Space Planning

In February of 2010 I released an e-book called, Creating An Inspired Home.

I wrote it to remind folks (and myself!) that even though decorating and renovating can be intimidating, and design plans always seem to twist and turn, it’s important to remember that there’s no truer place than home to shape and echo who we are, and that creating an inspired home is definitely an art worth cultivating!

The software I created the book with is discontinued now, but I wanted to release the Space Planning chapter as a separate PDF because based on the feedback I’ve gotten from folks who read the whole book, it seems to be the most helpful chapter, too.

I loved writing about space planning because I really, really believe it’s the first key step to the design process and it’s not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. I learned all about it during the two years I studied with Sheffield School of Interior Design, and it’s completely changed the way I approach a rooms design. I’m serious. Before I learned about how to create a successful space plan, I would buy furniture, art, and accessories, only to get them home and discover they didn’t fit or look right in a room. And unfortunately a lot of stuff was from flea markets, so it wasn’t returnable. :-(

So not only did I end up wasting money, I wasted a lot of time scratching my head saying, “why doesn’t this room look right?”, too.

Space Planning is 32 pages long, and it’s something you can refer to time and time again. I use the information in it every time I start to tackle a new room, or when I am helping someone re-tackle a room that’s just not working for them. It’s $3.99, and you can find it by clicking on the book cover below:

You can also always find this post by clicking on the SHOP tab in the menu bar at the top of our blog.

Happy decorating and thanks for reading!

Ree Drummond Room Redo
True Value Paint

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  1. Tiff says

    Thanks Layla. I guess if I can’t have you in person I can at least have a small portion of your brain via a book!

    • Caitlin says

      I just bought & read space planning. Loved it!!! Can’t wait to put it into practice. Question: my house is a small ranch and the living room and dining room and entry way plus kitchen are all open. It’s a modular home with a beam down the center of the space. Do I measure it as one room or as the space it’s used for!?? Thanks for your help :)

      • Layla says

        Hi Caitlin!

        Thanks so much for downloading my Space Planning PDF! :-) I would think you’d measure the spaces as they’re used for. That’s what I’m thinking when I visualize how it’s laid out. It’s always a good idea to draw it up and see if it looks balanced on paper first though! 😀

  2. carol says

    What perfect timing is this? I just bought it and am so excited to read it. We just sold our 3000 sq ft home of 21 years and have downsized into a 1920’s cottage that is totally stripped inside, other than the wood walls and windows and floors basically. Oh yea, it’s also only 824 sq ft. So I am in the middle of such brain frazzle trying to decide what goes where and how to make the best of every 824 square feet. THANK YOU LAYLA!

  3. geri says

    I loved your book Layla.
    I bought it when it first came out and refer to it often
    hoping I can be “Layla- tized”. Not happening so far. hehe
    But I love reading and watching and learning from you and Kevin.
    Now lets see…if you get your pilot I will be able to see you in person
    (on T.V. that is )and I will be thrilled even more.
    Happy Tuesday. geri.

  4. ChrisA. says

    Well, here I’ve been reading your blog for some time (through Google Reader) and never realized you had a shop! Bought the book and am really excited to read it! Love your style!

  5. says

    I’m so glad you posted this! It reminded me that I had already purchased your ebook a while back, and prompted me to read through it again. :) I have a question… does the fireplace always need to be the focal point? Our living room has a corner fireplace, and I think it would look weird and interrupt the traffic flow to place the sofa facing the fireplace. I struggle with how to arrange the furniture because of the placement of the fireplace and the open floor plan. Anyway… thanks for the reminder! :)

    • CindyB. says

      We have the same situation as Jenny B. and would like to know how to handle a corner fireplace!

  6. carla says

    So you have an entire e-book that is now 7.99 and you have an e-book that is 3.99 that is just one chapter from the 7.99 one? is this right??? How many pages is the full version? Seems like that would be the best route to go. but I wanted to make sure that the info in the 3.99 was in the 7.99 one because space planning is a big problem for me I just keep moving things around. :)

    • Layla says

      You got it, Carla! Space Planning is actually Chapter 4 of my full e-book, Creating An Inspired Home. The full edition is interactive, and not printable though. Just in case that makes a difference! 😀

  7. Michelle says

    Awesome!! Do you know if I will be able to view this on my iPad? Perhaps in iBook or something?

  8. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    I feel so much better. I didn’t know what an E-book was either. So you can’t print it….just read it online? Can you just see me lugging my PC thru the bedroom and family room, trying to follow your instructions? Ai Yi Yi!!!! The thought of reading it on an IPAD would be awesome. Can we do this?????

    • Layla says

      Hey Ter’e!
      You can definitely print out the Space Planning e-book! :-) I’m not sure about the iPad…let me ask Kevin. 😉

  9. Karen says

    YEAHH!! This is very exciting! I feel like you were talking straight to me when you said you would bring things home and they wouldn’t fit or look right. That is soooo me! :o( I’m off to check out your E-book thanks for the update.

  10. MiMi says

    Good Morning…I am also interested in the IPAD comments…IPad does not support Flash which could be required? Would this chapter 4 help me in trying to determine the best space to re-work into a small full size bath in our upstairs, or is this more for furniture placement in rooms?
    Thanks, I love your blog and read it faithfully!

