How to create a wall elevation in a word processor



If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the wall elevation I posted when I was trying to figure out what to do with one of my dining room walls. Since the Instagram post, I’ve been requested to write a blog post explaining how I create a wall elevation in my word processor. I’m only too happy to oblige, even if it takes me over a month to get around to it!😉

Being more of a planner rather than someone who can just ‘eyeball it’, I often whip up an elevation in Pages (the word processor on my Macbook) when I’m trying to work out what to do with a wall because it helps me visualise what size and type of art / shelves / furniture will work before I make any purchases.

For example, I created a quick elevation when I was planning the gallery wall in my son’s room to help me determine the size of art + frames and how to space them relative to the bench that sat against the wall:

Quick digital elevation to plan the size and spacing of art on gallery wall

and here’s how it turned out:

ARTY HOME gallery wall.jpg


A wall elevation uses the same concept as a floor plan – it’s a drawing to scale, except instead of a top-down view, it’s a straight-on view. Below are the steps I follow to create a wall elevation in my word processor. (NOTE: I use Pages, not Microsoft Word. I haven’t touched Microsoft in about a decade so I can’t comment on how well these steps will translate to MS Word or any other word processor. As long as you’re able to draw lines, rectangles, insert images and specify exact sizes for these in your document, then you’ll be fine.)

First, roughly draw your wall on a paper (it’ll probably start as a rectangle) and include any features such as skirting, picture rail, panelling, fireplace, door or light switch… whatever is relevant to your plans for the wall. This needs to be nothing more than sketchy.

Measure your wall and note down these measurements on your drawing. To draw an elevation using a scale of 1:10, you’ll need each of these measurements divided by 10. You may find it useful to write down the scaled measurements next to the actual measurements on your drawing.

Very sketchy drawing of the wall, showing the features and measurements

On your word processor, open up a document and size it to A3 landscape: most walls scaled down by 1:10 should fit within this document size. A3 = 42cm x 29.7cm so if your wall is larger than 420cm x 297cm, then you’ll need to either use a larger document size, or use a scale of 1:20.)

Use rectangles and lines to draw (and colour, if you like) your wall, sizing and positioning them according to the measurements you on your sketch. Select Text Wrap = None for your shapes, so that the position of one doesn’t interfere with the position of another.


Finally, plan your wall! For any objects that you want to add to your wall, you’ll need to save the images from the internet, note down their actual height and width so you can work out their scaled down measurements (keep the scale constant at 1:10), and remove any background (if you’re not sure how to do that, google how to remove background from an image in Photoshop / Photoshop Elements – whichever you use – and check out the tutorials). Drag the image into your document, select Text Wrap = None, resize it according to the 1:10 scale dimension and play around! Why not even indulge in styling up a virtual shelfie?🙂


A wall elevation isn’t totally foolproof of course. When I put up my shelves and styled them, I realised I didn’t want Klimt’s sunflower print, but instead something with less colour, so I went for this gorgeous Tree of Life lithographic print from Degree, which looks like a tree ring, except the image is made up of little animals. Very clever, I think, and highlights a very important message about conservation. Even though I didn’t stick to the plan fully, creating an elevation did help me to figure out the layout for this wall, which now looks like this. I’m pretty happy with it.🙂



Taking a shortcut

If you find drawing to scale a little cumbersome, you could take a shortcut: take a straight photo of your wall and resize it to a 1:10 scale in your word document (100cm of wall width = 10cm on your document), then embellish it with your ideas of what to do with it. For example, when I was thinking of painting diagonal stripes in my son’s reading nook, I used a scaled photo of the wall and played around with the thickness and positioning of the lines until I was happy with it.

Photo of reading nook superimposed with planned stripes and art position (excuse the mess!)

This showed me that 10cm thick stripes worked best and made it easy for me to know where and how to position them. This is how they turned out:

Arty Home - Kid's Reading Nook 2.jpg



So there you have it, folks. I like to visualise my ideas before I implement them and I find digital elevations are the best way to do this. Do you use any visualisation tools to plan your decor ideas or are you one of those with the enviable talent of being to design with just your gut feeling and have it turn out beautifully? I’d love to know!


DIY cushions from a duvet set

Following my garden bench makeover, I bought a couple of fantastic navy outdoor chairs from John Lewis for our patio – great value at £50 each, made even more affordable thanks to some gift vouchers we received last Christmas. They look fabulous next to my blue bench and are super comfy, but felt like they could do with little cushions.

During my hunt for inexpensive, easy care, tropical print rectangular cushions (which turned out to be fruitless), I chanced upon this duvet set from Accessorize Home on, on sale at £19 for the single size.

Accessorize Home - Tropical Orchid Duvet Set.png
Tropical Orchid Duvet Set from Accessorize Home

The fun bold pattern is perfect for my colourful garden. So it was another case of “if you can’t find it, make it“. I’m no expert on the sewing machine, but I have taught myself basic sewing skills through online tutorials and I find sewing to be a perfect rainy day activity.

I was able to make 4 cushions (35x50cm) from the duvet set, 2 for the garden chairs and the other 2 for sale.

John Lewis Salsa Garden chairs and DIY cushions

John Lewis Salsa patio chairs with DIY cushions.jpg

Pretty happy with them!🙂

Now to find a weatherproof coffee table.

