We’re in the midst of shopping for furniture these few weeks. I don’t know if it’s just me, but do you find you find the space of your home much bigger than it really is?? Probably because an empty house can play tricks with your eyes. For instance, I almost bought a kitchen sink that was too big but thankfully my contractor managed to talk me out of it by measuring the actual allocated space right before my eyes.
Since the kitchen sink incident, I’ve been very cautious about the size of each furniture. I might find myself liking a certain design but the size may not fit. Or, the size may fit but I don’t like the design. I suppose all these problems could be solved by buying customised furniture but they also cost A BOMB, so naturally that’s out of the consideration.
Buying a sofa in particular, has been quite stressful. The BF is 6’5″ so it’s not easy to find a sofa that fits His Royal Burliness. After searching for a few weeks, we finally found The One. It’s perfect in terms of design, comfort and size (for BF) but at the back of my head, I was worried it might be a bit too big for our living room.
So, instead of paying for the sofa (which we very wanted to do so), we decided to measure the living room our new place first. I guess I could have made real size cutouts with papers for the sofas (like what I did with my toilet bowls and toilet sinks) but it’s too tedious for objects of such size.
I’ve also seen some interior design blogs that used masking tape to trace the outline of their soft furnishing. I really think that’s brilliant but our house is too messy now for that kind of work though.
# – Using masking tape to trace outline of furniture/decorations.
I gave up trying to draw a scaled down plan of the living room because calculating all the measurements was more tedious than I had imagined. In the end, I turned to Google SketchUp. I used to play with SketchUp at my previous job as it allowed me to design the setup of roadshows or launches.
The best part about SketchUp is the MASSIVE library of components at your disposal. As long as you’re not anal about having an object looking a specific way, SketchUp is perfect. You can use a component in its original state or you can resize, rotate or even change its colours. There’s a user friendly component search function integrated in SketchUp. If you can use Google Search, you can definitely find the component you want.
By the way, you can read about my adventures in kitchen designing in this post. Funnily, I wasn’t such a big fan of SketchUp because I was too lazy to learn how to use the measuring tape :P
I recommend watching some tutorial videos of Google SketchUp before embarking on any project, because it can be very time consuming trying to figure out the correct workflow and which button is for which function. Once you’ve grasped some basic knowledge of the tools though, it will become very easy. I mean, I am not a design student but I find it quite easy to use SketchUp.
# – A video on Google SketchUp for beginner.
So anyway, I drew my living room space, found a sofa component that look closest to the sofa we like, resized it to the measurements we got from the sofa seller, positioned the sofas in the virtual living room, added a TV on the wall and threw in a TV cabinet for good measure.
Thanks to SketchUp, me and the BF have mutually agreed to ditch the 2 seater and just buy one 3 seater. I mean look at this:
# – With 2+3 Seaters. Space is cramped and possibility of having to jump over the sofa everytime I need to sit is high. And don’t forget about tables!
By the way, notice the dimensions in the pictures? It’s so cool! You can easily draw the dimensions and for me it’s a wonderful assurance that I haven’t screwed up the measurements.
# – With only the 3 seater. Much more space. Sorry guests, you have to sit on the floor, wu wu wu.
Well, you may wonder what was I thinking by putting carpet print on a TV cabinet. Well it’s just for fun la! These pictures do not really show the design or colours of my living room. I’m being a little mysterious until everything’s done.
Will put the actual 3D plan next to pictures of the actual room for comparison once it’s all done ;)