Why We Don’t Offer Space Planning
We often get asked by prospective clients if we will just do ‘space planning’. The answer is always no. It’s a service that architects offer, and many designers will do a space planning consultation for a small fee. It’s usually requested when doing an extension or conversion, to see if you can fit everything you want in. The problem with it, for us, is that when we create homes we aren’t just plonking together “a sofa” with “a TV” and “a coffee table”. Each of these things will be specific pieces, with different sizes and shapes, and until you know which exact sofa you want to buy, space planning is a fairly useless endeavour. The TV you buy will have an optimum viewing distance and height, you’ll need to select a sofa that works with it, or vice versa, or you’ll get neck strain and headaches and wonder why. We consider exactly how you live – if you always eat dinner in front of the TV, you’ll need a higher, closer, table so we can reduce the space needed. If you always have a cup of tea in your hand, we’ll want to widen the walkways between furniture so that you don’t bump into things and spill it.
There is no ‘set’ or ‘average’ size of furniture for living spaces. A good interior designer will be creating a scheme that all relates to each other. Before we purchase any items for you, we’ll be checking they all work together, both functionally and aesthetically – making sure the rug you like is the right size and that you aren’t tripping over it or catching it on a chair leg.
We also consider lots of living factors that architects and basic space planning doesn’t. Let’s say you’re building an office extension. Space planning will clearly show that you can fit a desk and a chair and some shelving. But when you actually build it you realise that the desk only really fits in 1 place and that the sun comes in through the window and onto your computer screen for several hours a day. If you pull across a curtain you’ll lose the lovely view of the garden that was part of the point of building the room, and if you use a shading film on the window it reflects the ceiling light back into your eyes. Space planning deals with facts and figures – “we are adding a 10sqm extension”, our design deals with a brief – “we would like to have a work from home office with lots of storage that feels separate from the rest of the home”.