When we’re buying clothes, one of the first considerations is about size – the size of us and then the size of the garment to go around us!  Of course, we also consider the purpose, is it for ‘working out’ or a ‘night out’ on the town.  And not forgetting the ‘fitness for purpose’, will it stand up to a strenuous workout or a night on the town. Will it cope with that conga line that happens in the early hours, and will it stand up to multiple wears making it a good ‘investment’.  

We make all these sub-conscious decisions long before we step into a change room to try it on, unless it’s an impulse buy, and if you’re like us, those are often regrettable.   

Think about using the same set of rules for everything that happens with your home, be it styling, furniture replacement and even in the case of a renovation. No matter how small the task you’re undertaking, consider purpose, use and durability.

We’re in the process of opening a homewares store, our latest ‘reno project’.  We know it’s not a house, a living room or kitchen, but all the same rules apply.  It’s got to be about space and purpose before we even think about the style and the look.  

These are our basic rules we live by in planning our approach to any space we take on.

Measure thoroughly the floor space, including window positions. Also, include entry and exit points in and out, doorways or walkways, to consider how ‘people-traffic’ will flow through the space. This is the space ‘within the space’, or room, that won’t easily occupy furnishings. A bit like that dress or shirt you bought that looked good… until you realized you could move your arms.

Knowing ceiling heights is important too. A 2D floor plan can look spacious…until the walls go up! It’s not just the ceiling height though, measure up the window elevations from the floor up, as well as from the top of the window to the ceiling.  We include in our planning lighting placement and power point locations too, as you don’t want a bookcase blocking light or a chandelier hanging low over an area that ends up being a thoroughfare.  We’d compare leaving out this step to buying jeans on waist size alone and not considering length, we’ve all done it, but wouldn’t it be nice to get it right. 

Now think about where things go and what actually fits.  It’s all about fit for purpose way before we consider style and colour schemes.  Is it a kitchen, storage cupboards or a couch and coffee table?  It’s important to fully understand the available space for furnishings and the remaining space for people to live in.  

To understand space fully, it’s so valuable to map it out.  Grab a roll of masking tape and mark it all up on the floor, and even markup heights of the pieces on the walls.  This lets you best imagine the fit of solid furnishings and the remaining space. Remember, if it feels cramped now, it will be worse when you bring everything in.  

If you get space, proportions, and scale of furniture right, it will fit like a bespoke tailored outfit, and everyone will love it.

Now it’s time for us to put it into practice and work on our shop fit out, drop by, and see us in early December and tell us if we got it right.  

June 15, 2022 — Mark McKie

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