Having a floor plan for each room of your home can be invaluable. It will come in handy when you are rearranging furniture, shopping for new items or trying to decide on basic design elements like traffic flow, balance, scale, harmony and more.
You only need one basic plan for each room, but it would be helpful to make 5 plans for each room. Your main floor plan will give an overhead view as if you are looking down on the room. The other 4 will show each wall as if you are looking directly at it.
Step One - Main Floor Plan
Go around the room and write down the length and width of the floor. Note things like floor vents, radiators, windows and door openings or architectural features like fireplaces or interior columns.
Using a piece of ¼” graph paper, draw the length and width of the room, using 1 or 2 squares to equal 1 foot on your paper. Whatever scale you choose, be consistent by using the same one for all measurements and plans.
Be sure to show the doorways, windows and architectural elements you previously measured. If you have doors that swing into the room, be sure to note that, too.
Step Two - Wall Plans
Next measure the height and length of all the walls, along with the windows, doors and fireplaces. Again, include architectural features like half-walls or built-in cabinets. Also mark all the electrical, phone and cable outlets and all light switches.
Draw these on the graph paper, using the same scale as before. Use a separate piece of graph paper for each wall. Label each paper so you know what wall it refers to.
Step Three - Furniture Templates
Optionally, you can make templates for the furniture pieces in your room. This is so you can move them around on top of the floor plans to help you find a suitable arrangement.
To make templates, measure the length and width of all the furniture pieces that you plan to keep in the room. Then place a white piece of paper over ¼” graph paper and draw the furniture pieces using the same scale as before (ex. 1 square = 1 inch). You need to be able to see the graph lines under the white paper for this to work. You are just going to draw basic box shapes – no need to for expert drawing skills. Be sure to label each furniture piece as you go, so that you can differentiate between a table and a chair. Once you've drawn all the pieces, carefully cut them out. You may want to make separate furniture cutouts for the wall floor plans, because those will need to illustrate the height of your furniture pieces, as if you were looking straight at them.
When you are finished, store your room plans in a safe place like a 3-ring notebook dedicated to your home decor projects. Place all the cutouts in a ziplock bag and attach to the plans. If you prefer, you can buy ready-made kits with pre-cut furniture templates. They can save you a lot of time in your planning, especially if you like to rearrange your rooms frequently.
Having floor plans of every room in your home isn’t necessary, but it’s a helpful tool when decorating your home. You can quickly try out new furniture arrangements before physically moving anything. It also allows you to plan for new spaces if you ever add on to your home or if you are moving into a new home. Having copies of your floor plan, furniture measurements and current furniture arrangement is especially handy when shopping for new pieces or pertinent items like window treatments. Knowing up front what will fit in the space will save you time and money.