How to Design a Floor Plan for an Efficiency Apartment


Designing the floor plan for an efficiency apartment can be a challenge if you're trying to live large. The arrangement of domestic possessions needs to be suited to the space in order for it to be comfortable. By acquiring not only the right furniture, but also the right amount of furniture, and arranging it in harmony with the layout of the apartment, small-space dwellers can make their living spaces feel roomier.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Limit the Amount of Furniture

  • Make a scale drawing of the floor plan of your apartment on a large piece of paper. Make outlines of any furniture you own on stiff paper, to the same scale as the floor plan, and cut them out.

  • Use a scale of ¼ inch to 1 foot for ease of use. If your apartment is 20 by 30 feet, this will make its representation on the page 5 by 7 ½ inches.

  • Move the representations of furniture around on your scale drawing to figure out the most sensible place to put them. Use the remaining space to decide what other furniture is needed. Be aware of traffic flow, which way doors open and how frequently pieces of furniture will be used.

Take the Features of the Space into Account

  • Draw in all doors, windows, closets, skylights and heating vents on your scale drawing.

  • Arrange the furniture so that it won't prevent doors from opening or block the light from the windows or the heat from coming out of the heating vents.

  • Arrange side tables that will hold lamps so they are in front of outlets. This avoids unsightly cords draped across your walls.

Take Your Surroundings into Account

  • Determine the progression of daylight in relation to your apartment. Arrange things in the apartment so the light is useful to you. For example, if you enjoy eating breakfast in the sunlight, put the table where you eat breakfast in an east-facing window, if possible.

  • Arrange the couch and other furniture where you relax to take maximum advantage of the windows with the views. Conversely, use drapes or shades to minimize windows with ugly views or blank walls opposite them.

  • Spend some time listening to traffic or other noise in your apartment. Arrange the location of furniture in the areas that are least affected by the noise.

  • Consider thick carpets that can beautify the space and dampen noise as well.

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  • Photo Credit interior with stool image by Leonid Nyshko from
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