Planning the perfect space

A key ask of Interior Designers from clients is how can a room be laid out to its best potential. This applies to all project types, whether that’s residential, commercial or healthcare.

The function of the room and the person using the space needs to be considered in order to ensure an interior not only looks good but can have optimal use. Space planning is considered in almost every interior, from where the till points are placed in shops, where toilets are located in the restaurant and even where the fridge is located in your kitchen at home. The ability to make life easier through careful space planning is something we may overlook on a daily basis.

If you have ever taken on an Interior Designer, or similar design expert you may have been presented with a layout of furniture and other elements, which are drawn up to scale to give the potential plan of the room using the items specified. Space planning involves ergonomics, the relationship between items and humans to ensure that the design of a product or layout is optimised for human use. With a number is recommended distances and angles, designers take into account aspects such as how far a coffee table should be from seating, or how much space we should allocate for walking between furniture.

In a Care environment, adapted homes or any public spaces the consideration for those with walking aids, wheelchairs or sensory impairments is added into the equation. This can expand into further detail, on how a building is designed. As an example, an environment for those who have sensory impairments such as Autism or Dementia, corridors and open spaces could have curved walls for safer transitions and aid less confusion when moving around to different areas. Overall, creating circulation zones vs harsh corridors, giving the sense of more space and interest.

The layout of furniture can form activity areas, spaces for social interaction as well as places for a solitary time, all dictated through careful space planning. By simply placing furniture, in different ways such as seating areas for conversations or reading corners for quiet time, communicates to residents what that space can be used for without staff or nurses having to explain.

Overall, even when humans don’t have physical or sensory needs, we all need subtle indications on what space is used for, it needs to fulfil human behaviour to the best of its ability and allow independence through instinct. With professional design, ergonomics and consideration for all the abilities and extra support of the end-user, interiors can help promote confidence and ability.

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