How to Lay Out A Room Design On Paper

We’re doing a completely new room design right now in our home study, and I’m having so much fun, I have to share.  You can follow the behind-the-scenes here on Petit Elefant’s Instagram, but here’s the real skivvy on the new design.

study sketches

The study is the first room you see when you come in our front door, and so far it’s been a bit of a hodgepodge of furniture and random design.  You know how that happens sometimes?  A room just sort of gathers cast off furniture and picture frames as they come to you?  Maybe this doesn’t happen at your house, but it does at mine.

We’ve done a lot of redecorating and remodeling in the 12+ years we’ve lived in our house, including our huge master bathroom remodel and redesign, an overhaul of our laundry room, an office remodel, a new room design for our family room, a kitchen remodel, and a kids bathroom remodel.  And we’re just getting started.  Haaaaa, haaa.  Oh, now I want to cry just thinking about it, it’s been so much work.

study design layout

Anyhow, we’re finally getting to a new room design for the study and we’re having so much fun doing it from scratch.

But before we even moved our old furniture out, before we did anything, my husband and I sat down with some graph paper, pencils, and an eraser to lay the room out, bare bones.

study sketches

Once we had the basic dimensions of the room sketched out we started looking at furniture that would fit both the dimensions and scale of the room.  The furniture we had in the room was so big, the scale of the room was totally overpowered, so we wanted to make sure the new furniture was proportional in size.

room design

Once we picked out the furniture we wanted, we measured it out on graphing paper on a 1:30 scale, colored it with coloring pencils, and cut it out.

sketched furniture

Then we were able to lay it on top of the sketched out new study plans to see what it would look like to scale.

big area rug

We started layering it just like we will in real life, with a huge area rug first.

interior design

Then we put in the sectional sofa, and rearranged the old desk we’re using.

sectional sofas

We tried it a couple different ways, and added an end table and two new bookshelves my husband is building from scratch just for the redesign.  I can’t wait to show you, they’re gorgeous.

furniture graph interior design furniture

We threw in an ottoman, just to see what it would look like, and moved the shelves and the end table around a bit more.

interior design study

And ended up landing on this layout.

rearranged furniture

We might move things around once we actually move the furniture into the room, but the really important part is that we know what fits where and exactly how much wiggle room we have to start with.  And we knew exactly what dimensions we had to work with BEFORE we ordered new furniture, which is huge.

It’s so helpful to have a layout of a room from a bird’s eye view before the shuffle of new paint and flooring, before the furniture shows up and things get real, and it makes looking for new furniture so much easier.

Have you ever done this with a new room design at your house?  It’s such a helpful little trick, I highly recommend it the next time you shuffle a room around!

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Bianca A :

    Great post Alisson, thanks for sharing!