The first step in developing a decorating plan for a room is to measure and photograph your room. Measurements help when you are planning the layout of the room, and choosing the right scale and proportion of furniture and decor. It takes a little bit of time to accurately measure your room, but once you have all the measurements recorded, you don’t need to measure again.
How to Measure Your Room
You will need to take a number of measurements for your room. You will need to measure around the perimeter of the room so you can create a floor plan, and you will need to take measurements of each wall of the room so you can create an elevation drawing. Here’s a step by step video to show you what measurements you need and how to record them.
Recording Your Room Measurements
You will see in the video, I ask you to identify your feature wall. This is wall A. From here you will work clockwise and take measurements of all the walls in your room. As you record your measurements, you will create a floor plan. Here’s the floor plan I created for my room.
You will see I’ve labelled each wall and corner. I’ve also shown where north, south, east and west are in relation to the room’s orientation.
Next you will take more detailed measurements for each wall or elevation. Here are the elevations I took for my room.
Your floor plan and elevations don’t need to be perfect or to scale. It’s more important that you have all the measurements and they are correct. It doesn’t matter whether you record in centimetres, millimetres (or inches in the US), just be consistent.
Taking Photos of Your Room
In the video, I talk you through how I like to photograph a room. Here are the photographs I took of my room. If your photos and dark or unclear, try the editing tips in my post How to Edit Your Instagram Photos.
Drawing A Room Plan to Scale
To be really useful, we now need to convert all our floor plan and elevation measurements into a scaled plan. Having the drawings to scale means we are better able to see the scale and proportion of the room.
Most single rooms can be drawn to a scale of 1:20 on a piece of A4 or A3 paper. For this scale:
1cm on the scale plan = 20cm of your measurement
Using a Scale Ruler
You can buy specialty scale rulers in different scales. Line the ruler up on the paper using the 1:20 side. Take the measurements from your floor plan or elevation and transfer it to a fresh drawing using the scale ruler.
For example – Wall D is 410cm/4100mm long. Using the scale ruler, draw a line that is 4100mm on the ruler.
Follow this method to create all your floor plans and elevations.
Using a Normal Ruler
If you don’t have a scale ruler you can also use a normal ruler and a calculator, just divide each measurement by 20.
For example – Wall D is 410cm long. 410cm divided by 20 is 20.5cm, so you need to draw a line this long to represent the wall. This is the same measurement as 4100mm on the scale ruler.