Space Planning, Furniture Layouts + Photos of My Loft

Hallelujah, it’s Friiiiiday!  Before I sign out for the week, I thought we could talk about my apartment.  So, I’m still not ready to show you guys the decor of my new pad.  Great things take time, right?  But I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit more about the space planning process.

I love shelter magazines, but to me, their one downfall is they focus too much on detail shots and don’t always show you enough of the whole room.  I want to know not only what makes a room pretty, but what makes a room work.  What did they do with that awkward corner?  How far apart is that sofa from those chairs? What else is happening in the room?  Details make good pictures, but layouts make good life.

Every space has it challenges.  In small spaces you have to get creative with storage.  In narrow spaces you have to choose the right furniture that won’t crowd rooms.  And in large spaces, you have to massage the furniture layout to make sure pieces fill up the room appropriately.  My space is big.  Pretty much a big square box with lots of juts.

Allow me to show you my floor plan….

So what would I do with 525 square feet of open living room?
One thing I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going to push everything against the walls, leaving a vast expanse in the middle of the apartment.  I needed to float furniture and create areas.  Living area, dining area, entry area, office area… all in one big room.
The first thing I think about when designing a space plan is, What do you see when you walk in the door?  For me, its a bunch of ugly black beams that break up the kitchen.  (This place used to be a factory, so there are a lot of beams in odd places!)  This is the ugliest angle in the whole apartment, so I knew I wanted to distract the eye with other elements.  I decided that placing the dining area in front of the kitchen would help fill the space and take the focus away from the beams.
Once I’d selected my dining area, I thought about where I should position the living room.  The dressing room really cuts into the left side, so the right side made the most sense for fitting a seating area.

You should know that I’m a TV watcher.  Not a crazy amount, don’t judge, but enough to want to organize my living room in a way that is conducive to seeing my television.  It is important to me that the TV be viewable, but NOT be the focal point.  I want the other good stuff to stand out at me!  There is this strange built-in niche on the right wall.  It’s big enough to hold a TV so it feels less obtrusive.  So the TV found a home.

So how would I handle the odd left wall?  This wall juts in and out awkwardly due to my very large walk-in closet.  No worries, just an opportunity to create more zones.  I love being able to carve out a cozy office nook in this big open loft.  Looking forward to finishing my “officette”!

So last but not least, I mapped out the front wall… my welcoming zone!  I’ve always wanted both an entry bench and an entry console, but have never had the space before.  Now~ even though I don’t technically have an entry~ I have the most spacious entry ever.  It’s awesome.  Well, it will be if I ever hang my art wall.  Why is hanging Art So Very Daunting?

Next I laid out my thoughts and created a floor plan.  To scale of course.  I must say I love it lots.  It’s lofty and spacious yet still cozy and homey.  Each space has a purpose and I enjoy every section of my pad.  I find myself purposely going over to my entrance bench, just because I enjoy it so much.  (I try to love all my furniture equally, but let’s be real, my sofa gets the most attention.) 

I am also using a lot of rugs to help designate spaces. (The dotted rectangles are rugs)  It has a lovely warming effect. You’ll see.

I had a moment where I wanted the TV niche to be bookshelves instead, and I moved the sofa so that it faced the front wall. But it just didn’t work for me.


So, tell me, do floor plans fascinate you too?  What about the layout?  How would you have set up my space?
OK, I’m off.  Thanks so much for all of you who’ve checked in this week.  It’s pretty cool that there are so many people out there, across the country, across the world, that share my love for design.  Thanks for sharing your time with me!
I’m pumped to make moves this weekend.  Woot woot!  Gotta whip this place into shape so I can show something other than blank walls and bad I-phone pics!
  1. What are you doing with that weird space to the left of the kitchen?

  2. Omg, I will be faced with the same kinda project. I am moving into a loft in a couple of weeks and am crazy trying to decide what goes where? Living area, bedroom area, dining area, etc…
    I’ve found lots of ideas on your blog. One question? Is there an upholsterer you can recommend?
    I will be in Old City.

