Sunday, September 26, 2010

The floor plan continued.

Now that you have your floor plan drawn to scale you have done all of the tedious work. Just a bit more homework and then you get to play.

Write down what the room is used for and how many people participate in those activities. This should include the possibility, for example, of having seating for 10 in the family room when the kids bring home their ‘significant others’ for Sunday dinner. ( Does anyone still do that? I hope so). Do you need one corner for reading? One corner for the computer? Write it all down. This is called the room usage list and it drives the amount of seating, and therefore the type of seating, the room will require. For example; if your dining room table normally seats 4, but you need it to seat 8 on occasion, you will need a table that expands; the space to expand it into and chairs to accommodate the extra guests.

Once you have this usage list completed, cut out some small squares that will represent 30” square. This is the ‘seat space’. If you need seating for 10, cut out 10 squares. Put your floor plan inside a plastic binder sleeve, ( you can write on this with a highlighter and it erases easily) If there are some ‘givens’ in the furniture - such as the piano- sketch these in first. Now place your ‘seats’: 3 for a sofa, 1 for a chair. In the family room, extra seating may be the extra dining room chairs, or a large ottoman, or a bench under the window but again, you need to fore-plan so the room remains functional at it’s optimum seating capacity. Orient your main group of seats toward the focal point - a 3 seater sofa, for example, toward the fireplace or window.

Play around with this, next column we’ll continue on.

An update on the Corded Blind recall and new guidelines... The American National Standards Institute and the Window Covering Manufacturers Association have published the new guidelines for the manufacture of blinds with cords. The American Window Coverings Association is ‘translating’ the document and those of us who manufacture these blinds should have clear guidelines in the near future.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A few loose ends

This column will be a bit of a catch-all, so please bear with.

I hope that any of you who are actually taking the time to do a floor plan will take this week and finish it. In the next column I’ll help you continue with the process of designing a room by looking at the usage of the room and what that means to you and your floor plan.

Sundial lighting in Vernon now has stock of the spray chandelier cleaner.

Once again this week I had to witness the very sad outcome of what happens when you don’t test your paint color first. The interior of this home hadn’t been painted in a long while, the walls were a soft beige. The homeowner chose a color based only on a small paint chip and bought enough paint for the entire job. Unfortunately the natural light in the room has a very strong effect and instead of a soft pastel it has become a rather overwhelming acidic color. There is talk of re-upholstering because some of the furniture no longer works. The house is also open concept. The color they chose is also a trendy color. I would wager they will be re-painting within a year. You can check my website for my column ‘How to choose a paint color’ from June 5, 2009 if you are thinking of painting. Please do this.

Winter is coming. So, now is the time to look at your home and make sure you don’t have any heat ‘sinks’. This is what I call those places in the house that suck the heat out of a room. The crack under the door, the window that doesn’t shut all the way or the fireplace that takes all the warm air up and out. Get your drapes cleaned now if they haven’t been done in a few years. I will come and take them down, get them cleaned and rehang them for you. This is also a great time to have your venetian blinds cleaned of all the summer dust. Be careful cleaning them. Often the cords or tapes are cotton and too much water will cause shrinkage. Clean each vane. Tedious but necessary. When done, close the blind and lightly spray with static guard, close the blind the opposite way and spray again. The static guard helps keep dust from ‘sticking’.

And.. Happy Anniversary to me!!! I’ve been writing this column for two years now. Thank you for reading.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Floor Plan Part 2

How to make a floor plan.

First of all, you do not have to be a drafting genius to do this. But you do need to do it.

Get some 1/4 inch graph paper. Each square on the paper will represent 6 inches of floor. If you are a metric type, get metric paper use 10 cm per square.. or whatever.

Draw a rough outline of the floor, note the doors and windows.

Go back and measure the room, measure the floor inside the casings. For example, wall to wall may be 60 inches wide but the casings takes up 1 inch, therefore on the plan, the floor is drawn as 59 inches. Why??. Because if you draw 60 inches, and buy an armoire 60 inches, and the floor space is actually only 59 inches you have a problem.

Mark the door openings as to the size of the opening, not outside casing to outside casing. Mark the window inside widths on the floor plan as well. Indicate all the measurements on the rough floor plan. Include things like the distance from the window to the wall... When you have all the rough measurements,transfer the information to a new plan with nice, straight lines. You do not have to mark the measurements on the graph paper - it would become really crowded if you did and remember that each square is equal to 6 inches on the floor so you don’t really need the measurements on the plan.

And, even though they are not actually on the floor, indicate the wall electrical outlets, cable or satellite positions and any telephone lines. Also add the heat vents, radiator if applicable and the fireplace and hearth. Put the doors in, indicating which way they swing.

If you don’t want to do this yourself, hire a designer or decorator to do it for you. I, for example, will do a floor plan, a furniture plan, and elevations of the main areas. ( ‘Elevations’ are rather like snapshots of one part of the room, showing the floor and the wall and the furniture as it would appear if you were standing in the middle of the room.) See one on my website

Once your floor plan is done indicate the traffic flow, add furniture and lighting. Then it’s time to get to the fun part, picking fabric and surface finishes. That is done on a story board. More about that in the next column.