Did you ever wonder how exactly I know what size rug will work best in a room? Or how to figure out if a chandelier is too large (or too small!) for your dining room? Then you’re going to LOVE this ULTIMATE list of numbers. Compiled all in one easy place, here are my 50 Secret Measurements to Help You Decorate Your Home Like a Designer.

Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet: 50 Secret Measurements for Decorating Your Home Like an Interior DesignerYes, I’m a numbers girl. I love having a formula for everything. While that sounds counter-intuitive for a creative soul like myself, it actually allows me more creative freedom. I don’t have to stress the details, because they’re handled. I just need to know color, scale, pattern, texture, and function –  and let those silly measurements dictate the details. So without further ado…

 

 

 

My Living Room Secret Measurements:

  1. The ideal distance from the rug to the wall is 18”. Expose those floors and make the room feel lighter.
  2. The ideal distance between a sofa and a coffee table is 18”, but you can go as small as 15”.Open Concept Living & Dining Room by Crystal Ortiz, Portfolio, Bluestone Decorating
  3. Coffee tables are usually best at about 2” shorter than the seat height. The average sofa has a 20” seat height, so a 18” tall coffee table will work well.
  4. When choosing a coffee table, try to find one that is 2/3 the width of the sofa.
  5. End tables should ideally be the same height as the arm of the sofa they are next to. Varying an inch or two is fine when necessary.
  6. 7” is the perfect height above a mantel or sofa for the bottom of art. Sometimes that needs tweaked a little to get the art or mirror right at eye level, so you can vary it as much as from 4” to 10”.
  7. The perfect “eye level” height for art or mirrors is 63”. Find that point, and try to get the CENTER of your artwork as close as possible. Keep in mind, if the art is going over a table or sofa, refer back to rule #6.
  8. When creating a gallery wall, try to keep the frames 2” apart. My insider tip: use your level as a spacer. You’ll have perfect continuity AND your frames will be hung level.By using the green, the landscapes in this Irish art that belonged to the homeowner brought these prints to life.
  9. To find the perfect size for a piece of art, or when building a gallery wall, measure the piece it is going over. Your art, mirror, or collection should equal 2/3 of the distance. A 72” sofa would ideally have 48” of art.
  10. At a minimum, all of the front feet of your furniture should be on your area rug.
  11. When laying out furniture, the maximum distance for a conversation area should be 8 feet. Anything larger and you should arrange a second seating & conversation area.
  12. How far back should your sofa be from your television? That depends on your screen size. Double the size of your television and that’s the best viewing distance. A 50” TV would ideally mean that your sofa is 100” away, or about 8.5 feet.
  13. When placing your television, use eye level as the proper gauge for how high. Ideally, your line of sight should hit just below the mid-point of the television. Avoid hanging over a mantel whenever possible.
  14. 36” is ideal for traffic flow patterns. 24” minimum for access to a seating area. Seating areas should have at least two ways that traffic can flow in and around them.
  15. When determining what size sofa to purchase, measure the room. Subtract AT LEAST 6 feet from that number to decide the absolute largest size sofa you should have.

Dining Room Secret Measurements

  1. When selecting a dining room rug, measure your table. Add 36” to EACH side that will have chairs. A table that is 3 feet wide needs a 9’ rug, and a table that is 6’ long needs a 12’ rug. This guarantees that all of the chair legs will remain on the rug when someone is sitting.Dining Room by Crystal Ortiz, Bluestone Decorating
  2. When planning how many can sit at your dining table, allow a minimum of 24” per person for comfort and elbow room. 30” is preferable.
  3. Chandeliers should be hung 36” above a table when you have a standard 8’ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add 3”. If your ceiling is 12 feet tall, you’ll want your chandelier suspended 48” above the table.
  4. Not sure what size chandelier is right for your room? Measure your table. The chandelier should be 1/3 to ½ the length or width of your table.
  5. For a chandelier that is not over a dining table, or if you still aren’t sure, measure two walls of the room. Add those together and then instead of feet, say inches. So a room that is 12’ wide by 12’ long would mean 12’+12’= 24 INCHES. That size chandelier will be a great choice in your room.

