As I mentioned previously, I love drawing out plans, whether I’m reorganizing my current living area or, as in this case, when I’m moving into a brand new place.
In this post, I would like to share the way I created the floor plan of our new apartment. The whole ordeal took me three hours or so, spread over two days.
what I used:
- measurements of the new apartment (got them from the sweethearts that currently live there)
- pictures to fill in the blanks (I used the ones in the online ad)
- gridded paper (mine has a 5mm grid, which came in very handy)
- a mechanical pencil and an eraser
- a ballpoint or felt pen and (just to be sure – ) some liquid paper
- a ruler
- colored pencils/ markers
- a tape measure for your furniture
- scissors (or a cutter knife if you’re up for it)
- painters tape
step 1 – sketching
Before starting on the final plan, I puzzled the apartment together. I kind of remembered the layout of the place, but a detailed drawing tends to take a bit more information. For my first drafts I used the measurements, the pictures in the advert AND a top view of the place (satellite picture) which you can easily find online. That top view helped me figure out how far the bedroom sticks out of the back of the building. Thought to myself that that was a pret-ty clever thing to do…
I included the way the doors opened, the non-movable kitchen- and bathroom furniture and appliances and also made sure to include the heating, because that’s something important to take into account when arranging your furniture.
I kept scaling easy by using the length of two adjoining squares (= 1cm) on the paper as 1m in real size.
I sketched out 3 versions, each one a bit more realistic and complete than the last. When I figured out how every room attached to the next, I moved on to…
step 2 – positioning the plan on the paper
Which is why step 1 was so important before moving on to your final drawing. If you know the dimensions of the entire thing, you can center it on the page and decide on the scale you will use. Do this in pencil, so there’s no permanent mistakes.
I doubled the scale for this one (so 2cm = 1m), so the furniture I put in later wouldn’t turn out too tiny to cut out.
For the kitchen and bathroom, I used some symbols used in architectural floor plans to indicate the location of appliances like my refrigerator, dishwasher etc. and other non-moveable things like sinks and the bathtub. you can easily find them with a quick online search for ‘symbols for floor plans’.
step 3 – ink when ready
When you have the whole thing on there in pencil, go over your distances, pictures and other aids again. Have you included all of the windows? Do you remember which way the doors open? Did you get all the heating in there?
If so, put the whole thing in ink with a ballpoint pen or a felt pen, using your ruler to keep the lines straight. Let dry(!) and carefully erase the pencil lines.
step 4 – add some flavor
I chose to put some color on the floors. This made it easy for myself to visualize the place, and it created a bit more contrast between the floors and the furniture, which I kept black and white. The fact that I used colored pencils turned out to be a good idea since painters tape tends to stick less to paper that’s been colored, so the risk of tearing up your plan when rearranging the furniture is reduced.
step 5 – take measurements of your furniture
Take out your tape measure and start writing the dimensions of the furniture down. Don’t forget your carpets!
step 6 – cut out and customize
This is a pretty delicate task. Some of the furniture, like a couple of side tables, was kind of small, so it took some patience to cut out the pieces and add detail in pen. To be able to recognize each shape, I wrote a description of each piece of furniture on it’s bottom in pencil. When drawing on the detail, I added some plants on some pieces, to easily recognize them.
* I went cut first, then draw, but in retrospect, maybe I should have reversed that order.
To finish the task, I added masking tape to the bottom of each piece of miniature furniture, so that I could stick them gently onto my floor plan. Make sure not to stick ’em on too enthusiastically though, make sure you’ll be able to try out some different arrangements.
step 7 – play around with it!
Victory dance for your awesome detailed floor plan! Arrange! Rearrange! Get fantasizing about what the place will look like, imagine what other pieces of furniture would go well with your brand new shared space, think up what kind materials, paints and wallpapers you would love to use! Do you think you need an extra rug to tie the place together? Are there things that you might not want to take and could consider selling for some extra cash in your decorating budget? This is your chance to go wild and visualize baby!
This little project scratched my itch to get crackin’ on the place before we actually move in, I hope making your own might do the same for you!