When you’re decorating your home, the ultimate goal is to create a space that is both functional and beautiful. Your living spaces need to allow the space for just that—living. That means opting for a dining table that’s large enough to accommodate your guests if you love playing host, or springing for the 8-by-10-foot rug that comfortably surrounds your bed.
It’s a happy accident that those measurements that make your space functional also happen to be aesthetically pleasing. Getting those proportions right not only creates a practical space for everyday living, but also makes for a balanced layout that is the hallmark of good design.
Follow these handy home measurement rules for a streamlined guide to great decor.
- If you’re choosing to cover an entire room with one large rug, leave 12-18 inches of clear space around the perimeter. If you’re working with a smaller space, leave 7-10 inches of clear space between the wall and the rug.
- Leave an additional 24-30 inches of rug on each side of your dining room table, allowing for all chair legs to remain on the carpeting even when they’re pulled out.
- Placing a plush rug under the bed? Leave 18-24 inches on all sides to enjoy the full effect.
- Keep your curtains about twice the width of the window.
- Take advantage of natural light with curtain rods that are 6-8 inches wider than your window.
- Hang curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible for the illusion of higher ceilings.
- Hang chandeliers 30-36 inches above the dining room table.
- Choose a fixture that is one-half to two-thirds the width of the table over which it will hang.
- Keep overhead fixtures in high-traffic areas no less than 7 feet above the floor.
- The bottom of the lampshade on table lamps should rest about 20 inches from the tabletop.
Rugs, windows, and lighting all play a huge role in the everyday functionality and the overall atmosphere of your space. Choosing these items carefully, with proportions appropriate for your home, will ensure that your space feels balanced and serene.