How to Create a Fail-Proof Floor Plan (& Never Buy a “Too-Big Sofa” Again!)


We moved into our Forever Home, which we named Maple Rest, 10 years ago this summer. It’s amazing to think that nearly a decade has passed since then!


Photo by Eric Roth via Old House Journal


My husband told me a couple of months ago that he has lived longer in this house than any other place he has lived in his life! I know the future is always uncertain, and that “forever” really means “the foreseable future,” but I have cherished every moment living here and raising our boys here. Maple Rest will always be my dream home, with all of its imperfections.


My Space Planning Backstory


When we moved here, I had lots of ideas of things I wanted our home to be, how I hoped it to look, and very little know-how. While I had cobbled together our first apartment & and our starter home never having looked at a magazine or Pinterest (Pinterest was hardly a thing 15 years ago!), the physical spaces each and of themselves were pretty easy to plan. They both had pretty normal sized rooms and ample space for whatever furniture I found.


Space planning was not something I needed to worry about.


But Maple Rest — circa 1790 with some bad 1970s additions — was another story entirely when it came to “normal” sized rooms. People sat on little Chippendale chairs back in 1790, not the 44″ deep behemoths that Restoration Hardware sells!


We’d been here a few months, and I was pregnant with Thing 2. I’d decorated our bedroom and Thing 1’s room, but I wanted to finish our library/music room before Thing 2 came. The only problem was that the space was about 30′ long and only 12′ deep (9′ deep in front of the fireplace), and we had a baby grand piano we also needed to fit in there.




There I am on the right, at the ripe old age of 33! (My realtor is trying to duck out of the picture.)


Moreover, I had grand dreams of bookshelves — as in, Disney’s Belle sweeping down the shelves on a rolling ladder kind of bookshelves.



All I knew about furniture sizing was what I saw in the catalogs that came to my house. I’d taped out the sofas from those Big Box stores in my 12′ wide room and knew they were too big.


And though we finally had a steady and reliable “grown-up” income at last, that didn’t mean we were able throw $3,000 down the drain on a too-big sofa we couldn’t afford to replace.


I knew I was over my head, so I enlisted the help of a professional — the amazing Dena Hamilburg — to create a floor plan for this crazy tight space. I trusted her professional knowledge. It was the best money I ever spent and helped us create the library that I’m sitting in right now as I type … as well as starting me down the road of becoming a decorator, myself.




When Space Planning DOESN’T Come Easily


10 years ago, I wish I’d had something like a space planning “primer” — something that was a one-stop-shop to teach me things like:

  • How much clearance I needed to leave in between pieces and have my flow still feel good.
  • How to think about typical AND atypical spaces.
  • How to correctly proportion furnishings & accents.
  • How to size light fixtures for difficult spaces like open floor plans and stairwells.
  • What to do with a room with tons of doorways and windows.
  • Common measurements depending upon the type of room.
  • All those tricks and tips that designers seem to know through their years of experience & exposure to different scenarios.


And I KNOW there are a bunch of you out there who have been wishing for the same!


So, I’ve collected the knowledge, tips, & tricks I’ve accumulated as a homeowner-turned-professional decorator and collected them in a 23-page pdf guide for YOU!


How to Create a Fail-Proof Floor Plan & Never Buy a "Too-Big Sofa" Again!




I originally created this tool for students of The Home Glow Method (which will be re-opening for enrollment in just a few weeks! Stay tuned!)



But I realize that not everyone is looking for a full course — just some quick and CONCRETE tips & info. 




Home Glow Design Historical Hopkinton Before After Reveal


Here’s a sneak peek at the contents!


How to Create a Fail-Proof Floor Plan (& Never Buy a "Too-Big Sofa" Again!)



Fresh Traditional Living Room Sneak Peek: Project Concord Shingle Style


A Fresh Traditional Living Room: Project Concord Shingle Style REVEAL!




And, for a limited time, if you purchase Home Glow’s Space Planning for Decorating Success! you’ll also get a COUPON CODE for 10% off The Home Glow Method when enrollment re-opens in April.





How to Create a Fail-Proof Floor Plan (& Never Buy a "Too-Big Sofa" Again!)


How much does this handy-dandy tool kit cost?????



How to Create a Fail-Proof Floor Plan & Never Buy a "Too-Big Sofa" Again!



I certainly wish I had something like this 10 years ago — it would have saved me a TON of anxiety in my earlier days!




See you next Saturday!





We talk A LOT about space planning in my 8-week online course “The Home Glow Method, my Step-by-Step System to Decorating Your Forever Home For Keeps.”


(We even covered some students’ specific floor planning concerns during our weekly Facebook LIVE Q&A sessions!)


Want to learn more? Check out the info page (soon to be updated more testimonials!) and get on the waiting list for the Spring 2021 session, beginning on April 26. You don’t want to miss the short enrollment period!


See what Fall 2020 students are saying:


“You will more than cover the cost of the course by minimizing mistakes. Also, the access to customization options is invaluable.”

“The value I’ve gained out of the course is more than worth the cost of enrollment for sure!”

“I feel a lot more confident. Rather than doubt and frustration I know I just have to keep going and complete the plan before I buy anything. I also love thinking about decor in terms of how our home can be a support my family’s well being.”

“I have a plan!!! And I now have an understanding of what goes into a plan so I can apply the same approach to other rooms!”


The Home Glow Method Online Design Course for Homeowners


Do YOU have any space planning questions? Let me know in the comments! 



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