Avoiding Move-In Frustrations

Building or remodeling a home can be a mixture of excitement and hassle.  After months of dreaming and planning, the construction and finishing phases can seem to go on forever.

But there are few things more frustrating than to make it to moving day, only to find that your furniture doesn’t fit the rooms, you have nowhere to plug in a lamp by the sofa, and your favorite armoire is too wide for the walls by one inch.

Some of these disappointments can be circumvented, however, by arranging your furniture and considering your lifestyle needs before plans are finalized.

Not too Big, Not too Small

Think bigger is better?  You’ll want to avoid rooms that feel either too cramped or as huge as a cavern.  By pre-arranging your ideal furniture grouping prior to building, you can see exactly how much space you’ll need.  Do you want a master bedroom with a sitting area?  Pencil out the placement of your bedroom furniture and the seating area before committing to a room that’s too small or too large.  Do you want a big living room?  Consider your true furniture needs before you find that you have a lot of awkward space between your conversation area and the dining area.

Do you have a tall grandfather clock, an extra long dining table, a ten food sofa, a big canopy bed, large area rug, or a huge breakfront?  Plan ahead for these pieces by designing room sizes, wall spaces, and ceiling heights than can easily accomodate these items.

Smaller items can look lost in a giant room.  Think about scale and get advice from a design professional before building spaces that may be too big for the way you live.

Lighting Design

Many homeowners treat lighting design as a luxury or an afterthought.  However, lighting can add both drama and function to a home.  Illuminate dark hallways with a line of recessed lights, highlight the living room walls with spots aimed at artwork, put in handy under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen and in display shelving, add circuits and dimmers to increase your lighting options.  Visit a lighting showroom or find a qualified lighting designer to help formulate a plan to fit your needs.

Bathroom Sizes

As bathroom sizes increase, many homeowners are choosing to add furniture to this space.  If this idea appeals to you, then be sure to allow sufficient wall area for a chest, armoire, or chair.

Furniture Arrangements

Furniture arrangements are often left until moving day.  However, arranging the furniture before building can result in a more successful project.

This pre-planning should result in spaces that are neither too big nor too small and may save you money as well, since you’ll better fit the size of the home to your exact floorplan needs.

Planning ahead for sufficient electrical outlets (as well as TVs, intercoms, home theatre or sound systems) can save major frustration.  Consider floor outlets if furniture arrangements will be in the center of the room.

Make a list of your storage needs and wants; this will help you determine the type, location and number of closets you may want:  Space for winter coats near each exterior door?  Linen closet in the hall or bathroom?  Separate pantry closet or more kitchen cabinets?

Window sizes and placements may need to be adjusted if built-ins, beds, furniture or countertops will be directly beneath them.  Windows might be larger and set lower to the floor to take full advantage of a view.

Remember, a few minutes of planning prior to your move can save some major frustration later in the process!

courtesy of Glenna Morton at about.com