Whether you are an e-design client or a total d.i.y-er when it comes to furnishing and decorating your room – the most important very first thing you must do is measure, photograph and then measure again just in case – (you know the old saying ‘measure twice and cut once’)

Now you might be asking “Why do I need to measure and take photos? I just want to get to the part where I go shopping and put it all in the room!”. Well, let me tell you – if you fail to plan, then plan to fail. And I can honestly say this from experience when years ago before I became an interior designer, I just went out and bought furniture that I loved, only to come home with it to find that it didn’t fit where I wanted to put it – oh crap, now I have to return it and go through the whole process again

When you go shopping armed with measurements and photos of your space, you can buy more confidently knowing that it will fit and it will match everything else in the room. In most cases, you can show the salesperson your measurements and pictures and they can give you advice, rather than you trying to describe your room and what you need. This will save you time and money!!

This guide will help you to create the following

  • Floor Plan ( just a fancy word for bird’s eye view of the room )
  • Elevations ( another fancy word that just means measurements of each wall on its own as if you are looking directly at it )
  • Photos of your space ( no you don’t need to be a photographer or have expensive equipment, your phone camera is perfect )


1. Use a pencil, sketch out the existing layout & be sure to include the locations of all windows, doors, and closets.

2. Use a tape measure to measure each wall, corner to corner. It’s easier to hold the tape measure on the floor to measure.

3. Write down the sizes and locations (and heights if applicable) of each window, door, doorway, closet, electrical, media outlets, ceiling
and wall fixtures including… a pass-thru, built-in bookcases, any radiators, closets, alcoves, or wall projections, etc.

4. Measure and write down the ceiling height.

5. Now, measure each window from the floor to the bottom of the window, and again from the floor to the top of the window. Then measure the width of the window and write down all those measurements.

  • When you finish the first wall, total the measurement; it should match the first overall measurement. Continue this process around the room, and note the measurements on your drawing.
  • Other stuff that would be helpful to know:
    – Ceiling height for each room
    – Location of all power outlets
    – Height and widths of windows and doors
    – Location of windows on each wall
    – Location of any wall sconces and/or ceiling lights
  •  Don’t forget to label each wall with either North, East, South or West – if you know where the sun is streaming in, this will help to figure out where to put the furniture and what materials or fabrics to use ( some don’t like direct sunlight )
    If you’re not sure where North, East, South or West is – there is usually an inbuilt compass in most smartphones or you can download a free

Step 1

– draw your floorplan/shape of the room as below
– note where North East South and West are
– note where the doors are and which way they swing
– note the measurements of each wall
*** NUMBER EACH WALL – this will help later when drawing your
walls and when photographing the space

Step 2

– draw a rectangle for the wall
***remember to number the wall and note if it is North East South or West
– note the measurements of each walls height and width
– draw in and measure any features of that wall including windows, doors, fireplaces, built-in cabinets etc. and their distance from each other

Step 3

– draw the small things that are important like light switches, outlets, air vents etc. trying to be as accurate as possible as to where they are. This can be done on your first wall drawing along with the other features and measurements.

Repeat step 2 and 3 for each wall


– Take photos during the day
– Turn on all the lights
– Remove clutter
– Try taking a photo first without the flash
– Try turning the camera vertically
– Try standing on a chair
– Try to keep people (and clutter, if possible) out of the shot.


– It is usually best to shoot in daylight and avoid flash —  which can sometimes lend a blown-out and artificial appearance to a scene. It’s nice to turn on lights in a room just for a little point of brightness. If you do use a flash, be sure not to reflect the light off of glass or mirrors, because you’ll get a bright streak in the image that you won’t like.
– Dusk is also a better time to photograph windows — low natural light will allow you to take pictures that aren’t blown out by midday sunlight.
– For interiors especially, you will find that getting on your knees often offers the best angle.
– Try not to take the photo when the sun is shining directly into the room.
– Try turning the camera vertical to get a taller shot.

So there you have it, your plan to taking the first step to creating a gorgeous room – the first time!