Every profession has its own language, be it computerese, medical jargon, or political spin. Most of the construction world speaks “blueprint,” but it's all Greek to your customers. Thankfully, when creating a space plan for your client's home remodel, reusable design tools make the process as easy as ABC.
For start-to-finish planning, View-It Technologies offers a series of easy-to-use magnetic furniture and room design pieces. “Our biggest seller is the Residential Room Planner, which is great for everyone from construction and design professionals to retailers,” says sales and marketing coordinator Sandra McClure. Designed on a ¼ -inch scale, the planner includes 780 graphically detailed magnets depicting everything from sofas to kitchen countertops to bathtubs. The tiles can be organized in any manner on “The Board” magnetic surface, helping clients determine how best to use the space.
“Since the pieces are all magnetic, it's easy to make a photocopy of a finished layout and start all over again, so you don't lose your work,” McClure says, adding that homeowners can give the photocopies to movers when it's time to place furniture again after construction.
McClure and Melody Davidson, co-owner of Design Yourself Interiors, agree that space-planning tools are most successfully used early in the construction process. “Take time to think about things before you really get going — it can solve so many problems,” David-son advises. “For instance, if you want a seating arrangement in the center of a new great room, you may realize that none of your lamps will be within reach of a wall outlet. Starting early gives you a chance to add an outlet in the floor where you need it to make the design fit your vision.”
Templates available from Design Yourself Interiors are printed to scale on heavy-duty craft paper. The full-size pieces let users arrange renderings of furniture, windows, and other items in rooms-in-progress to check the fit and placement. The paper forms can also be folded into smaller sizes and shapes.
“These are really low-tech products in a high-tech world,” Davidson says. “But just being able to visualize their own pieces in a new space can be an important selling point for homeowners.”