Space Planning: What, Why, and How? An Interior Spacing Case Study and Useful Tips

Space planning is critical to have a comfortable interior that satisfies the needs of all residents or visitors.

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What is space planning?

Space planning is the analysis of premises that takes place at the initial stages of the interior design process. To create a space plan, designers need to understand the functions of the room and its future use. Besides, you will need to provide extract dimensions and formulate your expectations or requirements. The professionals will combine the obtained information with the existing interior standards and their experience to plan your interior design. They will divide the space into zones and locate objects taking into account their ergonomic requirements. Also, quality interior design space planning is based on circulation patterns, which are particularly important if you design public space.

Space planning evolution: from manual drawing to design software

Interior spacing isn’t a modern design trend but a common practice that exists for decades. Almost a century ago, architects displayed interest in ergonomics and standardization. They believed it would be more effective to develop universal ergonomic requirements and use them in all projects. Thus, such an approach considerably saved time and helped to make interior spacing more convenient.

Influenced by this tendency, the German architect Ernst Neufert decided to collect maximum data about architectural standards to compile a handbook. As a result of this initiative, in 1936, he published Architect’s Data – the most well-known reference for space planning. For decades, students of architecture faculties and professional architects used the data in this book to verify design standards. They were manually drawing every detail always keeping these strict requirements in mind.

With the appearance of space planning software, the interior design process has become much simpler and faster. Special programs like ArchiCAD include libraries with standard furniture and construction elements that meet international ergonomic requirements. Modern designers just have to find a suitable location for all necessary objects and create a space plan.

Design Planning Case – Story Of a Coffee Shop

Let’s go through the main steps of coffee shop planning, so you could better understand this process and its possible pitfalls. The example below represents a typical customer-design agency interaction. It shows what to expect from space planning. To make the situation as close to reality as possible, imagine you are a coffee shop owner looking for design services:

STEP #1.

You come to a design agency with a set of existing ideas regarding the project. You know the number of tables, the length of a bar counter, the place for a coffee machine, and other details. You strongly believe that everything can be easily fit in your premises. You may even think that additional planning is unnecessary. Besides, many people state they need minor consulting or 3d rendering services when the whole interior design cycle is necessary. Read about the difference between visualization and design concept. Interior design always begins from space planning. At this point, something unexpected may happen.


Once you share the initial information with designers, they will distress you with the fact that not everything is possible. They may even state that the design you want will be inconvenient or cannot be implemented. From now on, you will start realizing the importance of space planning. You will learn about the role of ergonomic characteristics, standard dimensions, and other crucial factors. As a result, you will probably decide to use professional space planning help.


The design agency carefully measures your place to understand its actual capabilities. After that, the designers try to balance your expectations with the technical characteristics of the premises. First, they locate all the required equipment that has strict dimensions which cannot be modified. This allows to see the free space and understand how to use it efficiently. Only now you can understand how many tables will fit in this room without ruining the visitors’ comfort.


The design agency provides several design planning options to choose from. Then you select the preferred spacing, which will be used as a basis for future design. Planning allows you to create appealing and comfortable interiors that will inspire visitors and make them stay in your coffee shop. Moreover, space plans are necessary if you plan to create a visualization for marketing purposes. Designers will use them to generate an accurate 3D model that reflects the look of premises. Space Planning: What, Why, and How? An Interior Spacing Case Study and Useful Tips-02

Useful Tips on Interior Design Space Planning

  • Start space planning before you build walls
  • Take into account ergonomic characteristics of standard items
  • Perceive the available room objectively
  • Remember that successful public places require a lot of space
  • Make sure the place is comfortable and functional
  • Contact professionals before starting any design or building
  • Make a list of all objects you need in your place

Don’t hesitate to contact us should you need any design and space planning help.