Design an Office Layout in SketchUp

This article is for anyone tasked with office layout planning, designing a brand new office or complex of offices. It’s perfect when you want to re-design a dated office layout that doesn’t fit the bill any more. It’s an interior designer’s dream. And it’ll help you re-purpose any shape or size of room into a space that’s a pleasure to work in. It’s also ideal when you’ve been working from home, will be working at home for the foreseeable future, and want to create a better home office layout.

Whatever the reason, If you’ve been researching Sketchup office layout this is your simple guide to how to design an office layout in Sketchup. As you’ll see there are infinite  types of office layouts to achieve in Sketchup, and it’s a totally inspiring task.


Using Sketchup for Office Layout Design

Anyone who has worked in an office appreciates why office layout is important. Comfort and efficiency are key to productivity and great corporate communication, which in turn contribute to an enjoyable working day. Sketchup is an unusually powerful, popular and highly intuitive 3d cad interior design software for home and office use. It makes it unusually easy for users to quickly get to grips with creating custom 3D office layouts. The results speak for themselves: beautiful, practical, workable, and super-easy for your stakeholders and end-customer to visualise.

The ever expanding Sketchup 3D warehouse is a fantastic resource for office layout design, free to use and jammed with an abundance of pre-drawn and pre-designed 3D models and collections. Many are perfect for office layout design, ready to use. Plenty of the 3d drawings are of real-life products that you can buy in the shops and online, which gives your designs an even more realistic flavour. You can use a generic office chair design or find one your client loves that they can actually go and order. 

Office chairs and ergonomic desks, all sorts of textures, paint finishes and floor coverings. Computers, plants, carpets, waste bins, light fixtures, storage space, shelving, filing cabinets and soft furnishings. You can design every single element of your office in fine detail or pick it from the 3D warehouse ready-made. Then you can use one of Elmtec’s splendid plugins to render your design in a hyper-realistic 3d way that’ll knock the socks off everyone who sees it.

How to Design an Office Layout in Sketchup

Now you know Sketchup is the ideal 3d cad interior design software to draft your office layout ideas and bring professional-quality office design inspiration to life. Next, let’s look at how it’s done. Here’s how you get started with an office layout design in Sketchup.


  • Draw out your floor plan using the rectangle tool
  • Adjust the measurements and dimensions to accurately match the office space you’re creating. It’s very easy
  • Use the offset tool to create the right wall thickness. You can set it to any thickness you like
  • Use the perspective tool to see the floor layout in 3D, a reliable way to tell if something has gone wrong because you can visualise yourself in the space really easily
  • Use the push-pull tool to raise your walls to the correct height, and set the height
  • Use guides to mark where you want the windows to go (you can see why Sketchup is also a cracking tool for architects)
  • Use the push-pull tool to create the windows to any style you like, creating a more real looking interior
  • Add doors in the same way
  • Now for some office furniture. Go to the 3D warehouse and find a suitable 3d model of whatever you need. A desk, a chair, a potted plant, a light…
  • Download the selected model and find it in your downloads folder – it’ll be a .skp file
  • In Sketchup go to File>Import
  • Change the file type to – skp file to see the model you downloaded
  • Go to your downloads folder (where the model file was downloaded) and select the file
  • If you need to, scale the 3D furniture model to the required size. Again, it’s an
  • easy task
  • Position and articulate your 3D furniture model to create your layout
  • Repeat this process to add all your office elements including  water coolers, standard
  • lamps, and desk dividers
  • Once you’ve added all the elements in the office space you can experiment with them, moving them around to create the desired office layout
  • Bear in mind any rules or regulations around things like the distance between desks or covid social distancing
  • Depending on the extent of your design role, you can also play around with things like the configuration of the electrical outlets, plumbing for water coolers and coffee machines, and even include computer cabling connectors

Once you’ve done all this and decided on a finished design – or a suite of designs to choose from – the real magic happens. Render your work in 3d and it springs to sparkling life. Add a VR headset and it’s even more hyper-real, an experience that makes good design decisions easier than they’ve ever been in the history of design. You’ve created a realistic 3D rendering of an office interior, and it’s brilliant.

SketchUp Guide for Office Layout Design

Using Sketchup for office design is a joy, a pleasure, a creative journey of discovery. It’s also a reliable, flexible and practical way to make designs that work perfectly in the real world. Would you like to give our free 30 day Sketchup trial download a go? You can also try the v-ray plugin for hyper-real 3d rendering on a  trial basis for free, here.  And Sketchup comes with a multitude of learning resources and tutorials to help you get where you want to be even faster. You’re on route to office layout planning success.

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

Contact Us

T: 01844 263750