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Furniture Measuring Guide – Where To Start.


When it comes to measuring up a room in preparation for a major furniture purchase, we find a good rule of thumb is to measure once, check twice, and then measure all over again. But even the most careful homeowners can miss vital details when space is at a premium. You really can’t be too careful, so here are our essential tips for getting it right:

  • Use a metal tape measure. This will help to ensure accuracy
  • To allow for unevenly shaped rooms, measure from at least three different points around one metre apart
  • If you are purchasing a piece of furniture to go in an alcove or other confined space, make sure you measure from the edge of the skirting board
  • When measuring a wall with a door, remember to take account of the ‘architrave’ (the decorative strip of wood around the door frame)
  • If you are purchasing cupboards, make sure you have allowed enough space for all doors to be opened fully
  • Similarly, reclining sofas and armchairs will need extra space when fully reclined
  • When measuring up a room for a table, make sure there is at least 90cm (36in) available between the table and the wall to accommodate seating, plus an additional 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24in) if walking space is required (for example to access doors or cupboards)
  • Consider the proportions of your existing furniture. Measure them, and decide if you are confident your new furniture will not look overly large or small in comparison
  • When measuring up for taller cupboards or wardrobes, check your ceiling height. Consider how much space you would like between the top of the piece of furniture and your ceiling, and how this will impact on ease of cleaning and/or storage space
  • Remember to take into account all those tricky details such as window height and the location of radiators and power sockets
  • Finally, to ensure that it will be possible to delivery your furniture successfully, remember to measure the width of your front door and all other doors which it is necessary to pass through in order to access the room in which you intend to keep your new piece of furniture.

bring the outside in

Once you have measured your room, it can be helpful to sketch out a simple plan. To get your plan roughly to scale, write down your measurements in centimetres, then divide them by 20. Using this method, a 5 by 3 metre room becomes a 25 by 15 cm plan. By adding doors, windows and your existing furniture using the same method, you can create a useful guide which will help you to visualise how your new furniture will fit into your room.

You could also use newspaper or a large flattened cardboard box to create a full scale ‘cut out’ of the ‘footprint’ of the piece of furniture you are considering. This allows you to experiment with positioning the piece in various locations around your room, and is a fun way to start exploring the possibilities of how your furniture can be re-arranged once your purchase has arrived in its new home.

Do you have any questions not covered in this furniture measuring guide?
Please contact our furniture experts in Surrey and Hampshire on 01252 325525 for more information.

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