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  • Writer's pictureSarah Pence

How to Measure Your Room Before Starting Your Design Project

You've heard the phrase "measure twice, cut once", right? Well, avoiding design disasters goes something like "measure your room the right way so you can avoid destroying your bank account and your sanity". Ok, maybe that doesn't have as catchy of a ring to it, but... it's a fact. And I'm here to help!

I'm going to let you in on the secret sauce I give to my clients at the start of each project and share my ultimate guide to making sure you're measuring everything properly BEFORE you start a design project. This is the most important step in the virtual design process and oftentimes the one that most people tend to overlook. My clients don't make that mistake and I don't want you to either! So, let's get to it!


How to measure your room in a few easy steps!

Before you get started, be sure to gather the necessary tools for the job. Here's what you'll need:

  1. A piece of paper and a pencil (graph paper is great if you have it, but not necessary).

  2. Tape measure. I recommend a 25-foot tape measure for things like this to avoid needing to mark endpoints and piece things together.

  3. A camera or your cell phone. After you've got all the measurements drawn, you'll need to take photos from different angles to show your designer the real-life spaces you're measuring. Don't worry. I've got a mapped-out guide for you to make it super easy - keep reading!

  4. This one is optional, but recommended - a buddy! Yes, you can do this on your own, but it's going to be much more efficient if you have someone to help you hold the other end of the tape measure or do the drawing while you measure. Work smarter, not harder, my friend.


How to draw your room

Start with the overall shape of your room and label your walls as you see above. Then measure the length and width of the overall space. Don't worry about how straight your lines are - it doesn't have to be perfect! The most important part is that your measurements are accurate (and legible!).

STEP 2: Walls

how to draw your room step 2

Now, draw each individual wall, measure the height and width, then label it. Again, no one is going to grade you on your artistic skills. I don't intend to place these in a museum, so focus on the accuracy of your measurements and you've got this!


how to draw your room step 3

Next, you're going to add the features of your wall. This is things like doors, windows, fireplaces, or anything else that is structural and permanent.


how to draw your room step 4

This is where you'll want to add important things like crown molding, baseboards, light switches, and outlets. It's SO important to know where these things are and what their dimensions are so that you have the best possible furniture layout and functional flow to your space. It's less than optimal for you to have a desk with a computer on it against a wall with no outlets... whomp whomp. Back to square one. So, let's get it right the first time!


This probably goes without saying, but just for good measure (see what I did there?), make sure to repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 for each wall. Yes, even the little half wall between rooms or the "bump out" section of the wall next to the fireplace. They all matter, my friend. Leave no wall unmeasured. Ok, I'm done being punny. Just trust me on this. Measure, rinse, repeat. Ok, I'm done.


how to photograph your room

Now that you've taken all the measurements, you'll need to take photos of all the different angles of the room. Why? Well, for one, as a designer it's important to be able to get a visual for each feature you've drawn so that I can give you the most accurate and realistic visualization of the newly designed space.

That's it! You did it! This is the part where you pour your drink of choice for you and whomever you've recruited to help you (you're welcome, husbands) and your designer gets to work! Hopefully, that designer is me. But, if it's not - they can thank me later ;)

Download your printable "HOW TO MEASURE YOUR ROOM" guide here!

And as always, if you need a friend to help you pull it all together or simply want to get some reassurance that your design plan is moving in the right direction - I'm your girl. If you have questions about starting a project or want to schedule a virtual design consultation, let's connect!

Until next time,

Sarah Pence, Virtual Interior Designer

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