How to Turn Your Property into the Perfect Family Home
So you have found a suitable property and you are ready to embark on the process of turning it into the perfect family home. Where do you start? If you have purchased a new- property, ask the builder or developer for a copy of the plans. These will prove to be invaluable. If you are moving into an established home, it is a good idea to draw a floor plan of the property prior to decorating.
Many people automatically use a room in the same way as its previous occupants, whereas the simple task of swapping the function of one room with that of another can have a profound effect on the way you live within a property. A dining room is normally positioned close to the kitchen, since this saves time when delivering food to the table. However, if you have a voting family, it may be best to turn an adjoining dining room into a living or playing area. In this way, you will be within a safe distance of your children when working in the kitchen.
Why make plans?
When you view a furnished and decorated house, it is difficult to think objectively about new layouts. Scale plans will assist you in making educated decisions with regard to the function of each room, as well as the choice of furniture within them.
The original living room can then be used as a dining room, or you can create a casual dining area within the kitchen itself. There is currently a trend towards this more informal style of dining, since both the busy chef and the dinner guests, be they family or friends, will be able to enjoy each other’s company while the food is being prepared. Children too, benefit from a seating area in the kitchen, even if it is just a breakfast bar. They will be able to sit and chat with their parents, and their parents can still carry on with the daily chores.
Drawing your plan
The drawing of a scaled plan of your home on graph paper is not as difficult or technical as it may sound. Use a single square on the graph paper to represent a unit of measurement in the room. For example, if each square on your graph paper measures l cm, a scale of 1:20 would mean that l cm on your drawing represents 20cm in your room. In the same way, a scale of 1:50 would mean that l cm on your drawing represents 50cm in your room, and so on. You can work in imperial measurements in exactly the same way if you prefer.
Make sure that you include information about fixed elements in the room, such as windows, doors, electrical points, plumbing and radiators. These will affect the positioning of furniture and fittings. Remember to allow for the opening of doors and windows, and also take leg room into consideration, especially in dining rooms and bathrooms. It is very tempting to squeeze an eight-sealer table and chairs into a dining area, allowing room for every member of your family at Christmas, bill rather pointless when you cannot get in and out of your seal.
When you have drawn the; outline of each room, you are then ready to make templates of the various items of furniture. This will allow you to assess the size of individual pieces, to make sure that they will sit comfortably within the room. For example, it is very difficult to assess whether a new sofa will fit into your layout when you are looking at it in the showroom, so the information you glean from making a scaled plan will help you to choose such important and costly items correctly.
Drawing to scale
The important thing is to measure the room carefully and to write down the measurements before starting to draw your plan. You will need:
Rough paper, metal tape measure, sharp pencil, graph paper, calculator
1. Draw the shape of the room on a piece of paper, noting the measurements against each wall.
2. To transfer these details onto your plan, divide the measurement of each wall by the scale you have decided to use. For example, using a scale of 1:20, divide the length of each wall by 20.
3. The resulting figure gives you the number of squares you need to draw on the graph paper for each wall. For example, a wall measuring 500 cm will take up 25 squares on the graph paper.