Other Lighting Secret Measurements

  1. Pendants over an island should be 30”-36” above the counter. Adjust based on the style, location, and height of your family.
  2. When deciding how tall a lampshade should be, measure the height of the base. The ideal shade will be 2/3 of this number.
  3. When determining the diameter of the lampshade you need, measure the height of the base. Don’t go larger than this number.
  4. Lamps on end tables should have a total combined height of 58”-64”.
  5. It’s perfectly fine to have a floor lamp on one end of the sofa and a table with lamp at the other end of the sofa, but ideally they will be the same height and scale.
  6. Buffet lamps are usually taller than table lamps. Keep the additional height in mind when placing them so that they are in the 58”-64” range.
  7. For a chandelier that is not over a dining table, or if you still aren’t sure, measure two walls of the room. Add those together and then instead of feet, say inches. So a room that is 12’ wide by 12’ long would mean 12’+12’= 24 INCHES. That size chandelier will be a great choice in your room.
  8. When determining the diameter of the lampshade you need, measure the height of the base. Don’t go larger than this number.
  9. Lamps on end tables should have a total combined height of 58”-64”.
  10. It’s perfectly fine to have a floor lamp on one end of the sofa and a table with lamp at the other end of the sofa, but ideally they will be the same height and scale.
  11. Buffet lamps are usually taller than table lamps. Keep the additional height in mind when placing them so that they are in the 58”-64” range.

Bedroom Secret Measurements

  1. Bedside tables should be 2” higher than your mattress.
  2. Bedside tables should be no deeper than 25”.
  3. The ideal mattress height is up to the top of your thighs in back, just below your cheeks.A dark, restful color palette is lightened up with shades of silver & white in this Master Bedroom by Crystal Ortiz of Bluestone Decorating
  4. Standard headboard height is 48” tall. With a 24” mattress height, you’ll have 24” exposed.
  5. A twin mattress is standard 38” wide x 75” long.
  6. A full mattress is standard 54” wide x 75” long.
  7. A standard queen mattress is 60” wide x 80” long.
  8. A standard king mattress is 76” wide x 80” long. You can also use two twins to make a king 76” x 76”.
  9. When figuring out a bedroom furniture layout, leave 24” between the side of the bed and the wall, unless you are pushing a twin all the way to the wall. If there is a swinging door, such as a closet or bathroom, leave 36” between the side of the bed and the wall.

Bathroom Secret Measurements

  1. Bathroom sconces should be hung 66” on center from the floor.Same cabinet, painted with "Labrador" from Lowe's and changing the hardware from brass knobs to a new set.
  2. Bathroom sconces should ideally be 36-40” apart.
  3. Towel bars should be hung at 48” high.
  4. The toilet paper holder should be 24-26” from the floor.
  5. The toilet paper holder should also be 8-12” in front of the toilet.

Other Interior Decorating Secret Measurements

  1. The rule for decorating with items is to use “odd” numbers. 1, 3, 5, etc. Beyond 9, the eye cannot immediately differentiate and you don’t need to count.
  2. When you only have two of an item, try varying the height of the second one. A taller candle, or a photo placed on a book will “trick” the eye into seeing them as “odd” numbers.
  3. One gallon of paint will usually cover about 400 square feet.
  4. When choosing a color scheme, it’s safe to work with a palette of 3 colors. Use your main color in 60% of the room, your secondary color in 30% of the room, and your accent color in only 10% of the room.Custom art I painted for over the bed in this teen girl bedroom makeover by Crystal Ortiz, Bluestone Decorating
  5. Runners should have at least 3” of floor exposed on either side.
  6. Bar stools and chairs should be at least 12” shorter than the height of the counter or table.

Window Treatments Secret Measurements

  1. Curtain panels should be 2.5-3 times the width of the window if you want to be able to close them fully. Measure your window and purchase enough panels.
  2. To make your windows appear larger, purchase a curtain rod 20-24” wider than the window. This will allow you to have the curtains extend 10-12” wider than the window on each side.
  3. Hang your curtain rods 4” below the ceiling or crown moulding to give the appearance of height in your room.
  4. Curtains should brush within 1” of the floor. Purchase longer panels and hem them if you aren’t having custom window treatments made.

Lavender Guest Bedroom by Crystal Ortiz

Now You Know My Secrets!

So now that I’ve given you my Ultimate Cheat Sheet of secret measurements, the cat is out of the bag. Go forth and stop buying the wrong sizes! But of course, if you just hate math that much, feel free to give me a call and I can help you pull it all together. Because even decorating by-the-numbers still requires the creativity I offer my clients. So here’s one last set of numbers to know… (540) 271-2686 – my phone number. Call me and let’s get started on your Consultation within the next 48 hours. Can’t wait to hear from you! Or leave me a comment and let me know how my formulas helped you make a decision if you’re a DIYer.

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