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What’s the Difference Between a Plan, Elevation and a Section?

The technical side of interior design may seem difficult to master. Understand the difference between a plan, elevation and section is the first step towards creating meaningful visuals and schematics as either part of your course or for clients and suppliers. 

In this ‘How to’ guide, tutor Amy helps you to understand, in basic terms, how to create plans, elevations and section views using an orange. Yes… orange!

ORANGE Elevations, plans and sections


This video is designed to help you tell the difference between the different views used to show an interior space. These are plans, elevations and sections. To help demonstrate this visually we have used an orange.

A perspective drawing is used to create a realistic drawing of an object, showing this object in 3 dimensions. The further away the objects in the drawing the smaller they will become.

Plans, elevations and sections are 2D visuals that represent a 3D object. Combining different 2D visuals allows you to create an accurate representation of a design. Or in the instance of interior design, a space.

This is a plan view. In basic terms, a plan is a birds-eye view of a space. When drawing a floor plan, the roof would be removed so the interior space can be seen.

This is an elevation view. An elevation is a view from the side of an object, when drawing interior elevations, this would represent one of the walls. This would include any windows or doors as well as any built-in furniture that is in direct contact with the wall.

This is a section view. A section is a cut through of a space which will show more of the room’s features. It also allows you to show some structural detail. A section line can be cut from any part of the space, depending on what you would like to show. 


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3 Responses

  1. well, thank you very much for this informative and amazing explaination about the these views. to be honest, i’m the aspiring architect currently in year one and i had no idea about this.

  2. A plan is not necessarily just a birds eye view. it is a horizonal section cut through an object, not just what you see from hovering above it. Typically in buildings, it is cut at a height of 4′-0″ above finished floor.

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