    Thanks, Leticia

  3. My God this is an awesome space, can’t wait to see it come together, its gonna be amazing 🙂

  4. Laura

    “So, tell me, do floor plans fascinate you too?” Oh so much. Saw our possible new apartment yesterday and woke up at 4 am today to figure out how to furnish it. We haven’t even got the final ok yet!

  5. Damn why didn’t we buy a loft…I love the openness. I imagine it’s a lot simpler than owning a home can’t wait to see how this comes together. Get it did!

  6. Leah

    I am so excited for your amazing ideas! What an incredible space!


  7. Tricia

    I’m impressed with the floor plan. It seems very functional and yet, not contrived in any way. Good job. I agree that seeing a floor plan is essential. The shelter magazines used to do this and then stopped. I spend lots of time trying to piece together the pictures to figure out what the room must look like when you can see it all. It’s impossible without the sketch. I think they are really missing the boat by not including it.

  8. Karena

    Naomi, I am so excited to see what you have created. Floorplans do lay the canvas then the rugs will define the space!!

    Do come and enter my Artful Offering!

    Art by Karena

  9. Naomi, thanks for sharing your space with us. Your ideas look so promising – I think open spaces are the most difficult because you have to define each space’s purpose. Hope you take us along the next steps! Happy weekend, girl!

  10. Love seeing the floor plan– I’m such a visual person and this just does it for me! Thanks for walking us through your thoughts for the layout– process is part of the fun! Can’t wait to see what you’ve done… and YES! Color on the wall. 🙂
    Have a blessed weekend!!

  11. nkp

    Naomi, I am hugely impressed. This is so professional. I think your layout is fabulous and makes the most of all the wonderful nooks and crannies, which are spots I always gravitate towards. I’ve never personally drawn up plans. I suppose that’s not the way my mind works or perhaps, with no formal design training, I’m not restricted by rules and methods. But I think it’s a huge advantage that you’ve created this big picture for yourself. This place is a keeper. I really can’t wait to see more, more, more!

  12. I such a great space with tons of potential. I can’t wait to see all of your ideas come together. Happy weekend!

  13. This is going to be so amazing! I love your loft already… so much that I’m wondering where the guest bed is???

  14. Thanks guys!

    For a CAD program I use Chief Architect. It’s a bit complex and expensive, so I don’t recommend it unless you are going to be doing a lot of architectural drawings.
    They may make a residential version though.

    My friend did floor plans in “Smart Draw Up” which seemed to work fine.

    Also, I’ve never tried Google Sketch Up, but I think it’s pretty user friendly.


  15. You have such an amazing canvas to start with- your place is stunning. Love your floorplans and how you mapped this all out- I know it’s going to be utterly fabulous- can’t WAIT to see it!!!

  16. I absolutely cannot wait to see it, I know you’re going to work wonders. What a beautiful space, I love the raw loft feel, such a great blank canvas to work with!

  17. I like the way you have set up the space so far. I can’t wait to actually see it now.

  18. Yesterday, I was just thinking about the same thing – I think more people need to share their process. Not just how they choose a piece of furniture, but how they work from start to finish. I mean, do they use story boards, sketches, cad drawings, clippings, etc. There are so many techniques. I’d love to see how others work. All of that to say – I love your post and I love what you are planning for the space! What program do you use for your floor plans.

  19. Wow! Your place is amazing–at least it will be when you’re done. As soon as I saw that space from your closet I thought office!

    I love floor plans. I have to say I have yet to find a computer program I like and draw them by hand. Which one would you recommend?

  20. You knocked this one outta the park! This is going to be such an outstanding place.

    P.S. I could wile away hours pouring over floor plans.

  21. Ashley

    Oh, lady, you are a genius. What a thoughtful plan! And even with the Iphone photos, what’s clear is that there is a LOT to work with here (great light, great architecture). And, I mean, c’mon…a sitting room and dressing room!?! So luxurious!

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