Have you ever been to a friend’s house where there was no thought of “Safe Space” room planning or design? What I mean by this is, every time you get up from the small apartment sofa or chair, you bang your knee on the coffee table or hit your thigh on the corner of their laptop desk? OUCH!
When designing for small spaces, you want to make sure you can get as much walk-around room as possible and as much seating for guests, while still maintaining “safe space.” That’s the term I use to create ample walking space between furniture pieces, cocktail tables, entertainment centers, door openings, etc., so when your guests come to visit and mingle, they leave with no bruises or band aids.
All furniture in the room needs to have some “Safe Space” around it …
You will need at least 2 feet and, in most cases I recommend 3 feet, between a sofa and chair.
Space planning is critical for any type of room, but when you live in a small apartment, studio or loft, designing the space is crucial. Most safe spaces are typically going to be about 2 to 3 feet between each of your furniture pieces. For instance, you need at least 2 feet from the front of your sofa to the front of the cocktail table. When you get up, you have ample room to move about and do not knock over pictures of your loved ones, the scrabble board or your favorite beverage.
Watch out where you place those accent tables or end tables, as “their legs” tend to get in the way of “yours,” in small spaces, too.
I recommend nesting tables that come in sets of three. When you don’t need the extra surface space, just slide the smaller two in place, one under the other, where they tuck away and allow the largest table to become your end table. When you entertain, pull them all out for more table top space.
Think about maximizing your seating space for small apartments very carefully when you are room planning. You can get really creative if you think out of the “box” just a bit.
When you’re designing your living room, add a couple of storage ottomans in place of a cocktail table. Place the two ottomans about three inches apart from each other to form a “table” in front of your apartment sofa. If you are entertaining guests, these pieces become a versatile option as they can be moved around easily to accommodate additional seating for two.
When you are relaxing at home, the ottomans give you hidden storage space for books, toys or magazines. You can use the ottomans when you’re not entertaining by placing a tray table on top to showcase your fresh-cut flowers or memorabilia and accessories. Or move the tray table out of the way and prop up your feet. The extra ottomans make for inviting versatility.
We don’t want you living in a box – we want to help you create a space that makes you feel open and alive!!!
We have so much to talk about and share … art and wall color … rugs and accessories – even what I am to do with my Grandma’s old rocker. (I have an idea for that one) I will share one of those space saving opportunities next; unless I “bump” into something else.
Let me know how you are making use of your small space, or if you need help room planning or designing. Here at Simplicity Sofas, we are here to help you create your space and we look forward to hearing from you.
Decide What Stays and What Goes …
When room planning, even art, accessories and paint color is critical if you live in a small space. I have talked to many people about concerns they encountered while designing their spaces, whether large or small. From these conversations, I have learned that it can be as daunting for some to try and design an 800 square foot apartment as it is a house in the suburbs or a villa on the Riviera.
In this article, I wanted to touch on what I consider to be rule number 1 for room planning for small spaces.
First and Foremost — You need to decide what stays and what goes.
Obviously, if you are moving into a new space and/or purchasing new furniture, the first thing you want to do is decide which of your existing pieces you will be keeping. Are you attached to Grandpa’s old roll top desk he gave you, or a retro accent table you picked up at a boutique sale — or both?
If you want to hold onto the larger pieces, like the desk, consider alternative uses. We moved our roll top desk out of a very small bedroom and into the dining room to serve as our buffet. With all its drawers, nooks and crannies, it was a perfect place to hold and hide our silverware, napkin rings and table top items that we use only for special occasions.
If you’re thinking about buying additional furniture pieces from our website (which we hope you are), I can work with you to lay out the rooms using online tools by placing the furniture for you in ¼ scale imagery and showing you options that make the most sense. So don’t be afraid to ask for the complimentary help. That’s what I’m here for. But for now …
Decide What Stays and What Goes.
In my next article, I am considering writing about a topic no one thinks about when purchasing furniture for small spaces called “Safe Spaces.” Safe Spaces is the area between one piece of furniture and the next. Have you ever been to a friend’s house who had no idea of Safe Space and every time you got up off of their apartment sofa or chair, you would bang your knee on the coffee table? That’s what I’m talking about. Ouch!
In future articles we’ll also talk about paint color, wall art and accessorizing to name a few; all necessary topics in making your small space feel bigger.
As always, if you have ideas or would like to contribute to this article or any of the others that will be posted on this website, please do so. There are a lot of people looking for new ways to maximize space and we want to share all of our successful ideas! I want you to look to Simplicity Sofas as one of your resources that will keep you informed of new trends, space planning, color coordinating and other design advice.