Tuesday 22 May 2012

Studio spaces

Last week we looked at analysing the spaces you use in your home for a studio space.  Hopefully you have found a space that ticks most of your boxes. Remember an absolutely perfect space is rare, even those who have had purpose built spaces find things that don't work after a while because they have changed how they work or needs have changed.  It is an organic process that needs revisiting regularly.

I narrowed down my 2 possibilities to a small bedroom and one of our lounges.  Both spaces have great potential.  I chose the lounge because it gave me more space and is has a entry and exit point for guests and students.  It has excellent light and great ventilation

The next step in planning is to set up the area you are working in.  Most people find it quite hard to visualise the space and the furniture that needs placing in there in there head so the best way I have found to plan the space is to draw out the area on graph or math paper and then cut out furniture to scale.  Once this is done the pieces of furniture can be moved around on the graph paper to see what configuration works the best. I usually use one of the children's old math books for this job.

When ever I move any room around or shift bedrooms around I do this.  It saves so much time having moved the furniture around on paper and  not around the room 2 or three time until it is right.  It also saves the back too.

How do you draw up the graph/math paper?

  1. Measure the room in feet or metres (depending on the country you live in). 
  2. Measure any nooks, odd shaped bits and built in cupboards or selves.
  3. Measure windows and doorways. 
  4. Write these all down and label each measurement
  5. Count the squares across the math paper.  Work out how many cm/in each square will be.  When I did it it was 20cm per square.  So one square=20cm
  6. draw in the lines of the outside edge of the room.  Mark in windows, doors, cupboards and any furniture.
  7. Measure all the furniture in the room length x width
  8. Draw them up on the paper to scale and cut them out
  9. Once you have this done play around with the pieces of furniture till they fit in the space and you have all the stations you need on the plan.  This could take a while
  10. Have a friend or family member to check over your plan before the heavy work starts.
Notes to consider
  • Remember the height of furniture.  It is hard to place a bookcase next to  window :) (personal experience)
  • You need at least 60cm as a walk through space  
  • When placing furniture remember area needed around each piece of furniture to move around
  • Allow for space for cupboard doors opening,chairs, sitting space, and drawers opening
I seem to always forget one of these things every time I move a room around and have to literally go back to the drawing board.  I try to make a plan that gives the most floor space possible.

Sometimes its good to brainstorm ideas with a child or teenager as they tend to think differently.  One of my children suggested using a bookcase as a partition for dads desk which gives him and implied office space.  I would have never thought of this one myself. 

Next week I'll show you my plans and how I have applied these ideas to my own space.

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