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Floorplans: Designing the Perfect Layout

What exactly is a floor plan?

Floor plans are scaled diagrams of one room, or many rooms in a home. The diagram is an aerial view from above and it depicts the actual size of the space. Floor plans include scaled measurements of walls, doorways, furniture, windows, and architectural pieces such as fireplaces or stairs. A floor plan is useful because it helps you design a furniture layout and it gives you insight into how a space will look.

A floor plan is a 2D drawing that is measured to scale and can be inputted into a computer software program that will also 3D render the space to give even more visual representations. Floor plans are very important in a design project because they can point out any potential flaws in the design and they serve as a starting point on any design project.

Here are the 6 basic steps to creating a floor plan

  1. Sketch a rough draft of the shape of the rooms inside walls (this does not need to be perfect or up to scale yet)

2. Measure the room shapes inside walls, the perimeter in inches

3. Add in doors, windows, and permanent architectural pieces (such as a fireplace)

4. Add these measurements to your rough draft room sketch

5. Now pull out your ¼” graph paper and draw the room to scale with the measurements you just took

  1. Use a ruler

  2. ¼ inch = 1’

  3. 1 square = 1 square foot

6. On a separate piece of graph paper, draw your furniture to scale using width and length. Now grab your scissors and cut out the furniture paper pieces. Now you are ready to add them to the floor plan and configure them in different ways to find what you like best.

7. OPTIONABLE: Now take your measurements and input them into a floor plan software program where you can see it in 3D viewpoints also.

These are the 6 steps to creating your furniture floor plan. Design away!

What you will need

  1. Measuring Tape - up to 25’ if possible

  2. Graph Paper at ¼ inch scale

  3. Pencil

  4. Ruler

  5. Free design software program (Optionable)


  • Be sure to make sure there is space between your sofa and the wall. Pull it out 3-5” to give your space an airier feel

  • Try to allow 30” to 36” of space for walkways between large furniture pieces and not less than 18” between large furniture pieces when a walkway path is in between

  • The side or end tables should not be deeper than the depth of your sofa or chair

  • Make sure your coffee table is in proportion to your sofa and the coffee tables height should be no more or less than 4 inches from the sofas seat height

  • When placing an area rug in a seated area make sure your area rug is large enough that at least the front legs of the sofa and chairs are resting on top of it if possible

  • Your sofa and coffee table should be between 16” and 18” away from each other for easy accessibility

  • Keep your side table close enough to the sofa that you can set down a drink easily and that is within 2-3” from the height of the sofa arm

  • If you are pairing a sofa with accent chairs, make sure the sofa and chair seat heights are within 4” of each other

  • Stewart & Company Furniture offers complimentary design service for our customers. There are free design software programs online and many have 3D rendering options available for more floor plan viewing options

By Chloe Holister-Cicciarelli

Interior Designer, Blogger & Marketing Consultant

Chloe Holister-Cicciarelli has been in the design field for the last 4 years and she works at Stewart and Company Fine Furniture as a marketing consultant, blogger and with customers as an interior designer. Chloe is a passionate writer and when she isn’t working you can find her walking her dog and being engaged in countless art projects. For more blogs from Chloe please click

Stewart and Company Fine Furniture


472 West Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI. 49007


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