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Creating a Floor Plan & Elevation

At our decor club’s last meeting, we decided to teach our fellow clubbers something we learned in our interior design class that we’ve put to good use in our own homes: making a floor plan and elevation. As we all know, it is so much easier to envision a room if you see it as small drawing that you can manipulate; no? Maybe it’s just us.

We have found most of the planning of the a room begins on paper with an accurate floor plan of your existing space. A floor plan is a flat, two-dimensional diagram of a room in your home. An elevation is a detailed drawing of each wall showing the vertical dimensions of the room.


What you’ll need:

  • graph paper 
  • pencil 
  • ruler 
  • measuring 
  • tape
  • scissors

To start make a rough sketch of the floor plan & elevation to use for reference as you measure the room. Mark any permanent features (doors, windows, outlets, built-ins, fireplaces, stairs and vents). Measure all of the walls in your room. Then measure all of the openings (doors, windows, fireplaces, built-ins, stairs etc). Be sure not to just measure the width of the room but also the vertical height (the elevation). It is very important to be as accurate as possible in measuring and drawing your room and the items you have in it.

Now make a correctly scaled drawing of the same plan on graph paper. Most plans are drawn to a scale in which ¼ inch (or one graph paper box) represents 1 foot. It helps to start drawing the floor plan in the middle of your paper and then draw your elevation out to either side. Make sure to note which way doors swing and where any overhead lighting is too.

After you’ve drawn the room, you can use a furniture template to cut out the furniture that is currently in your room. See image below. You can customize these pieces or make your own. Then it’s easy to manipulate and move the furniture and lighting around the room to see what is the best use of the space.

I can’t tell you how many times we have used these plans when deciding if our current furniture should be relocated to another place and if we should purchase something new for the room. A floor plan is a worthwhile planning tool to create. Give it a shot!


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