-- Living Spaces --

First things first. How should the space function?

Living Room Plan 01 rendered small


Before we sketch a single idea, we start our projects by asking questions. In architecture speak, this is called programming. Whether you work with a design professional or do-it-yourself, answering these questions before you begin will put you on the road to success.

This is the exact checklist we review with clients at our project kick-off meetings. So grab a pen and paper and dig in!

Don’t worry about answering everything, just focus on the questions that apply to you. Want to make it even easier? Download our free, printable PDF using the button at the bottom of the page. 

1. The first step is to think about what activities your room will host. Will kids be playing in the same space adults are reading? Should you have two activity zones? A formal side and casual side? Is half the room for TV and the other half for conversation?

2. Take inventory of your television, sound system, and other media devices. Where do you want each located and what are
their storage needs? Think about power and data connections.

3. What shelves or built-in storage do you want for books or display items?

4. Do you want a fireplace or other architectural features? Window seat?

5. Do you sort mail in your living room? Plan space for this so you can avoid clutter.

6. Magazine & newspaper storage?

7. If an exterior door opens into the space, consider places for coats, shoes, and keys.

8. What art and decorative objects will be displayed?

9. Choose window coverings based on privacy and light control needs.

10. What existing furniture will be accommodated in the new room? What new pieces do you plan to buy?

11. Where will plants go?

12. Think about lighting. Floor and table lamps create a soft, intimate space. If you need a brighter room, consider ceiling lights on a dimmer. What activities will require task lighting?

13. Do you want ceiling fans? What style? In living rooms, we recommend no lights on fans. Overhead light is often too harsh.
Better to use table and floor lamps throughout the room.

14. Choose a flooring material. Will you need rugs?

15. What type of sofa will you have? Sectional? Straight?

16. Plan space for a coffee table and side chairs.

17. Do you need storage for games or toys? Can you plan a cabinet or storage bench so these items can be hidden?

18. Do you need a space for pet beds and toys?

19. Do you want a hobby and craft area? A table where puzzles can be left out?

20. Do you have a piano or other instruments that require space?


If you’re ready to take on a home renovation, click below to get our whole-house, room-by-room checklist PDF printable.

It includes this full living spaces list as well as questions for kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets & storage, garages & utility rooms, and outdoor living spaces.  Print the sections you need and fill them out for a solid start to your project.


Send me the checklist!