Patio with blue bench and navy garden chairs
Love how the wisteria trained over the pergola provides shade over the patio in the afternoon


Dining room makeover

If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen a few progress photos of the dining room makeover, but I’ve not shared a Before photo, till now. In the interest of a good Before and After, I think you have to see what I had to live with for over a year before I was able to get around to making some changes to this room. This is how the room looked shortly after we moved in, sans the dining table and chairs.

Dining room before
Before: horrendously, life-suckingly beige. Criiiinge!

How many shades of beige can you count? There’s FIVE: carpet, panelling, wall above panelling, cornicing, and even the ceiling (which happens to be covered in textured paper… are you cringing yet??) – all different shades of beige. And those eyesore bookcases… yuck yuck yuck. For me, this sea of beige was hell to live with. I really can’t bear to look at this ugliness anymore, so let’s just get on with the makeover.

The carpet has to stay for now, but I got to work banishing all the other beige as soon as the cause of the damp on the chimney wall was rectified and the wall was dry. It was important to make this a light, bright, inviting space because we spend a lot of time in this room as it is next to the kids’ play area.

I went with Little Greene Fescue 231 (a gorgeous pale warm grey) for the panelling and Loft White 222 (a fantastically bright white) for the wall above. I’m delighted with how much difference these paint choices have made to the feeling of light in this room.

I was so glad to see the back of those bookcases and commission a joiner to create built-in shelves and cupboards in the alcoves. They smartened up the room no end. I love the look of a dark backdrop to shelves so I painted this area in Lamp Black 228.

Built-in alcove shelves and cupboards
Built-in alcove shelves and cupboards, made from MDF, nearly complete.

The alcove cupboards were painted in the same grey as the panelling, and the shelves in the same white as the walls.

Left alcove built in cupboards and shelves.jpg

Right alcove.jpg

The pièce de résistance which I couldn’t wait to hang since I bought it in a sale several months ago was the beautiful octagonal mirror from West Elm.

West Elm Parsons Octagonal Mirror.jpg


Here’s how the room looks now:

Dining room - AFTER.jpg

There are still many more changes I want to make, like sand off the dark Jacobean Oak stain on the dining table and finish it in a different (lighter) stain/wax (yet to be decided), paint the dining chairs (colour to be decided, I’m leaning towards a charcoal grey), and find art for the walls. So lots more work, but this Phase 1 has me satisfied for now. I’m chuffed with how much difference the paint, the alcove joinery and of course, the greenery has made to this room.🙂

If you take away anything from this post, let it be this – beige is never the answer. Never.


Garden bench makeover [and a peek into my garden]

Our iron and wood garden bench had seen better days and the creaky old slats finally gave way last summer. It has been waiting forlornly for some TLC ever since and I am chuffed that we have finally got around to fixing it up and giving it a whole new lease of life.

Bench before
Bench before: totally knackered 

I bought like-for-like sized hardwood slats from Feuillus Fencing Ltd and it once it was re-slatted, it looked much happier:

Bench before painting
Bench with new hardwood slats, before painting

I used Ronseal Garden Paint in ‘Bluebell’ and wow, is it a stunning colour! It can be applied directly onto wood, and there was no exposed metal or rust on the ends thanks to the old layers of paint, so I just went straight onto it with the paint. 3 coats later…

Blue garden bench in dappled shade
At mid day, in the dappled shade of the wisteria
Blue garden bench in evening light
In early evening sunlight

From old and creaky to hip and peppy – I love it!😀

Garden view from patio

Oh look, I found it a cushion. £2 for that tropical palm cushion cover from eBay!

We’ve been working away on different areas of our garden this year (I’ll talk about the other areas in a future post), and seeing as we’re in the patio today…

Pergola over patio
Don’t you just love a perfect blue sky?🙂 (Ignore the neighbour’s outbuilding)

… in this area, we’ve replaced the old rotten pergola timbers with pressure-treated timber, and planted the little flower bed by the fence (the vine and clematis were the only plants there previously). I’m so looking forward to seeing the new plants grow and bush up. Perhaps in a couple of years we’ll get around to staining the new pergola timbers to match the support beams.

For now, the next change, or additions rather, will be a couple of chairs in front of the flower bed and a coffee table. I’ve just ordered the chairs and can’t wait to see them in situ!


DIY covered magazine folders

Ever bought something from a store, not quite knowing what you’ll do with it, but you know you NEED to have it? Yeah, that happens to me regularly at Søstrene Grene. Such a great store filled with beautiful things at bargainous prices.

One of my recent purchases from there was a roll of adhesive foil (aka sticky back plastic aka contact paper) in a marble pattern – just £2. I decided to cover a couple of cheap, boring, black magazine folders.

Magazine folders - before
Ubiquitous black magazine folders, ready for covering

This was my first time with sticky back plastic and I admit it wasn’t as easy as I had imagined to cover a funny shape like a magazine folder (I used one piece to wrap the whole folder). I didn’t take any photos of the process because the whole thing was more of a faff that I was expecting if I’m honest, but here’s a short video for you from Søstrene Grene showing how to use the sticky back plastic. To avoid (or at least minimise) air bubbles, it is reeeally important to pull the backing slowly, all the while smoothing it down, as shown in the video:

I was careful but still got a few air bubbles with mine. This wasn’t much of a problem though, as I just popped them with a pin and smoothed down the foil – it looks fine. The marble pattern helps to hide these little errors anyway! The final result: 2 satisfyingly smart and expensive-looking magazine folders –

DIY covered magazine folders

I found this strangely addictive and have now bought myself a roll of the gorgeous floral adhesive foil seen in the video. What to cover now… hmm.