How to draw a floor plan


Do you recognize the problem; you want to buy a new sofa or a new table, but you doubt “will this fit in my room?” Or you want to change the layout of the room but how! I will tell you more about how to draw a floor plan so it will make it easier for you to decide if what you want to buy is the right scale for your home and how a floor plan can help you to change the layout. These tips are just for you as a starting point. In this drawing I do not show line weight (thicker lines for the outer walls) or technical installations. This is the kind of floor plan I make in combination with a “specific” mood board. 

What do you need to draw a floor plan 

  • Paper, of course A 4 works but A3 paper makes it easier 
  • Not required but useful: tracing paper in combination with mm or graph paper. So, you can make a basic floor plan and then use that repeatedly for different situations.
  • Measuring tools to measure the room, folding ruler, or laser distance meter  
  • Ruler, to draw the lines 
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser (you will make a mistake) 
  • Fine liner (for definite design)

For the layout 

  • thick paper/thin cardboard 
  • scissor
Floor plan tools

What scale do you use

For fragments of buildings, 1:20 or 1:50 is recommended. For furniture 1:10 

Scaling calculations. If the scale is 1:50 then the model is 50 times smaller than the original. If you want to know the measurements of the model, you divide the real measurements by 50. Hence the division sign. 

If I use A3 paper for a sketch, I see what fits. In a room of 8.60 meters, with a scale of 1:20, you end up with 43 cm (about 1.41 ft). (8600:20=43) That does not fit on my A3, so I make it 1:25. Then it is 34.4 cm (about 1.13 ft) and it fits well on my A3 paper. 

Firstly, start with putting the measurement in lines on the paper. You can put the ceiling height in the middle of the drawing. (clg stands for ceiling height). 

Secondly, add architectural elements like structural columns, doors, windows, and other solid elements (kitchen, stairs, electricity).  

The layout  

If it is about more than one room, think about zoning the design. But if it is about one area, that is not necessary. You can use the same scale for furniture. I use thick paper or thin cardboard to make different elements like sofas, tables, chairs. I sometimes use Adobe Stock for drawing furniture images. Just google “floor plan furniture” and you will find inspiration.

Adobe Stock Furniture drawing for a Floor Plan.

If you have made the different elements (thick paper or cardboard), you can move them over your floor plan.

Do think about the way you walk through the room. Make sure you avoid obstacles.  

Circulation seating Area (Matthew Frederick, 101 things I learned in Architecture School)


For rearranging furniture in your living room or bedroom this sketch can be enough, but it is a rough sketch. If you must rebuild a house, you need a more detailed drawing from your builder or interior architect. As mentioned before this is just a starting point. If that starting point was what you were looking for, I hope this post will help you.  

Enjoy drawing your floor plan! And look at “how to make an interior design mood board” for the next step. 

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