When completing a build or renovation, the allocation of space is first on the list of to-do’s. With this organisation and allocation comes the determination of the priority of each space. This can often be difficult to determine as it will result in the size of the finished room, not easily changed once complete.
For us, this happens during our concept feasibility and sketch design stage of works. We learn the priorities of each client in accordance with the design brief. While they may not explicitly state whats more important, we use a number of techniques to help us, techniques which we will share below.
Personal Space Priority
Begin planning your scheme by thinking about who exactly is going to use the home or property and what they are going to do it in. For example, a home for a family of four ideally requires four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. These are the core living spaces and your macro layer. The next step is to look at your bare floor plan. Map out the best area’s for these rooms to be located, based on accessibility, sun access etc.
The tricky part in organising your rooms is knowing how much space to actually allocate to it. Should a bedroom be bigger than a bathroom? Should a kitchen be the same size as a master bedroom or dining room? Our main tip is analysing the activities that take place and then mentally tallying how often the activity occurs. For example, you’re design an apartment for one person to live in. You aren’t going to need three bedrooms, a huge kitchen and massive dining room big enough for ten people to occupy. You are going to need a comfortable sized bedroom with direct access to a bathroom, a modest kitchen with small dining incorporated and a living space which has the ability to act as the rooms you don’t get in the smaller unit.
Now that you understand what space is more important, you can divide the floor space between, allowing for certain percentages to be occupied. I.e, 20% to your master bedroom, 5% ensuite, 30% to your living etc. Think about how you are going to feel in the space. If you know you need a certain dimension to do a particular activity, than allow for it.
Our final tip when renovating is to always be aware of the future. While this may be your home, unit or property now, it may not be next year, or next decade. While this may be your forever home, its always smart to ensure that your home can be used by others when you are no longer there. The bottom line is to be realistic and universal. Design for human kind and not just an individual. Don’t let this advice deter you from designing to your needs and wants. Just adapt it and you will move from good design, to great design.
See our projects page for examples of space division in a number of property types.