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Furniture Measurements and Design Details that Matter

Did you ever walk in to a room and think to yourself, something is just not right, but you can't put your finger on it? More than likely, it was the size of the furniture or the placement of it. The spatial proportions of a room are critical to its' flow and function. Even the smallest room can appear large and spacious with the right scale of furniture and placement.

To achieve this harmony, each furniture's measurements must be taken in to consideration according to the size of the room.

Living Room: The most important piece of furniture in the living room is of course, the sofa! We all know this, but often times we buy this piece of furniture without first taking measurements to verify that it will even fit in the space. One simple way to do this is to take painter's tape and mask off the measurements (I know it seems simple, but it works) - this is a great way to visually see how much real estate the sofa is consuming in the room. Here are a few common measurements as a guideline.

  • 3 Seat Sofa – 33”H x 35”W x 72- 85”L

  • Love Seat – 33”H x 35”W x 55-60”L

Your coffee table is the centerpiece of the room. Before you make that most important purchase, ask yourself a few questions: How important is comfort, does your family like to prop their feet up (aka teenagers), think ottoman..... or do you prefer to use your coffee table to display your creative side, think simple design? A coffee table can also add some spunk to a room, think antique trunk or quirky flea market find. Of course the size of the coffee table will be dependent on the size of the sofa. A good rule of thumb is to choose a coffee table that is 1-2" lower than your sofa cushion and 2/3 the length of the sofa. To learn more on this topic, check out my blog on choosing the right coffee table for your sofa. Lastly the type of sofa does matter, ie L-Shaped, Chaise, Sectional, etc. and often times determines the shape of the coffee table, for example a round coffee table almost always works with an L-Shaped sectional.

  • Coffee table – 17-18”H x 20-28”W x 36-48”L

  • End table – 20”H x 17”W x 28” L

As much as you want to, never-ever push furniture up against the wall. No matter the space, consider the traffic pattern and flow of the space and pull the seating arrangement in (even just a few inches) which will instantly make the room feel more inviting.

Dining Room: Depending on the size of the room, a good rule of thumb on table size is to choose a table top that is 42-48"from the wall, this leaves enough room to pull chairs out comfortably. You should plan on 24 square inches of space per person. Most dining tables are 28 to 30 inches high.

Standard roundtable measurements            

  • To seat 4-6 people: 44″-54″Diameter

  • To seat 6-8 people: 54″-72″Diameter

Standard rectangular table

  • To seat 4-6 people: 36″W x 60″L

  • To seat 6-8 people: 36″W x 78″L

When choosing lighting for over a dining table, add the length + width of the room to determine the diameter of the light.

A chandelier or a pendant lighting should hang 30-32 inches above the table. Lighting is the personality of the room, so choose wisely! It's also the one piece that can completely transform a room for the least amount of money.

Kitchen: The industry standard for counter-top height from floor to finished counter-top is 36 inches.

  • Counter stools are typically 24 inches high.

  • Bar stools are typically 30 inches high.

Bedroom: The bed will take up much of the real estate in the bedroom and is of course the most important style element in the room. So getting the right size bed, in proportion to the scale of the room, is crucially important. See below for other furniture measurements in the bedroom.

  • Twin size bed – 39” W x 75” L (Regular)

  • Twin size bed – 39” W x 80” L (Long)

  • Double bed – 54” W x 80” L

  • Queen size bed – 60” W x 80” L

  • Eastern king size bed – 78” W x 80” L

  • California king size bed – 72” W x 82” L

  • Chest of drawers – 30” W x 18” D

  • Nightstand – 18” W x 18” D x 24-28" H

The bed should be at least 24 inches off the floor to create the most visual impact.

Keep in mind, these measurements are merely a guideline to get you started and really is so dependent on a multitude of factors. Happy measuring!

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