2) It also means we need to know what people will be using the room, how many of them and what will they be doing there. For example, how many people will need to comfortably sit in the room on a daily basis? What about when you entertain? Are there any special needs like an elderly person or small children? What are the tasks and activities that will occur in the room (e.g. watching television, playing Wii, reading, napping…)? A critical room for this to be examined is the kitchen. How do you move though the kitchen, what are your motions while you are cooking? Define, define, define in order to create a room that is functionally perfect first. The saying 'form follows function' is absolutely true. Once you know who will be in the space and what they will be doing there – function – then the form will flow from there.
3) Measure, measure, measure then measure again. Do a drawing with detailed measurements on it. If you don’t have software to help you with this, good old fashion graph paper is just fine. Draw the room once and make several copies of that drawing so you can try several space and furniture plans – or layouts - to accomplish the functional aspect you already identified.
4) Define the feeling of the space. How do you want to feel in this room? How do you want others to feel in this room? What do you want the room to portray or reveal about you? You may want a different feel in different rooms. A family room may be comfortable, warm, and cozy to spend time with your loved ones. I living room elegant and sophisticated that portrays your success. What feel and portrayal of you in the space in a very important aspect and needs to be considered every step of the way. The feel helps keep you focused. There is so much product out there, so much stimuli it can be overwhelming. You may have defined the feel of the room as warm, cozy, kid friendly but go over to your friend’s house and see this sleek, leather sofa and think to your self “I love it, I want that!” Whoa nelly. If you put that sleek sofa in your warm and cozy room, is it going to be warm and cozy? Is it going to seat you and your kids comfortably to snuggle up on?
In summary – define, define, define. Define who and what, define the measurements, define the feel. Form follows function. The style will be born from in particular, the feel and what you want the space to say about you. And, after function, aren't those two things the most important elements ever?