We have reorganized our home frequently this year, and there is more to come. That’s why I am thrilled to finally finish this floor plan with moveable furniture. I took the necessary measurements six months ago after our FIFTH reorganization project of the year, but it’s been sitting on my “maybe to finish someday” list since then. Each reorganization project this year was necessary: first when we set up June in our room when she came home from the hospital, secondly when we moved her into her own room when we got night nursing for 3 weeks, thirdly when we moved her back into our room to co-sleep when we cancelled nursing and turned her room into a playroom, fourthly when we moved her back into her room when she couldn’t stay sleep with me nearby, and fifthly when we switched Rowan and June’s rooms so we could hear the pulse ox even if our baby monitors failed (since they did one time!). Now our sixth move consists of making room for our new king bed (YAY said the expanding pregnant woman) and converting our office into a playroom. Sidenote: our good computer is now upstairs, so I may never blog again.
There are computer programs and websites that will construct a room layout and add furniture digitally, though they may advertise decor and design services to you. If you’re interested in checking these programs out, Google “floor plan creator” or “room designer” etc. I wanted a physical model rather than digital so I just drew one up myself. Here is how to do it, if you are so inclined.
1. Record the dimensions of each room in your home by taking quick length and width measurements or, for irregularly shaped rooms, measuring each wall. You may note these measurements in feet initially, but you will need to convert them to inches when you do math later. Note the locations and dimensions of any features that impact furniture placement such as cabinets, appliances, shelves, doors, and windows. You may even want to mark electrical or cable outlets. It’s helpful to record these measurements on a rough sketch of the room rather than in a list format so that it’s clear what the measurements correspond to.
2. To choose a scale for your floor plan, estimate the widest and longest points of your home by adding the corresponding dimensions of the rooms that fall along those imaginary lines. Then determine how big you want your floor plan to be. This may be determined by the size of your paper or other surface (a felt board would be awesome for this). Working in the same unit of measurement, such as inches, divide your proposed length of the floor plan by the actual length of the house to determine the scale (ie longest length of floor plan 24″/longest length of home 480″= 1/20 or .05). You will multiply all of the measurements of the home and furniture by this number to convert them to the appropriate measurements for the scaled floor plan. Before committing to this number however, multiply the width of the home by the scale to make sure this dimension fits on your paper as well.
3. After multiplying the room measurements by the scale, use them to draw the floor plan out with a ruler. Unless you have a builder’s floor plan for reference, I’d recommend drawing all of the walls for each room leaving a small space between rooms so that you don’t have to match up shared walls precisely like on a blue print; wall width variation and hidden utility space could make that task much more trouble than it’s worth.
4. Record the dimensions of your furniture, measuring the largest length and width of the item in inches (ie a chair might have a 10″ round base but the bulk of the chair is 26″x30″). This sounded overwhelming to me, but I was surprised at how quick this task was. This can be done in a list format but it’s important to give a detailed label to the item so you can easily identify it later; it may be the only “chair” in the room you’re measuring but it’s one of many chairs in the house.
5. Convert these furniture measurements by multiplying by the scale. Now it’s time to create your furniture pieces! You could do this by hand or with a computer program. I went with the computer so that I could clearly label the very small items. Any program that allows you to draw shapes should also allow you to specify the size exactly; input the scaled dimensions here. Below is an example in Publisher. You can add text and a color if you’d like. We colored the furniture model pieces to match the color family of the real item.
6. Print the furniture pieces at the highest quality and on durable paper like card stock or photo paper. Cut out close to the edges, and start arranging your furniture!
Phew! We’ve had a lot of fun with this. It’ll come in handy when we rearrange yet again once September 2015 Baby is ready to sleep in his or her own room.