There are a million and one things to think about when renovating a room or decorating a house, but the one step you can’t miss are measurements; because just having a good taste won’t be enough to decorate the room of your dreams.
If you don’t want to end up with awkward corners and tacky arrangements, get your tapeline and check the best measurement tips below coming from an interior architect.
1- Draw a basic plan of the walls, windows and doors.
Illustration by Heather Rothnie
The planning phase is not a YouTube Ad. You can’t skip it. Fortunately, you do not need to be an architect or have the most complex interior design software to do it. Go at it the old fashioned way (A paper, a ruler and a pencil).
Start with making a rough drawing of the room, then measure and write down its length and width. You will then want to indicate the width of closets, windows, fireplaces, etc.
Make sure to note the opened width of the doors and windows. It is necessary to get accurate measurements for entries and passages because your furniture will have to pass through these to get to where you have planned to place it ultimately. Any furniture you buy should be at least 4 inches less than the passage.
2- Measure and indicate on your drawing where the electrical outlets, cable jacks, heat registers, etc. are in the room.
“Articulation” floor lamp by Fares Haber
If your room has pre-existing features like electrical outlets, the layout you draw should consider them as well. If it doesn’t, you may need to ask an expert to discuss where you want outlets installed and how many are needed. For instance, light switches should be 120 cm above the floor and 10 to 15 cm to the side of the door trim. Make sure to think of your favorite lamp that you want to stand next to your reading chair but far from a wall. In the end, you want the room to satisfy your daily needs. Aesthetics are important but convenience is crucial.
3- Don’t be afraid to step into the future.
Architects love the internet as much as we do, probably even more than most of us. The huge variety of interior design apps available made everything easier for them. You too can benefit from the virtual world. You can find apps that help you sketch or take measurements, and most of them are free. (Because they know most of us are broke after going on a furniture shopping spree).
4-Never choose a furniture item that is too large or too small in your space. Always measure your room and decide on the item accordingly.
chandelier ‘jungle VIP’, 2014
The furniture selection should be based on the dimensions of the room. For instance, a big chandelier may look majestic in the gallery showroom but may make you feel claustrophobic if you do not choose it proportionately to the size of the room. To get the perfect size, add the length and width of your room and convert the total to inches. Do the math and find the right one for your living room or entryway.
Keep in mind that different rules apply to different furniture.
Too many people suffer from the ‘small rug’ syndrome and it is just kind of hard not to notice it. Here’s a table you can count on when getting a new rug:
And when in doubt, you can always ask an interior architect!