Cheat Sheet for Measurements

Cheat Sheet of Measurements

Have you ever looked at your room and just knew that some didn’t look right? Here are 25 measurements that you need to know for decorating.


Living Room

You need 26”-36” clear as a pathway to walk comfortably through a room or 36″-48″ for an airy feeling
If you’re covering the entire room with one area rug, leave 12″-18″ clear all around to the wall. In smaller rooms, 7″-12″ will work
Choose side tables that are about 2” less than the height of the sofa arm
Coffee tables should be 1”-2” less than the height of the sofa’s seat cushion
In a small grouping, 15″ by 24″ or smaller can be a great size for a coffee table
For art groupings with more than one row, spacing between the images should be 1 ½” to 2”
If using art above a sofa, fill at least 50%-60% of the 5-foot high space above the sofa


Dining Room

Wainscoting should be about 36” – 48” above the finished floor
Chair rails should be 34”-36” above the floor
Dining tables should be 30” high
Allow 18” of table width per person
For rectangular tables, you’ll need a table that is at least 48″ long to seat 6 people, 72″ for 8 and 96″ to seat 12 people
Dining seating should be 16”-18” high from the floor to the top of the seat
To pick the right size light fixture for above a table, you can either
1) divide the width of your dining table by two to get an approximate chandelier diameter OR

2) add the room’s length and width in feet; the sum equals an approximate chandelier diameter in inches

Chandeliers should hang 30”-36” above the table surface
In general, center sconces’ back plates between 60”-64” above the floor



If you have space for a bench, box, chest or trunk at the end of a bed, it should be slightly lower than the height of the bed and no more than 15”-21” deep
For most beds, 24”-27” is the ideal height for a nightstand
For a King-size bed, nightstands should be at least 36” wide
Area rugs underneath beds should extend 6”-12” beyond the outer edges of the nightstands and the end of the bed
Swing arm lamps above bedside tables should be mounted no farther than 3” out from the edge of the headboard with the bottom of the shade about 20” above the top of the mattress
Table lamps should also have the bottom of the shade about 20” above the top of the mattress
Use a 47″ tall headboard if you don’t want much headboard to show above your pillows or 52″ and up if you want to show more headboard above the pillows


Window Treatments

Curtain width should always be at least twice the width of the window for fullness. For modern rooms, just twice the window’s width or even just 1 ¾ times for a really sleek look (if you’re using multiple panels, purchase an even number of panels that equals at least twice your window’s width for fullness)
Extend the curtain rod by at least 6”-8” past the outer edge of the trim on each side of the window
BONUS: This is not in the book, but for reference, always hang curtains as close to the ceiling line as possible to help elongate the window and add anywhere from 2″-8″ to the length if you want the curtain to have the puddle look