Friday, September 2, 2011

Fake Furniture and Other Decorating Challenges

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been planning to use Urban Barn's Icovia Room Planner to map out a design for my office/guest room. This is fun to me - when I was a kid, dad would let us use his graph paper so we could measure everything in our bedrooms and rearrange it on our grid to make sure it would fit. I'm not sure if I ever actually rearranged anything, but planning to do so sure was great.

This high-tech way of creating a room plan was more complicated than the graph paper version, but the measuring part was exactly the same. (Fact: it's hard to measure a room when there's stuff everywhere in it.) I learned many new things: 1) The room has three doors. Three! 2) None of the three doors is the same width. 3) Three doors is a lot and it complicates an architectural room plan.

Finally, I had this:


Perhaps that overlapping door situation is part of the reason I always seem to run into things in that room?

Then came the furniture. The Room Planner offers small photos of actual products that you can put into the room, which is really cool but doesn't provide the specific measurements/colors so I went with the architectural sketches instead. It was very enjoyable to look for the right fake furniture item, though I never could find a bookshelf in any of their room categories. Is it possible that online room planners don't read?! I substituted a table, entered the correct measurements of the IKEA bookshelves I've been ogling, and rearranged at will.

The interesting challenge in this room is the wonderful existence of a murphy bed. It's great because the bed doesn't take up room all the time, but it made it necessary to create two room plans - one for when the bed is down and one for when it's not. And I hoped to be able to morph from the "no bed" version of arrangements to the "bed" version with a minimum of furniture sliding.

First, I designed this room plan. It uses an IKEA corner workstation as a desk and bookshelves I don't yet have, but everything else is existing furniture.


And with the bed:


The great thing about this is the almost complete lack of rearranging, but I'm not sure I like it.

This one is my favorite so far:


I got fancier with that one - did you notice the lamps on the tables and the floor? And oh yeah, I remembered the desk chair in this one too. As you can see, this rearrangement takes more effort...and it appears the desk chair gets pushed into another room when the bed is down. But I like the table desk approach the best.

Conclusion: Not as much fun as graph paper, but the room planner doesn't require scissors. And they have architectural table lamps! Awesome.




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