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  • Writer's pictureMildred Marie

floor plan: function

When thinking of a floor plan there are many parts, one part I love diving into is the function: How a room is used, permanent vs. non-permanent storage needs.

How is this room used? Seems like a very basic question, but as we dive into each room we’ll find that most rooms have multiple functions. For this example let’s look at bedrooms. Bedrooms are often mistaken and created for one use, sleeping. However bedrooms are used for getting dressed, storing clothes, sometimes toys, reading, personal mementos, escaping for some alone time, and did I mention sleep! Sleep is extremely important to our health, which is why we just associate bedrooms with sleep. With all the other functions that happen in our bedrooms though, if we create a space just for sleep, we forget to add features that help us complete the other tasks so that we can actually get some sleep in a peaceful environment, without the distractions of the other tasks scattered throughout the space.

Take for instance a child’s bedroom. Have you ever walked into a children’s room greeted by toys and dirty clothes on the floor, clean clothes on the dresser, and an unkept bed? We may think to ourselves, “well this kiddo is messy” and some of this may ring true, but I have found if the correct systems are in place we can combat this mess. Providing ample space for toys/clothes and the correct organizational system for toys/clothes that fits each child’s natural organizational habit, can reduce the mess all on its own. Ultimately resulting in a tidy-ish room that leads to a better nights sleep.

I like to label the functions by importance, keeping in mind that sometimes the most used function is not always the most important. Keeping with the children’s room example, sleep is top priority! Therefore I know in order for my children to get a good rest in their environment, they have to allow themselves to shut off their brain easily. For our family, we listen to bedtime music, audiobooks, or turn a trusty old box fan on. The fan is all the time, bedtime music is minimum once a week, and audiobooks are once a month-ish. I know I need to have a plan for creating the perfect sleep environment incorporating those must have things. Where will the fan go that we can have it out all the time, preferably where it will not disturb my design aesthetic, and where will I set a tablet for the bedtime tunes/audiobooks?

Going through each room and which tasks they hold, always sparks the question which storage features will be permanent? As we continue to dive into a child’s room and we think about their sleep being the top priority, we need to consider what a healthy sleep environment means for them. I find having toys, clothes, and books cleaned up helps me sleep, and I without making too many assumptions, I tend to think this is the case for my littles. After all, I don’t want to tempt them to play, or be triggered to suddenly feel the need to clean up their dirty clothes. This means creating easy storage points for toys, books, and clothes to get put away needs to be taken into account. Only then can we decide which storage will be permanent, and how much space is needed for those items.

Children’s rooms are an ever changing storage need, some of which need to be permanent and some non-permanent! At this current part of my life, and the previous eight years, I have never been a "throw a closet in every room" type. In fact, for bedrooms I really enjoy having my storage be a work of art: baskets, vintage suitcases, armors, dressers, shelves, etc.. therefore my bedrooms lean heavy on the non-permanent side of storage solutions, however, I love a good built-in for dining, living, kitchen, and tv rooms. There are many ways to utilize both, but I give this example to simple let you know you do not need to put a closet in a bedroom just because that is "what everyone does".

Since we are on the topic, I will throw out some brain-thinkers for you! Between the changing of seasons, clothes that children have outgrown, and clothes that they will grow into, I find a child’s room to be the space that can easily get out of hand! In our home, I like to have my children dress themselves and pick out their own clothes from a fairly young age. Because of this lifestyle choice I have a drawer for each kiddo with their in season clothes, a bin for clothes they have outgrown or find they do not wear, and for the first year I keep a drawer for the next size. Ideally once we have a larger home, I will keep a “grow into” drawer for each kiddo. Currently, with our space limitations I have totes in our basement. By having the drawer in their room this would allow me to easily stash clothes that come in the house that they do not fit into, without having to head to the basement.

Sometimes there are pieces that we acquire that hold significant value, or we do not feel the need to replace, or get rid of. I like to think of these pieces as “non-negotiables”. These are pieces that we refuse to get rid of and no matter what, they are moving with us. Do not forget about them when thinking about your floor plans. If moving day comes and I didn’t do my duty to make sure great-grandpas walnut dresser has a home in our bedroom, I am forced to place it awkwardly somewhere or be forced to place it in storage, or worse, find it a new owner within the family. Remodeling is stressful do not add to the stress of having to say goodbye to a piece that holds so much value, instead incorporate it into your room so you can admire and reminisce daily.

Floor plans do not happen over night. Take your time, make changes, and walk through your plans over and over. & most importantly do not stress it! Creating a home for your family to grow and celebrate memories is a blessing.

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