Today I wanted to share with you a free design service I stumbled upon while listening to the Ballard Design Podcast, How To Decorate. The best part about this service, other than the fact that it is 100% free, is you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Heck, you barely have to get off the couch. There will be a little bit of time and effort on your part, but mostly, it’s Ballard doing all the work. I’ll guide you through the process and show you the end result from my experience with a room in my own home.
Create your floor plan
Get a measuring tape, piece of paper and a pencil. Measure your room’s dimensions and write them down. Be sure to include doors, windows, openings, etc. Make a mini drawing. This does not have to be perfect. You are going to use these measurements as a reference for creating your room on the Icovia Room Planner.
Go Here: Icovia Room Planner
Download Adobe Flash Player. Follow the prompts. This takes roughly 30 seconds.
Go to the top right of your screen and click “Login”. Create an account. This will allow you to save your project and return to it later if you get distracted or need to stop. It does take some time to get right.
To get started, either choose from an existing floor plan that looks similar to yours or create a room from scratch.
For this example, I chose to create my own floor plan because my measurements were not standard.
To navigate the system click the arrow on the top left. Make sure it is green. Click one of the walls like in the picture below and a box will appear. Here you are given options to create openings for doors, etc. To make the wall the length you need simply click the edge of the line and drag your mouse in our out. The dimensions will appear as you drag.
***Notice the undo button in the toolbar to the left of “Share on Facebook”. This button is your friend and a little shy hiding up there. It took me awhile to find it the first time.
Once you have created your room by dragging the lines in and out and adding doors and windows be sure to add the dimensions of the space to the picture. Click the ruler icon (see picture below). This tool is finicky and you may accidentally draw an unwanted line across your picture. That’s okay. Simply click “undo”. To stop adding dimensions, change the selected icon back to the arrow.
At this point, you can either be done and send this blue print to Ballard Design Services, or you can add furniture, rugs, lights, etc to your picture.
To add furniture and things
Go to the left hand side of the page and select the type of object you want to add to your picture.
Click on the item and it will be added to your room. Once it is in your room click the item 1x and additional options will appear. Here you can type in different sizes of furniture to see what would possibly fit or not fit in your space. You can also move the furniture or rotate it by clicking on the picture and dragging it with your mouse. Add as much or as little as you want.
Here is my final rendition.
Save your final product. Also, press “shift, command, 4” all at once. Your mouse will turn into a plus sign. Drag the plus sign from the top left of your picture to the bottom right of your picture. Release and you will automatically save a copy to your desktop. You can later attach this picture to your email to the Ballard Design Team.
Take pictures of your room on your cell phone from all angles to send to the experts.
Get Expert Advice For Free
Click Here: Email the Experts
Fill in your information on the page linked above. Tell them your dilemma. Attach your photos and your floor plan with the measurements included.
Depending on their volume, it may take 3-4 weeks for them to get back to you. For me, it didn’t take quite as long as I had expected. It’s worth the wait. Below I share an example of the type of information you will receive from Ballard Design. It comes in a PDF file with a nice note describing what they did and why, a new floor plan, a mood board with products and a list of specific Ballard Design Products.
Ballard Designs suggestions for me
List of Specific Furniture Options
YAY! Wasn’t that fun? Hopefully you enjoyed taking time to learn new ways to make your space work for you. Obviously I’m not going to run out and buy all the things but it opened my eyes to a few great ideas that I’d been missing.
So there you go. I highly recommend contacting them (remember, it’s free!) if you are struggling with a room. They will make you look at your space in a new way, think of ideas you hadn’t yet thought of before, or ease your mind that the decisions you are already making are legit.