Measurements to Know: A Guide for Furniture Layout and Ergonomics
Got the floor plan of your home? Here are the basic measurements you need to consider before you buy furniture
Houzz Pro Contributors – California-based architect Steven Randel, Dublin-based architect Eva Byrne and Sydney-based interior designer Monique Sartor – reveal the secret formulas (basic measurements, really) that create good circulation, and maximise space and functionality in the home in their articles. We’ve put them all together for you, with links and tips, for a quick, comprehensive view.
For a cosy, conversation-encouraging living room layout, Randel recommends a 244 centimetres (8 feet) arc around which to cluster your sofa and other seating options. For ease of movement between furniture, 61 centimetres is ideal. And a width of 77-91 centimetres (30-36 inches) for circulation around and through the space is best. His suggestion of a sofa size for a modest apartment is 183 centimetres long.
Pro tip: Can’t do without a TV in the living room? Make sure the screen is 38-51 centimetres above the floor for optimum viewing height for those seated.
Know these key measurements for designing the perfect living room
The most important measurement to remember when shopping for your dining room furniture is 91 centimetres – this the minimum space you need from the edge of the table when someone is sitting so others can pass behind them, Randel says.
Pro tip: Oval tables can make circulation in smaller spaces flow more easily, as there are no corners to navigate around.
The numbers you need to know for the perfect dining room
For a functional kitchen, you’ll need to provide for the three main functions: storage for food and cookware, prep and cleanup, and of course, cook and bake.
Randel identifies the positioning of these three functions as the kitchen’s work triangle, and says that the total distance between each function – essentially each side of the work triangle – is ideally less than 6.4 metres (21 linear feet).
The key measurements you need to know to design your kitchen
Calculate a clearance of 50-55 centimetres at the sides and end of a double bed for comfortable circulation space, says Byrne. This will also provide adequate space for making the bed. Single beds are fine with one side pushed against a wall.
Pro tip: Byrne says that there are two things to get right if to maximise your space: First, choose the right-sized furniture (especially the bed), and secondly, create a layout that works best for the size and shape of your room.
Get these 9 measurements right for the perfect bedroom layout
Unless you’re renovating, you may not need to think about bathroom measurements. But in case you’re wondering if your bathroom is unreasonably small, check that there’s at least 76 centimetres (30 inches) of clear width for the toilet; 81-91 centimetres (32-36 inches) is more comfortable.
Read more: Key Measurements to Make the Most of Your Bathroom
Wardrobe depths range from 60-65 centimetres to allow enough room for clothes, including bulky coats, on hangers. Depending on the type of doors your wardrobe has – hinged or sliding – the clearance (walkway) in front of the wardrobes range from 76-91 centimetres for comfort.
Pro tip: Women’s shoes require a shelf depth of 35 centimetres minimum; men’s shoes will need more.
Essential walk-in wardrobe measurements you need to know
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