:
The only pending edit was a tweak to the office window setup, to add another window on the southeast corner of the room to give a view looking down the valley to the south. Shaun also said he may tweak the master bedroom windows a bit, but their placement would remain the same.
We didn’t go back to the parking lot to do full-sized drawings, but at this point we wanted to get a good sense of where our furniture would likely live. Furniture placement would have an impact on things like outlet placements and lighting. We mapped out rooms of the house onto grid paper, and then measured some of our existing furniture and cut out approximations of those. Then we were able to move the furniture pieces around the rooms to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t. Our furniture plans evolved from there.
We found Vern Yip’s book Design Wise to be pretty helpful when it came to questions of furniture placement. He does a good job of describing the “why” of certain rules, and then spells them out explicitly. For example, how much space to leave between a couch and a chair; how long a coffee table should be compared to the couch it’s in front of, etc.
A couple of big placements came easy: the sitting area in the upstairs living room; the location of the TV in the activity room. A couple of chairs near the fireplace would set up another seating circle there, which would also allow people to sit in comfy chairs and chat with someone in the kitchen.
The northwest corner, near the bookshelves, is a bit of a blank space – maybe a homework area?
A double rack of bunk beds will fit into the back of the activity room, allowing for friends with kids to come stay with us and not be crammed into a guest room. I’ll probably build the bunks myself. Though it’s not finve woodworking, Ana White’s plans are simple and straightforward and should hold up to what we want to do, maybe with some tweaking.
The garage should fit everything, but things will be a little tight. We’ll need to make use of vertical space there, once we allow for trash and surfboards and bikes and snow tires. I’ll likely set up one long bench to be a rolling work table to add in some flexibility.
Beyond that, it’s just the office and bedrooms, which should be pretty straightforward.
Through the process, I’ve been continuing to read through different interior design books. Some are way too high-end for our tastes and budget. I’ve liked some others; when we were doing the furniture plan I was enjoying This is Home: The Art of Simple Living. It’s full of gorgeous photos and a lot of different ideas about how to design a space you’ll enjoy (though it trends a little sparse and Scandinavian for my tastes at some points). For more reference material, check out our Resources page.