Plan for Mr. E’s Office

July 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

As I implied in my Closet Arranging, Part 3 post, the house is being rearranged! We’ve wanted to redo Mr. E’s office for a while. I’ve also wanted to do something with the dining room and living room as well.

What follows is how I plan a room redo. There are as many ways to plan it as there are ways of working; I’ve used this method for decades with good results.

First, I use a scale floorplan and furniture markers to figure out a pragmatic room layout before doing anything else. I do it on graph paper because so far that’s the tool that works best for me. (Apparently John & Sherry of Young House Love also did it for their first house basement. Who knew.) Mr. E helped me take measurements of the rooms. Then I drew the room floorplans (in centimeters; I work better in metric) and took out my furniture markers. The markers are just pieces of paper, cut to scale, that are identified by name or description of the piece of furniture they’re representing and its measurements. Depending on how often I plan redos, I might have to make new furniture markers. This time I needed a few.

Once all the markers are assembled, it’s just a matter of moving pieces around until you find a workable solution. I fondly call this part of the process “playing with my pieces of paper”. In addition to doorways and windows, my room floorplans include all electrical outlets, heating vents, tv jacks and the like, so I can consider every aspect of the room’s function before settling on a design. And since I include measurements on the floorplans AND the furniture markers, if the paper layout looks tight I can check the fit right there and then, without leaving my plan.

Here’s the proposed layout for Mr. E’s office:

Office layout

The visualizing step usually takes place next, before we actually move anything. As Mr. E can’t quite envision a room layout from my pieces of paper, I’ve started making visual aids for him. I rather like them myself, now that I’m in the habit. My first ones were slapped together very crudely in MS Paint. I have since discovered Polyvore, and love how easy it is to combine and move elements around. (You might remember that created a make-believe office mood board for myself with Polyvore this winter.)

You still can’t see what the finished room would look like; Polyvore is more a tool for creating mood boards than room design. However, the result is useful for Mr. E if I place elements in locations on the board that roughly correspond to our actual room layout. Usually we also walk up and down the room, waving our arms around and talking.

Here’s what I came up with. The north wall of Mr. E’s office, and how it will hopefully look:

Office, north wall

Office, north wall, concept

The eastern and southern walls of Mr. E’s office, respectively, and my plan for them combined into one mood board:

Office, east wall

Office, south wall

Office, south and east wall, concept

And lastly, the western or the action wall of his office, plus the plan:

Office, west wall

Office, west wall, concept

By now almost everything is already in place; we’re putting in final touches and acquiring the last supplies. The biggest holdup is the curtains. I’m modifying panels we already own, and at the moment it’s too hot to work in my office – the room sits in the southwest corner of the house. We’re expecting cooler weather for the weekend, though; here’s hoping.

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)


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