Make your life easier by drawing a floor plan before you buy or rearrange your furniture.
Below are instructions for drawing a floor plan:
You will need grid paper, pencils, and measuring materials. Grid paper comes with various size blocks. Most templates use a 1/4″ grid. You can print off these free sheets of graph paper to help with your floor planning exercises.
Write your measurement preference in the bottom corner,(such as: 1 block = 12 inches), so that at a later time, you don’t have to stop and figure out what you used as your original measurements when you were drawing your floor plan.
Using the correct dimensions of your room and grid paper begin drawing a floor plan
- Create an accurate outline of the room you are working on. Include placement and correct size of windows.
This is not an architectural drawing and no one is going to be critiquing your artwork. However, the measurements should be accurate and the placement of doors, windows and permanent fixtures should be accurate.
- Mark placement of the doors and whether they slide or open in or out.
- Mark the placement of any permanent fixtures such as chimneys and fireplaces.
- Be aware of and mark heating or cooling elements. Do not block baseboard heating or air conditioning units if you want to get the highest efficiency from these units.
- Mark electrical outlets and cable or phone jacks.
- Mark ceiling and wall lighting
Make templates of your furniture when drawing a floor plan
Using the same size grid paper and the same measurement, measure, draw, and cutout shapes of the furniture you plan to arrange in this room. Be sure and do this with every piece, sofas, chairs, tables, television, sound equipment, etc.
If you prefer, rather than drawing a floor plan and furniture templates by hand, there are several sites you can visit to purchase finished templates
- Visit this site for a great room planner with free graph paper and templates
- You can obtain a sheet of plastic furniture templates to use while drawing a floor plan, for only $6.00
- If you are a visual person and want to physically see your future furniture arrangement, these furniture arranging templates are actually life sized. When you finish this project, you should have 2 room charts. One with your traffic pattern and a blueprint of your room dimensions and permanent fixtures. These kits sell for $39.99 per room.
- You can view and purchase various plastic furniture templates at this site
- This set is quite pricey, but if you are building a new home or starting from scratch, and if your budget can take it,you’ll find this furniture arranging kit great fun
There are also many brands of floor plan software availablethat will save you time when drawing a floor plan. These range from simple to extravagant, depending on the size of your project. If you are a “techie”, you might enjoy drawing a floor plan on your computer.
Drawing a Floor Plan will save you hours of indecision
It will also save your aching back from having to move every piece of furniture sixteen times. By moving pieces of paper instead of furniture, you will have the opportunity to explore many avenues of furniture placement you may not have thought of. By setting up some improbable situations, you may hit on the perfect solution that has always eluded you.
If there is a piece of furniture you plan on purchasing, but don’t have yet, cut out a piece for that if you wish, using the correct measurement if you have it. This way, if you plan on replacing the sofa or coffee table in the near future, you’ll know it is going to fit into your furniture arrangement.
By having the measurements of your doors with you when you purchase large pieces, you will be sure they fit into the allotted rooms. There is nothing more frustrating than buying the perfect sofa, and then having to go back to the store and cancel the order because the doorways are too narrow. This way, if you plan on replacing the sofa or coffee table in the near future, you’ll know it is going to fit into your furniture arrangement.
Here is a true story that really happened to me
After waiting years for a new stainless steel refrigerator,the big day finally arrived.
We live in an old home with narrow doorways and most refrigerators today are quite wide. After checking out four different appliance stores, I had pretty much given up on the double door stainless steel refrigerator. My husband however is in the construction industry and he restores historical homes. He said to me, “No way. You’ve wanted waited years for this purchase and you will have it.”
So we bought the refrigerator. As he was talking with the salesman about the delivery, he said, “Just let me know what day you are coming. I’ve got a sawsall and we’ve wanted another entrance straight into the kitchen for a long time. I guess this is a good a time as any.”
This may not be an ideal solution for you, but be sure to keep size in mind as you are making decisions about major purchases.
Exercise – Drawing a Floor Plan
Using any of the techniques or products listed above, draw a floor plan of a room in your home. Follow the instructions for measuring and marking doors and windows.
Don’t worry about using the furniture templates at this point. We will use these when we look at Furniture Arrangement
When your floor plan is completed, you are now ready to download the next worksheet Space Analysis