I thought I’d share my process to designing a space (and more specifically, designing the built-ins that will go into said room). In case it might be helpful to someone out there wanting to take a leap but not sure where to start.
First, lets go over a little vocab to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Plan view (or floorplan) is a view from above. Looking straight down.
Elevation is a view of one side. Looking at a wall or facade straight on.
I either draw by hand or use Google Sketch Up which is nice if I’m messing around with dozens of different design options without completely starting over each time I make a change.
OK, now on to my process.
-First, I get the dimensions of the room and draw up a floorplan.
-Then I draw up all the different possible layouts or versions of what I want. Sometimes dozens! To do this, I have to draw up elevations for each wall first, then incorporate that into the floorplan.
I try to optimize every bit of space that I can while getting the look that I want. So, my main focus is on how a space function, then I figure out how to make that look good.
These are my final plans for my master closet.
Elevation for “His” side.
Elevation for “Her” Side
-Then I draw up build plans for each specific cabinet that I will build.
-Then I draw up a cut list so I can maximize my materials and get the least waste possible.
You’ll notice in Wes’ Elevation, I have a 6″ base that the cabinets will sit on top of. I did that to avoid wasting a 48″x12″ section on about 20 sheets of MDF in my cuts! That’s a lot of waste. Sure, I could probably use it sometime in the future but I don’t want to store that much MDF. (My side is also on a 6″ base, I just didn’t draw it in.)
Just a bit of adjusting: creating a separate 6″ base instead of making the cabinets 6″ longer gave me 18″after I cut my 78″ side pieces instead of only 12″ and I can use the 18″ for the sides of the top cabinets.
Of course, it isn’t always possible to use every scrap of material in your project. I was able to because I have 5 1/4″ baseboards and was going to cut my cabinet sides 6″ longer but attach the bottom shelf 6″ from the bottom. Building a separate base achieves the same result.
*I’m also waiting to build the top cabinets until all the main cabinets are built and installed. That way I can remeasure to see if everything is going to fit as originally planned or if I have to make adjustments.
Measure twice, cut once and expect that things still might not be perfect. Then you won’t be irritated/angry if/when it happens.
*Be sure to check out my post: How to plan and design a master closet so you can customize your own closet to fit your specific needs.
Master Closet Plans
Cabinet Building 101 eBook