How to Effectively Plan Layouts in Your Property

Layout planning is often overlooked. It’s easy to stick with what was already there. But putting some time and thought into this at the start of your project can significantly impact your property’s overall look and feel.

Let’s start with the basics. These are our general rules for any space.

Make Sure You Know What Function Each Space Has

You’ll need to know how people will spend time in that space to plan your layout. Some things to consider are:

  • How many people are likely to be using the area at once?
  • How many people will need to sit in the room at once?
  • What is the room going to be used for most often?
  • What will people do in the room? Socialising? Watching TV? Sleeping? Playing darts?

Once you know how the space will be used most of the time, you can plan your layout around this (and have some ideas for contingencies, like extra chairs tucked away, for example). 

Create a Focal Point

A focal point could be a nice window, striking artwork, TV, or bed. If you have great architectural features, it helps to highlight these. Alternatively, you could create your own.

Inside Circulation Space

People must walk around the rooms, so include enough space to do this. Your circulation space is little paths you take to get around the room. If the room is a walk-through to other parts of the property, you might need a larger’ path’; if you need space to get to the other side of the sofa, you can create a smaller space. Don’t be afraid to leave space free of any furniture. 

Watch Your Furniture Sizes

Getting furniture that is the correct scale for the size of the room is essential for how it looks and feels (it can help a small space feel larger and a large room feel cosier), but it’s also crucial for your layout design. You need to ensure you can fit everything in, so going for the right size of furniture makes a huge difference. 

Consider ‘Zoning’ Multi-functional Spaces

We need to go into a little more detail about zoning first.

What is Zoning?

Zoning is an effective tool for designing rooms with multiple functions. What we mean by zoning is creating a separate feeling space within a room for each function. It helps our mind organise the space it sees when we understand what each area of the room is for, helping the room to feel calmer and more enjoyable.

So, how do we zone a space?

Colour Blocking

We can use colour on the walls to create visible lines to divide a space. You’ll want to stick to one colour scheme, but you might assign a colour to each function. Don’t be afraid to include the ceiling in your colour blocking!


You can use different flooring to create a visible line again. This might look like a strip of hard flooring next to your kitchenette or a big rug underneath your bed; both make different feeling zones in your room.


Using different lighting styles in different zones, we can help ground specific furniture in place and create a different feel in each area. This might look like spotlights above your kitchen area, wall lights in the sitting area or beside your bed, and pendant lights above your dining table. Everything should look purposeful.


Don’t forget to accessorise! Adding artwork and accessories allows you to create a slightly different feel in each area and use the artwork to keep your furniture in place. This might look like two large pieces of artwork above the sofa, making it feel grounded in place.

Furniture Placement

You can use furniture placement in place of actual walls to create zones. This might look like adding an island or breakfast bar in your kitchen to divide the space or an L-shaped sofa or extra chair facing into your living area. 

With any space, whether you are zoning a multipurpose space or have a room with one function, you will always want to be looking to create a squared-off space to do this function in.

So, in a long, thin living room, for example, while you have just one function of living space, you might want to consider zoning this into two: one square space for your sofa and chairs to sit in and then another area for a chair, lamp and bookshelf to create a reading nook.

Not only does this create an extra unique space, but it also means that your sofa area is more sociable and feels much nicer to sit in, rather than spacing it out to fill the entire space.

In a bedroom, this might again mean moving the bed to one side and having a smaller space for your wardrobe and dressing table.

We hope this has been useful! If you’d like our help with planning the layouts of your next project, then click below to book a free discovery call with us.

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search