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How To Draw A Great Floor Plan

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This weeks topic is How To Draw A Floor Plan and can take anywhere from about a half hour to 2 days depending how much you like to fuss, doodle and obsess about things so let’s get started……

Measure, Measure,  Measure

The first thing to do when you are starting to decorate your room is to measure it and draw up a floor plan accurately and to scale.

It’s true that it takes time and effort to measure properly, but a scaled diagram of your room is very useful as it will help you to see what your room really looks like. It gives you the true proportions and shape of the room and more importantly, it saves many trips to your chiropractor because you can arrange and rearrange to-scale drawings of your furniture on the room diagram until you have found the plan you like best-without ever moving a stick of real furniture!

To make a scale drawing, it is simplest to use graph paper that is scaled to 1 centimetre equals 1 metre in “real life”. This paper is available in any art supply store and in most department and stationery stores. “One centimetre scale” simply means that one centimetre on the graph paper represents one metre of actual measurement in the room. You will also need a flexible tape measure or a metre stick, and a protractor (if you have angles in the room).

To measure a room accurately, you must include all the  dimensions of windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators, beams, jogs, and any air-conditioning units that project into the room. Measuring is best done one wall at a time. As you measure each wall, it should be sketched on the graph paper. Doors and windows should be measured to the outsides of the frames so that you know exactly how much wall space is available for a piece of furniture without interference from door or window frames. Don’t forget to measure irregular angles or jogs accurately.

Ta Da!  If your measuring and transcribing is correct then the drawing of your last wall of the room will meet once you reach back to the first wall that you began drawing.

Architectural Symbols

In architectural drawings, conventional symbols are used to indicate doors, windows, lights, radiators, etc. These symbols represent architectural features in a simplified form. Here are a few examples that you may want to use in your drawing:

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Finishing Off Your Floor Planning

There are many options to use as far as taking those floor plan measurements and working them up into a finished floor plan with your to-scale furniture in place.

Your floor plan can be a simple sketch or it can be a detailed, coloured rendering like you see pictured above (If you like to doodle or are a Type A personality you can really have a lot of fun with this.)

Another way to finish off your floor plan is to cut out and colour small furniture pieces (to scale) and arrange them on graph paper that has been drawn up to the shape and scale of your room. These pieces will be easy to move around and if you are not computer savvy, easier for you than learning a computer program.

A computerized version of floor planning is another option that many people are now using but you will still need to do your homework and get those correct measurements in there along with correct measurements of all your furniture pieces.

Here is an example of a simple floor plan with the furniture pieces positioned in place (the type where you move bits and pieces around on the graph paper):


I have also found these handy furniture piece examples on-line (Just use these as an example):


You will need to make your own itsy bitsy pieces by measuring your own furniture and drawing up your own furniture pieces to scale, stealing your children’s colouring pencils, matching that exact same shade of fuchsia and plum….well, I think you get a sense what personality type I am, yes?

I hope to follow-up in a later blog with hints and tips about how exactly to place your furnishings in your room. But for now ….you will find the essential How To Draw A Floor Plan very helpful in starting your decorating journey.

In a world full of beauty….

Gail K Allen

Interior Design Consultant

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