If you haven’t heard the hubby and I are in the middle of a move! That means a new town, new job, and a new house with NEW ROOMS! Now I grew up as an army brat so the never ending game of tetras that is moving to a new home and finding a new configuration for your furniture is fairly familiar… but familiar does not mean without challenges!
The main thing I am worried about in our new home is the size of our new rooms… they’re teeny tiny. Way smaller than the home we are currently in! The saving grace is the bonus room… which we will be using as a living room since it’s a decent size. But the kitchen? the office? the MASTER BEDROOM?!? Matchbox y’all, matchbox. I mean can you see the size difference?
Our current living room (above) is huge… lots of space for our couch, chaise, an accent chair and big white bookcase! Our new living room (below) is much smaller… see the love-seat? See the awkwardly placed front door?
Now unless you’re a millionaire (um…. no) or really like to buy all new furniture (um… no! I like my things!) moving means the fun task of trying to fit all of your things in a new configuration. I know fancy smancy decor shows talk about measuring the room and finding the perfect sofa for your room size… nope we’re just going to make it work! So here’s my crash course in space planning, from a army brats perspective… aka where to put everything!
The first thing to remember is to look at your things with fresh eyes. What does that mean? It means that just because your chaise was next to your sofa at the last house does not mean they have to live next to each other in the new house! They might not even be in the same room!
In my first apartment (above) I used my long white credenza as a TV stand (ok so this picture was taken before we had the TV in place… just imagine ok? It will be fine!) In our current house (below) you can see the corner of the same white credenza peaking out from behind the kitchen table… since we now use it as a bench.
Planning out a house from top to bottom is a great excuse to look at your belongings in a new light. Be open to using pieces for something other than their intended purpose! Maybe your chaise will go in the guest room at the new house… or the long low credenza you have been using as a TV stand will become a bench for your dining room. (Excuse the horrible photo!) It’s not about what that piece has been doing… it’s about what it can do now! Be creative! Look at your furniture in a new light… you’ll be amazed at how your things can work for you!
Once you’ve opened your mind to see the possibilities… start with your biggest pieces first. In your living room decide where your sofa will go, decide on the best orientation for your rug. In the bedroom decide how your bed will fit… do you have room to walk around? Does it balance the room? Once you have your largest pieces placed you can move on to the medium and smaller items.
The big blue hutch in our current house (above) fits perfectly in the kitchen… our new house (below) has a teeny tiny matchbox kitchen. Lots of green cabinets but no space for a big blue hutch! Where am I going to put this thing y’all?
Right now our big blue hutch fits perfectly in the kitchen but in the new house it will have to be relocated… as a big piece we will have to decide where it will live first! Once your bigger pieces are placed the smaller pieces such as chairs and side tables can be worked in around the larger furniture. Some smaller pieces may even be placed in storage! Not every piece of furniture fits in every house! Storage may be the garage, it may be an actual storage shed or your mom’s house… I once loaned a couch to a friend for a year because I didn’t have space and she needed one. Win/Win!
Once your furniture pieces are placed I like to move on to the decorative pieces… I like to make a big pile of everything. That includes little decorative knick-kacks, picture frames, glitter deer, candle sticks, wall hangings… anything decorative. Then I start to place them on bookshelves, I make wall murals with artwork… but remember rule #1! Just because your glitter deer was in the living room wall mural at the old house doesn’t mean it will fit there now… put it in the best spot for now… not last year!
By placing all of my decorations in one big pile I can really watch my composition as I place items. That way all of my little bird statues don’t end up in the same spot.. they get spread around several different rooms! Plus it allows you to really see what you’re picking… and therefore vary your decorations. Say you’re putting together a wall mural. you want that wall mural to have variation right? A combination of picture frames, 3-dimensional decorations and knick-knacks all in the same mural! A wall mural with dimension will always be more interesting then one made completely of flat pieces!
So to re-cap, here’s my 5 best pieces of advice for space planning.
AKA Where to Put Everything!
1. Look at your things with fresh eyes, place things in their best space for this house!
2. Be open to using pieces for something other than their intended purpose! Look at your belongings in a new light.
3. Start with the biggest pieces first.
4. Not every piece of furniture fits in every house! If you have extra furniture that you don’t need (two couches?!) put something away.
5. Make a big pile of like items… then place them accordingly! Put all of your picture frames in one big pile… then hang them where they fit best!
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