  11. says

    Hey I’m a Sheffield School of Interior Design grad too! But I’m not nearly as well-known as you….yet :-)

    I love your blog and all the ideas. We’re moving to a new home that’s mostly contemporary in design. But our current home is cottage style and we’ll have to use what we have for the time being. Any ideas? {wink!}

  12. says

    Oh Layla, you wonderful lady! Sadly, an $11.99 ebook is not in my budget, but I can totally swing $7.99! I think I may be getting this for myself as an early Christmas present. :) I love your style and can’t wait to have your advice permanently here on my computer! Woohoo!

  13. Lesley Tighe says

    Thanks so much Layla! I can’t wait to read it! Does it include any color suggestions? We are re-doing my family room (after a pipe burst!) and we are half-way through installing our planked ceilings. (inspired by TLC and the Twice-Remembered Cottage)

    I’m considering BM’s Wyeth Blue on the celing and Moonlight White on the walls/trim, but I’m concerned that with just 9-foot ceilings, it would make the space look smaller.

    • Layla says

      My Creating An Inspired Home e-book has a chapter about how to choose color, but it doesn’t suggest exact color names. :-)
      I love the idea of Wyeth Blue and Moonlight White, and it’s actually not color that makes a space feel smaller- it’s contrast. The less contrast there is in the room, the more spacious it’ll look. (Lots of contrast tends to chop up the space visually, therefore making spaces look smaller.) I think since Wyeth Blue is a lighter blue, it’ll be just fine! Also: you can keep things from getting monotonous by using different textures or by adding punches of color here and there!

  14. Farrah says

    I just purchased the space planning book and had a lightbulb moment about why my living room arrangement was “off”.I needed to use the primary axis method you talk about. duh! I have a question though, I have an open floor plan that’s not perfectly rectangle. Do I divide each space as an individual space? Or try to balance the space as one big space? Eeek! I’m so confused!

    • Layla says

      Hey Farrah! Thanks for downloading my e-book! And I’m glad it inspired a lightbulb moment, too! 😀
      I think if the room isn’t rectangular, and I’m assuming it breaks off into “other shapes”, I would treat those as separate spaces when it comes to space planning. Let me know if you need more help with it, and I’ll be glad to throw in my two cents!

      • Farrah says

        Thanks for responding :) That was my original thought too. It just seems so overwhelming sometimes. We added 6ft to our floor plan to add in a pantry and it created a “empty” space between the living room area and the dining room area. I’d love to hear your two cents about what to do with that space. I can email you pictures if you’d like.

  15. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    I jumped in and bought the book! I can’t wait to read it!
    It’s be alot easier, Layla and Kev, if you would just have a 3 day retreat and we all could attend! Now that I’m “living down the street” (ha) I could drive up!
    It’d be awesome if this is readable on an IPAD2!
    The things we learn on here……………………..amazing.

  16. Traci Fuqua says

    I’m not up on all the technology. Does ebook mean that I can’t buy a regular book?

  17. says

    Hey Layla & Kev,
    I love your blog so much! I downloaded your e-book a while back and also found the space planning section to be so helpful!
    I’m so glad you mentioned the Sheffield School in this post as I’ve been wanting to hear more about it from you, besides the testimonial. My husband has offered to pay for the course, but I’ve been weary because I’ve heard it’s got a lot of outdated pics. Maybe you and Kevin can get a commission from Sheffield for telling us more about the course and your experience! Whaddya think? I’d love to hear more to push me over the edge and just go for it! :)

  18. says

    The book will be Thanksgiving gift to myself :) Too bad I can not print out the whole book, but I will enjoy it very very much. Ok, gotta go, I have some shopping to do :)

  19. Meredith says

    Excellent timing!! We move into a new construction house in 2 weeks and I have been going crazy thinking about the space planning. We have a large great room that is narrow…with a 19ft ceiling. I have been so worried that I will screw up the space plan in that room. I have been shopping for furniture but nothing felt right. Luckily, my sister just got a new sofa/loveseat set and her old one is coming to live temporarily in my great room while we figure out what works best.

    I so need this book…thanks!!!

  20. says

    Can’t wait to download both tonight! Looking forward to some fun reading.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration.

    Jen (ps – check out my new blog!

  21. Melanie says

    Hey there! I just completed my order….I am so anxious to have your space planning skills in my very hands! THANKS LAYLA!!

  22. Kat :) says

    I’m having trouble downloading the e-book on my Mac. Any suggestions to help me complete the order? I’ll try again tomorrow.

    Kat :)

  23. says

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read your book yet mainly because I just got to know it. I’ll be purchasing it. I totally agree with you on space planning, as part of my work philosophy space planning it the first and the most important stage of interior design together with layout and flow of space.

  24. Terra says

    I purchased the e-book but am having problem downloading to my iPhone. Suggestions? Anxious to read it. Thanks:)

    • Layla says

      Hi Brandy!
      No, unfortunately the software I used to create it is totally outdated, but I would like to put together a new book soon! :-)