As we move closer to our (still unspecified) moving day, we’re having to think not just about how we’re going to get all of our stuff from Point A to Point B, but also about how we’re going to fit all of this stuff into Point B once we’re there.
In the greater scheme of things, our current apartment is pretty small. But in the Brighton scheme of things, we’ve actually got quite a lot of space for a one-bedroom flat. Our lounge and bedroom are unusually spacious, and our 12-foot ceilings leave plenty of room for storing things on top of wardrobes and closets. And as is generally the case, our possessions have expanded to fill the space available.
The flat we’re moving into is perhaps marginally bigger than what we’ve got now, but instead of one big bedroom and one giant lounge/kitchen/diner, the space is divided into four rooms of roughly equal size, three of which are awkwardly shaped because they have fireplaces in them (and two of those are “feature fireplaces,” meaning that they are pretty but completely pointless and space-robbing).
This has made me somewhat nervous about finding nooks for all our furniture and other goodies, particularly our wardrobes. Since we can’t get into the flat itself yet to measure the space, I thought it might be good if I could at least draw up a floor plan of it and then measure our furniture to see what might go where. My search for a simple way of doing this led me to Floorplanner, a free online tool for drawing floor plans and pushing furniture around in them.
I was able to import a rough floor plan from the estate agent to use as the basis for creating a more detailed plan—but I had no idea just how detailed I would get until I started to play with the program and went into OMG it’s like a tiny dollhouse!! mode. You can draw up floor plans and add furniture to them in Floorplanner, but you can also pick out rugs, choose various styles of seating and lighting, insert different appliances, add plants to your garden, put pots and pans in your kitchen—and then look at it all in 3D. How awesome is that?
I initially planned to just roughly map the two bedrooms to sort out wardrobe and desk placement issues. Several hours later, I have mapped out the entire flat—including the garden—and put in laminate flooring, rugs, chairs and tables, lamps, my computer, a television, all the major kitchen appliances, a coffee machine, a shower curtain, and a barbecue in the garden. I even put a tiny chopping board on the kitchen counter, but I removed a roast chicken from the table and a few other things because the 3D rendering was getting unwieldy (I also removed some people from the rooms because they were creepy).
I’m not sure how precise I’ve been with the scale and placement of specific room features, but my floor plan has certainly given me a better feel for what it might be like to move around in the flat. It’s also been ridiculously fun to make, and I’m having to resist the urge to keep going back and tweaking things to make it even more cute (A bar in the living room? A pinball machine? A drum kit?).
Playtime must come to an end, though; real work has shown up in my inbox, so I have to abandon my little dollhouse. I guess the next furniture I’ll push around is our actual furniture in our actual flat—and somehow I don’t think that’s going to be nearly as relaxing.