I’ve written about the importance of floor plans before. A few times. But it bears repeating because of the number of times I still see awkward furniture placements that could so easily be avoided if a floor plan had been used. I know that most of you are now computer literate — at least somewhat — and some of you would prefer to do this online.
I ask that you PLEASE do this the old fashioned way first of all. For one reason only: you will get results right away and won’t have to go through learning a new system. AND, it’s fun. You cut out little things and move them around on the paper. It’s really relaxing and reminds me of doing the cut-out dolls and clothes when I was a kid.
Why do a floor plan? It will tell you how much, and what size, of furniture you need. It will tell you how big your TV should be, your area rug, your bedside tables, your dining table and your side chairs.
It will tell you what size and shape your coffee table should be. AND it will save you oodles of time and money when you go shopping for new pieces.
1. Get some 1/4-inch graph paper. Each square represents 6 inches. (You can print some free from the internet at https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/, just accept the defaults and you will get 1/4-inch paper.)
2. Draw a to-scale representation of your rooms footprint. Include the windows, the electrical outlets and the way the doors open.
3. Measure the footprint of all of your required furniture and cut out to-scale representations. Write the piece name and measurements on the cut-out. For example. If your sofa is 72 inches long and 36 inches deep, cut out a rectangle 12 squares long and 6 squares wide. I will post a downloadable PDF of furniture outlines on the website.
4. Now for the homework. Give me your name and email and I will give you one of the chapters of my book “ Every-Day Design Dilemmas; How to take the guesswork out of decorating.” It’s the chapter on making floor plans and contains a list of space guidelines, like how far apart should the coffee table and sofa be. It has all the info you need to make a floor plan. Really. And if you want to see the rest of the book, have a look.
http://planner.roomsketcher.com/# This is a good, easy-to-use online free floor planner. They don’t have a lot of furniture to choose from, but you can make do with what they have. It’s fairly easy to learn, too.
And here are the furniture templates. Four pages, all to 1/4-inch scale. Print them on card stock; makes them sturdier. These are the ones I got in Design School, still valid today. They look like this:
Next column I’ll talk about lighting. I recently read a survey which placed poor lighting in the Top Ten Things designers say people get wrong most often.
Then coffee tables.
Then area rugs.
Then colour schemes.