This may fall into the "who cares but Alli" category, but I had to share. As part of the inspection process, we had the house professionally measured. So that meant that weeks ago I had a floor plan and room dimensions to play with.

I was itching to get right on furniture arrangement and planning and maybe a little shopping. So I needed to make some scale drawings to see what fit where. But turns out, that's not quite so simple. 

I tried the Better Homes & Gardens online floor plan maker, Arrange-a-Room. I tried Google Sketch-Up. I looked around online. And ugh. While these had some pretty cool features, they weren't easy. I wanted, basically, the equivalent of graph paper, but without the cutting and saving graph paper. SUPER simple. Let me just see if both my couch and chair will fit in this room. Let me move things around easily. Let me flip the seating arrangement until it feels right and compare a few versions

And finally I hit on the easiest way to make to-scale drawings to play with. All you need are your dimensions and Power Point. 

Start with a blank slide and draw a square--any old square. Right click your square and choose "Size and Position". In the dialog box that  pops up, enter your room's actual dimensions IN INCHES. Click Lock Aspect Ratio and Close. 
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At this point your square will cover the whole slide (it's theoretically room-sized, remember?). You won't see any edges. But that's fine. 

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Right click again. Choose "Size and Position" again. When the dialog box opens this time, your Scale will show 100% and 100%. Make sure that Lock Aspect Ratio is checked (that changes everything!!) and then change the scale. I went to 3% to make my room fit back on the slide nicely (and rotated the room to a landscape orientation). You might have to go lower. 

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That 3% is the key. Now you can create every piece of furniture the same way, and then resize to the same scale. If your room needs to be 1% to fit on your slide, just be sure to change every piece of furniture to 1%. Start drawing squares, resizing them, and changing the scale. 

In PowerPoint it's easy to change the colors of your squares so you can see them, and to label them. Once you have your furniture created you can play with lots of different layouts. You can duplicate your slide in one click to make different options. You can email your husband many, many versions.

If you want to add doorways and windows, this gets a tad more tedious, but here's how I did it. Kyle emailed me the measurements of each section of wall/window. Here are the measurements for the top wall: 

36.75" wide windows
24.5" from bookcase
47.5 to next
47.5 to next
37.5 to front wall

Then I created squares that were 1" high with each of the width measurements and resized them to scale like everything else. That gave me basically a to-scale line, and I lined those up along the edge of my room rectangle. Here's what those pieces look like moved a little bit out of the room borders. 
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I started with my living room, which is square, but if your room has parts that jut out or corners, you would create each square section individually and join them together.

You can work backwards too. I drew a "rug" that roughly fit the area I wanted to cover. I right clicked, and noted the measurements. Then I just multiplied by 100/3 to see what the full scale size would be. Now I know roughly what size rug to look for in that space.

This is not the fanciest way to do floor plans, for sure, but you can quickly make to-scale maps of your rooms and your furniture. For us, it was just what we needed to work through a few options without actually rearranging our furniture 3-4 times.

And to give me something to do until we can actually get in there!