Brown says in an interview with The Chicago Tribune that a slow home is reasonably sized and carefully designed to support its occupants. It might have an entry where family members can easily take off their boots, stash their keys and store their backpacks, for example. It might have a living space that encourages people to talk or read, not just watch television or surf the Internet. Its energy efficient, filled with natural light and designed for easy flow among rooms and access to the outside.
Almost all discovery processes used by home designers focus on the use and space requirements of the rooms in the house. This is good, but too little attention is given to the personal needs of the people actually living in the home. Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the clients functional abilities, identifying areas of the home where modifications are necessary is often overlooked.
There are a couple of tools that a designer can use to evaluate the needs of their clients. One of those tools is the Comprehensive Assessment and Solution Process for Aging Residents (CASPAR). CASPAR was designed for healthcare professionals to evaluate their clients ability to carry out routine activities in the home. This is also useful in determining the requirements of people who have disabilities.
For example, the needs of a child and his / her ability to live comfortably in the home are rarely addressed at the design stage. Its necessary to evaluate the childs current abilities and design an environment that works and grows with the child. Some easy adaptive design elements would include adjustable shelves and rods in the closet. As the child grows, the shelves and rods can be moved to better accommodate their reach. Appliances present a similar situation as it is necessary for the controls to be accessible. Front mounted controls on washing machines and dryers enable their use. Safety also comes into play. A child trying to use a microwave placed overhead is a recipe for disaster! Of course, the above example is very simple, but it illustrates the point that design needs to be done from the perspective of the individual and his / her ability to carry out daily routines in the home. This is why a good designer will perform an assessment of the client and specify the needed design modifications.
Measure up your room and enter the measurements into the floor planner, also known as a room planner. You then get a scale plan of the floor, into which you can fit your choice of furniture. Most furniture websites that offer this form of room planning also provide scale thumbnails of each piece of furniture. So if you choose a sofa, for example, you can place it where you want it to go, and then add coffee tables and other pieces of furniture to check how they fit in.