7 Interior Design Ideas to Smooth Your Move

Laura McHolm
Written by Laura McHolm
Updated March 28, 2016
furniture and rug
Arranging furniture and planning how to define spaces with rugs are important to do before moving. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

Reduce moving pains by choosing interior decorating ideas and arranging furniture floor plans beforehand.

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Congratulations on your new home! It is an exciting time full of countless to-dos. But new homeowners frequently overlook one to-do. It’s a step that saves you money on moving day and quickly transforms a new house into your new home — laying out your future before moving day.

Start your interior design plan before moving

It is essential to create a floor plan for your new home before you move. If you have a plan for where you will place each piece of furniture in your new home, you will save time and money on moving day. The movers will not rearrange your furniture for hours while on the clock.

Sadly, the easy act of creating a floor plan before a move is a rarity. If you are not an interior designer, it can be extremely challenging to know how to create a floor plan and envision a layout for your new home. So I called upon an experienced pro, interior designer Kathy Geissler Best of Kathy Best Design, to unwrap the secrets behind creating a beautiful and functional floor plan.

Here are Kathy’s seven steps to create a well-designed floor plan:

1. Reduce

A move is the right time to get rid of furniture you do not love or use. You want your new home to look open and feel fresh. Give items you no longer love to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity or a family member, or sell them at a consignment store.

2. Measure

Once you’ve pared down your furniture, measure the key pieces. You don’t need to measure every piece of furniture, just large items such as sofas, beds and main tables.

3. Take a field trip

With furniture measurements in hand, take a trip to your new home. Stand in each room and think about how you are going to use each space. You will use rooms more often if they have multiple purposes. For instance, a living room can be both for entertaining and a family game room, and a guest room can double as a home office.

4. Don’t rush

Walk around the new home. Experience the light in each room at different times of the day and if possible on different days. Think like an interior designer about how you will use each room and what will be the focal point of each room.

5. Take note

Once you have a purpose and a feel for each room, it’s time to make a sketch. Draw a rough sketch of the room and jot down measurements. Note locations of electrical outlets, windows, light switches, chandeliers and other important features. This information will help you place furniture and décor later.

Be sure to measure the path of entry to ensure big furniture items will fit through doorways, halls and stairs. 

6. Play and design

Another way to get ready for the move is to make templates of the large furniture pieces on butcher block paper. Move the templates around and play with them, rearranging them in different spots, until you find a layout that feels right. Then adjust them to these interior design pro rules:

• Think about where you want to look in each room — at the fireplace, outdoor view, TV or somewhere else? Face the furniture to work with this focal point.

• Figure out where you want the bigger pieces and then build around them.

• If you can, place dressers in the bedroom closets to open up space in the bedroom.

• Leave an open, welcoming path into each room. For example, do not have the back of a sofa facing the entrance to a living room.

• Think about seat heights. A dining chair is taller than a lounge chair. You want chairs and a sofa to be at the same level in a sitting area.

• Leave at least 18 inches to walk around beds. If guest rooms are not large, a queen bed will make the room appear bigger.

• Use rugs to define areas. For instance, define a reading space in the living room with a separate rug. Make note of where rugs go so the movers can lay them down first in the correct locations.

7. Sketch and post

Now that you have figured out where you want each large piece of furniture, complete your sketches. Tape the drawings of each room layout in the rooms. This way, the movers will know where to place the furniture.

Décor completes your new home’s interior design

At the end of moving day, you will walk into a home that fits you. The furniture will sit just where you wanted and now you can add the décor accents! Furniture is like your wardrobe: It needs accessories. Dress up your space with seasonal throw pillows, side tables and other items.

You want to feel happy when you walk into each room. With the interior layout complete, you can make your new home your happy place.

What strategies do you use to make your move go smoother? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

As of March 28, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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