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space planning, foyer

Space Planning 101: Creating a Functional Foyer

This week’s blog post falls into the category of “keeping it organized.” So, I feel perfectly justified talking about space planning. Creating a functional foyer is the first step in organizing space thoughtfully.

A long-term client sent me a floor plan of an apartment she is in the process of buying. It’s on the second floor of a pre-war 6-story building located in Brooklyn, NY. Planning to renovate, she is asking for my input.

She doesn’t have pictures of the unit yet, but that’s not a problem. At this stage, drawn to scale real estate thumbnail layout is perfectly adequate to decipher most space planning issues.

Space planning starts and ends at the front door

Space planning or blocking out of spatial areas, deals with efficiency and flow. The trick is to organize or layout space by anticipating all the possible scenarios of moving through various rooms in a logical fashion. All of that starts at the front door. Clearly, it would not be convenient to enter an apartment through a laundry room or a bathroom, for example.

The foyer, regardless of size, is supposed to set the stage, welcome, and suggest the way in. Hmm… That is just not the case with the Brooklyn apartment I am looking at. The existing “entry foyer” really bothers me. One has to walk into the kitchen in order to reach the living room. That’s quite awkward!

The foyer is the home’s gateway

In terms of space planning, the entry sequence is the first problem to tackle. My immediate response is to relocate the front door. If permitted by the co-op, it would work so much better to move the entry door closer to the living room. In addition, there has to be a physical separation between a dedicated entry area and the kitchen.

A blog post on the subject recommends “using custom solutions to fit your exact space” while “wall-mounting everything you possibly can.” I agree. My client’s foyer can be defined by an angled partition. That’s a step in the right direction! The layout below shows how I would reorganize the space and make every inch count.

space planning, foyer
Floor Plan: Existing / Demolition & Proposed

The plan on the left identifies the existing (non load-bearing) walls to be demolished. The plan on the right proposes a new arrangement, creating an entry foyer that is distinctly separate from any other space in the apartment.

While at it, I’ll address another space planning eyesore of the unit. It is an inadequately located bathroom. Getting to it in the middle of the night would be a nightmare.

Ideally, a bathroom and a bedroom should be right next to each other. Aside from creating a functional foyer, locating bathrooms strategically is one of the space planning basics. Hopefully, adding new plumbing will not be a big deal. It’s certainly is worth looking into. Wouldn’t you think? Please write to me with your observations here or post your comments below.

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  1. Mia Kazovsky says:

    What a great post as per usual. You put so much thought into every single project, you would think YOU are the long-term client yourself. Thank you for sharing this and always educating me! There is a lot of cool stuff to think about here. Awesome!

    1. Alla DIY Ally says:

      Happy to be of service!

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