How to Decorate Step 4: Floor Planning

Floor planning ensures that the room you are decorating will function for you and that you can fit all of the right pieces into place.

floorplan1I know how exciting it is to get started with a decorating project and how difficult it is to work on the projects that deal with the function of the room first.  But by this time you have done your research, you have a budget in mind, and you have considered how the room is going to function for you.  Hopefully you have created a needs list and now we can begin laying out the room to make sure it will do everything and be everything you want it to be.  This article on floor planning and our next piece on furniture arranging are two of my favorite steps and they will put you in great shape to move onto the fun part, the shopping and decorating.
floorplan2So to create a floor plan of your room, you will need a decent tape measure, one that is 16 to 20 feet long and one that has feet and inches marked on it is best.  You will need paper and a pencil and I have to admit that a friend can be very helpful.  When Matt and I measure a room, he would measure and I would create the drawing while jotting down the measurements.  It does go faster that way.


But, if you are doing it yourself, start by sketching the shape of the room.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure you get all the walls, windows and doors in.


Here are a couple of tips about measuring.


1.  When it comes to measuring doors and windows,  I include the molding around a window and door with the measurement of the window or door, NOT the wall because I don’t want to place a piece of furniture overlapping a molding if I don’t have too.  It makes the piece of furniture look like it doesn’t fit.


2.  Don’t forget to mark the location of outlets, switches, phone jacks, cable, etc. so you have that information with you as you start placing the furniture. No sense putting the TV on a wall opposite the cable plug!


3.  I ALWAYS mark down my measurements in feet and inches instead of all inches because when I actually draw the floor plan, I am working in feet and inches, so why have to go through the extra math conversions?

After all the measurements are gathered, sit down with your sketch and a clean piece of ¼” graph paper.  You can do this on a white sheet like I do, but you’ll need a triangle and a scale to do it correctly.  The scale drawing allows you to use cut out furniture pieces drawn to scale and move them around the room finding just the right placement without breaking your back!


On ¼” graph paper, each ¼” equals one foot.  So, to draw a 6 foot wall, draw a line along the edge of 6 squares.  Interior walls are generally about 4-6 inches thick and you can see on this example I’ve make them ½ a square thick.  Windows are outlined, but left open with small glass panes drawn in the center, and doorways are left completely open with doors drawn perpendicular to the wall at the hinged corner.  Notice too on the example that the switches, outlets and registers are marked so we are careful about our furniture placement.

When the floor plan is complete, it’s a good idea to double check the measurement of the entire length and width of the room to make sure your plan is correct.


The next step is placing the furniture.  We’ll learn how to create furniture cutouts that you can keep with you as long as you have your furniture. You’ll learn about traffic flow, focal points and just plain good furniture arranging!!


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