K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate furniture placement and traffic pattern rules as they arrange a room.
  • learn furniture placement and traffic pattern rules.
  • evaluate floor plans.
  • learn and use the elements and principles of design as they arrange and decorate a room.
  • calculate the cost of the fabric, wallpaper, paint, and carpet used in the room they designed.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 week


  • Video - Better Homes and Gardens - Room Arranging Do’s and Don’t or other video on room arranging/interior design
  • Floor plan books or magazines with floor plans in them such as Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens.
  • Computer with Internet access and word processing application.
  • Reference materials that outline the elements and principles of design.
  • Yellow, red, and blue paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Samples of carpet, wallpaper, paint, fabric, and price lists for each

Technology resources

  • TV/VCR
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Projection device
  • Word processing program


Students will need to know that they are going to learn how to arrange furniture and decorate rooms so that the rooms and house are pleasing and comfortable to be in.


  1. Watch the video, Better Homes and Gardens - Room Arranging Do’s and Don’t.
  2. Discuss the video and create an outline on the board or overheard projector of notes from the video.
  3. Students should select a floor plan from a floor plan book or a magazine and cut it out.
  4. Students should then evaluate the floor plan to check that it follows traffic flow rules and that the three main areas are together. The students should color all the quiet areas blue (bathroom and bedroom), color the work areas yellow (kitchen, laundry, and garage), and color the social areas red (family room, den, dining room, etc.)
  5. Students should then label all the floor plan symbols. Such as doors, windows, tub, toliet, shower, kitchen cabinets, sinks, oven, stove, etc.
  6. Students should then draw traffic flow from the front door to each room in the house. Making sure they go through doors and not through walls.
  7. Students will then use the Rule Summary For Furniture Arrangement to further demonstrate their knowledge of furniture arrangement. Take one room (den, bedroom, living room) not kitchen or bath. Draw it on graph paper using the scale that one foot in real life equals one fourth of an inch on paper. I use graph paper with the scale 1 foot = 1/4 inch. Students can also visit the Better Homes and Gardens website and select Arrange-a-room and design their room on the computer. They can print the room.
  8. Then students should trace furniture templates to place furniture in room.
  9. Students should then draw the traffic pattern to make sure they have enough room to walk and that they followed traffic pattern rules.
  10. Discuss design elements and principles. Discuss:
    • line
    • balance (symmetrical/asymmetrical and formal/informal)
    • unity and variety (repeat colors and theme but add small amount of variety)
    • decorative accessories (e.g. stuffed animals, etc.)
    • functional accessories (e.g. bulletin board, etc.)
    • rhythm (repetition, gradation, radiation)
    • proportion/scale
    • emphasis (first thing you notice)
    • texture (feel of surface)
  11. Use the attached Color notes to take the element of color one step farther. Make a color wheel from the three primary colors of blue, red, and yellow. Using the color wheel, mix the three primary colors to make secondary colors and then mix primary and secondary colors to make the 6 tertiary colors.
  12. Students should then take the attached color quiz.
  13. Have students to find samples of carpet, fabric, and wallpaper to decorate their room.
  14. Have students to calculate the cost of the materials used.
  15. Students should then take all activities from the lesson, combine them into their “Interior Design Project.” (Instruction sheet for students and rubric attached.)


The teacher can measure the mastery of each student by evaluating each assignment.

Supplemental information

Several handouts and other information for you are attached.

Related websites

Better Homes and Gardens

ePlans.com (online floor plans)

Outstanding home improvement sites



North Carolina curriculum alignment