When working on a home improvement project, you have to know YOUR NUMBERS!
Whether it be for home renovation projects or short and simple consultations, it seems every week a client is asking for advice on the positioning of their furniture or the ideal height for a counter or the length of drapes etc.
Here are the magic numbers you need to know about!
The Dining Room
Are your chair backs the proper height next to the table? Calculate 8 inches between the chair back and the height of the table’s surface.
An area rug should extend at least 2 feet from the table in order to allow enough room for all 4 chair legs to remain well anchored on it.
In a room with 8 foot ceilings. Install a hanging lamp 30 – 36 inches above the table’s surface. Add another inch to this figure for every extra foot of ceiling height.
The area around the table should be a minimum of 20 inches for somebody seated, and add another 12 – 16 inches for the chair to be pulled out when leaving the table, for a grand total of 32 – 36 inches between the wall and the table. On the service side, allow 44 inches to circulate.
The Kitchen and Bathroom
For greater comfort, install a bathroom counter at 38 inches from the floor. Ceramic back splash tiles are typically distanced 1/8 of an inch apart (this is less than floor tiles).
When purchasing tiles for walls or floors, order 10% extra which will allow for breaks during cutting or installing.
Before positioning your central kitchen island, allow enough space for easy circulation and food preparation, especially if there is more than one person in the space. I recommend a minimum of 3 feet around the island. Also keep in mind that the shape of the island should conform to the shape of your kitchen.
Custom curtains available with Versa Style Design
A fridge for two people should contain at least 12 – 14 cubic feet. For additional family members add another 2 cubic feet per person.
These days, a lot of home owners are installing laminate counter tops. They are available in 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 foot lengths; they come with an integrated back splash and rounded edges. Counters are commonly 22 – 24 inches deep.
Multiply by 3 the diagonal length of your television screen in order to properly position the seating. The exception to this rule is when the screen is higher than average (like over a fireplace, for instance).
For posture and comfort you should back up the seating even further away from the screen. The higher the screen, the more distance needed for seating.
Add an extra 4 inches when calculating a single roll of wallpaper. This extra 2 inches on each side will help you cut and install with less stress knowing that you have a little extra on hand.
For visual balance, framed pictures should be 2/3 the length of the sofa, and please hang pictures at eye level. Most home owners hang them to high up on the wall.
A gallon of latex paint usually covers 400 -450 square feet of wall.
Lighting available with Versa Style Design
When installing lighting, occasionally the following rules are broken. When the lighting is chosen to be the focal point or star of the space it is often purchased over-sized, but in general, here are the following measurements for you to consider.
For the proper diameter of a hanging light, multiply the width of the space by 2 and replace the word FEET with the word INCHES. For example, if the room is 8 feet wide x 2 = 16 inches diameter for the lamp shade.
Lighting available with Versa Style Design
You’re in the dark when it comes to choosing a light bulb? Calculate 2 watts (for a regular bulb) of incandescent lighting for each square foot of a space. If your space is 80 square feet ( 8 x 10) then you should have at least 160 watts of lighting. This could be a 100 watt bulb lamp and a 60 watt bulb lamp, for instance. Or use 3 lamps containing 60 watt bulbs each. It’s always better to have too much lighting than not enough.
When lighting a reading zone you must have adequate lighting about 20 inches from your book.
Your curtains will have more fullness (when closed) if you have 2 ½ times the width of the window in fabric. You can go up to 3 times the width if you have very thin fabric like sheers, for instance.
Be sure that you allow for enough space on either side of the window for the fabric when the curtains are open.
Custom windows and bedding available with Versa Style Design
If you like the look of curtains puddling on the floor as in this photo, then lengthen the fabric by 8 extra inches. If you prefer traditional (above the floor) hanging, then stop the curtain one and a half inches from the floor. This allows for easier maintenance and the fabric stays cleaner, longer.
Are you thinking of getting a bigger bed? Queen size beds are 60 x 80 inches and king size beds are 76-80 x 80 inches. Look for models that have 375 – 450 springs for adequate support.You should also have 24 – 30 inches around the bed for easy circulation, and more to allow for cupboard doors that swing or fold out on hinges.
I want to mention that we are often obliged to improvise or to make compromises due to a lack of space or as a strategy that compensates for another element in the space that is lacking.
In addition to this, sometimes it is beneficial from a design point of view to exaggerate the proportions of an object or accessory due to its visual impact in the overall concept of the space.
What I have provided here is a general guide, but you should consult a professional when in doubt, or when there are limitations that prevent you from following these measurements and proportions.