Four Steps to a Successful Floor Plan

Four Steps to a Successful Floor Plan

Photo by Lex Photography

A floor-plan is a birds-eye-view of your space. It shows the main features of the room like walls, windows, doors, and fixtures. It's the basic, must-have view of the room you're designing and will help you to decide what goes where.

This isn't a blog about how to draw the plan, it's about the process of drawing a plan starting with an as-built plan and ending with a proposed plan. (See how space planning fits into the overall interior design process here.)

Here we go:

  1. Draw an As-Built Plan An as-built plan is just what it sounds like. It shows the space as it was built, just like you're seeing it now. You'll make a rough sketch of your space and then add measurements for walls, windows, doors, and fixtures.
  2. Sketch 3 to 5 New Plans Now you can start using your imagination. Think of three to five new layouts for your space and sketch them. I like to approach it like this: Assuming that the doors, windows, walls, and fixtures will stay in their current locations, sketch a conservative space plan. Now, assume that your budget is unlimited. Draw a space sky-is-the-limit space plan. Move doors, windows, and walls. Take space from adjacent rooms. Maybe even add on. Finally, sketch a middle-of-the-road space plan - one that is a stretch but still doable. Still have ideas? Pencil those out too.
  3. Workshop New Plans Evaluate each plan based on what you want from your new room. You'll want to get the opinion of other people too. What are the pros and cons of each? How do they compare to the goals that you set for your new space? What does your partner think of them?
  4. Draw Your Proposed Plan Take your best ideas and draw a proposed space plan. This is how you would like your new space to be laid out. We're calling it a proposed plan because, while it's 80% done, you might still make changes to it after you get bids from contractors or during the building permit process.

She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

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