How To Do A Room Layout

To start get a sheet of paper (preferably graph paper) and draw a quick sketch of the room you will be doing a floor plan for. You will need an architectural scale (you can find at most art stores) because later you will be doing a to scale drawing. To start a quick sketch is easiest.


  • Measure all walls in inches not feet (leaves less room for errors) you can later change it over to feet when scaling it out. Remember 12 inches = 1 foot.
  • Be sure to write down each wall dimension. If measuring from wall to wall make sure you take note of any baseboards and their measurement because it could interfer later with your dimensions. It’s always best to do the measurements off the floor not the wall
  • In the case of  the room having additional corners be sure to get an over all dimension…width & length.
  • For those important walls also do an elevation taking note of how high up and far apart any electrical outlets and fixed features may be.
  • For windows measure from the wall to the outside of the window casement and take note of how thick the casement itself is and also how high up from the ground the window is. This will help immensely when doing layouts later.
  • Take careful measurements when it comes to doorways because you may find out later that you bought too big of furniture and it won’t even fit through the door. You can always take a door off to gain an inch or two but this should be a last resort solution.
  • Areas on the sides ofa fireplace are not necessarily the same measure both sides. Also do not assume all doors are the same width.
  • When in doubt, double check your measurements and MEASURE everything.


  • TV: Before you just stick it somewhere make sure it’s in a comfortable viewing position and is free from glare.
  • Traffic Paths: Always allow a clear path to and from all main activities, especially from the doorway(s).
  • Electrical Equipement: If possible place things around the room according to these outlets, the less trailing wires you have the better.
  • Multifunctioning Pieces: Such as Murphy beds and pull out sofas should have efficient clearance space when folded out.
  • Windows: By noting the height of the windows from the floor you can prevent getting a piece of furniture that is too tall to go under it.
  • Major items: The largest item in a room should be positioned and placed first because there are less positions for it to go in. Plan smaller items around these pieces.
  • Drawers & Doors: Do not put anything with drawers or doors behind a main door. When opened it could interfer with the traffic path and could potentially be a safety hazard, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens and rooms with only one way in and out. Also make sure any items with doors or drawers can open enough to use it properly.

Lastly remember to bring your measuring tape and a floor plan or at the very least measurements of your room when shopping for furniture, the fewer returns you have to make the better.

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