Men laying new hardwood flooring
The dimensions of your furniture and accessories will depend on the size and purpose of the room, the scale of the furniture and the design you are trying to create. Before shopping, it is crucial that you measure your space. You dont want to fall in love with furniture that is either too large or too small for the room.

Draw a picture of the room on graph paper and take it when you go shopping.

Traffic Flow
Traffic patterns are very important to consider when weighing dimensionsyou need to be able to walk through a room without having to step over someones feet! Getting people in and out of a seating area ideally should not require walking in front of others already seated.

Walking paths through rooms should be no less than 3 feet wide. Major traffic areas (hallways, landings, entryways) should be 4 feet in width.

If possible, try to devise a plan with accessibility from two directions. If you can only get to a certain seating area from one path, you might want to re-think your arrangement.

Avoid routing traffic through the center of social areas, and try to avoid through traffic in smaller living rooms.

In the Living Room
There should be 12 to 18 inches of space between a couch and a coffee table.

Furniture should be 4 to 6 inches from a wall to allow for plug-ins, baseboard molding, and to prevent scratching or damaging your pieces.
For couches, leave a little more breathing room between the couch and the wall, especially if you have long drapes.

Floating furniture, meaning not located near a wall, is a nice way to create a little area all its own, such as placing a chair with a little table to create a nice reading area.

Tables should be convenient to seating for setting things on.

Conversation groupings, such as sofas and chairs, should be placed about an arms length from one another.

A seating arrangement should be contained within 8 to 14 feet in order to function as a conversation area.

A conversation circle with extra space for circulation requires a room 16 to 18 feet long. A 22-foot long room holds two conversation circles.

If your space is large, consider forming a second, smaller grouping at one end. Dont be afraid to pull some of your furniture pieces out from the wall and float other pieces to achieve a cozy conversation area.

Large pieces of furniture should go on the longest walls in the room.

If the sofa is too large to allow for end tables in a tight space, consider using a sofa table.

Try not to crowd furniture pieces along any given wall. Allow some breathing room between them to avoid a cluttered appearance.

If your rooms lack interest and polish, adding crown and base molding can be a cost effective solution. An 8-foot ceiling calls for about a 6-inch crown, whereas a 12-foot ceiling can support an 8-inch crown.

An essential element in almost every room, lamps provide warmth and invitation. For best height, the bottom of the lampshade should be at about eyelevel when you are seated.

In the Dining Room

Chairs should have about 3 to 3 feet of room to be pulled out from a table. About 2 feet is sufficient if space is limited.

Allow at least 24 inches between the back of a dining chair and a buffet or china cabinet.

The diameter of a chandelier should equal the sum of the length and width of the room. For example, if a room is 19 feet by 19 feet, the ideal chandelier is 38 inches around.

To decide how many chairs comfortably fit around a table, allow 24 inches of table for each guest. If you have to squeeze in an extra guest or two, you reduce the space to 20 inches per person.

In the dining room, leave 32 inches of space to push a chair back and stand, 36 inches to edge past seated person and 44 inches to walk past seated person.

In the Bedroom
A nightstand should be 6 inches from a bed.

If you want a large area rug with a wall-to-wall look, 18 inches off each wall looks great.

When placing beds, leave 1 foot, 6 inches to 2 feet space for making the bed; 1 foot, 6 inches to 2 feet, 4 inches between twin beds; 3 feet between the bed and the chest of drawers; 2 feet, 9 inches between the bed and closet; and 3 feet, 6 inches to 4 feet on either side of the bed if possible for dressing.

Rugs are appropriate for every room over any kind of flooring, including wall-to-wall carpeting. They anchor a furniture grouping and add interest and softness. Smaller rugs make great accents, and rugs also can make a significant impact on acoustics in rooms with lots of windows and vaulted ceilings. They can even be changed seasonally for mood shift!

Rugs should be about 12 to 18 inches away from the walls.
When placing a rug under a dining room table, allow 24 inches from the edge of your table to the end of the rug. That way, people can pull out a chair without falling off the rug. Most dining rooms require at least an 8-by-10 rug.

A general rule of thumb for rugs is that it should have all your furniture on it (such as a 9-by-12 rug in a family room) or all your furniture off it (such as a 6-by-9 rug in the same room), the obvious exception being a coffee table or ottoman. Avoid the furniture resting half on and half off the rug.



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