Choosing the Right Size Furniture for Your Home

by Country View Woodworking Ltd on 2018-03-07 09:40:41

Picture this: You’re enjoying a nice family dinner at a relative’s home and decide to head to the kitchen for dessert. In order to get there, you must squeeze through the sliver of space between the wall and everyone’s chairs on your side of the table. That piece of pie is calling your name, so you hold your breath and suck your stomach in, sliding against the wall and bumping into the back of people’s chairs as you go, causing a few drinks to splatter along the way. You contemplate whether you’ll be able to do this again after dessert, and decide to eat that piece of pie in the kitchen instead.

Chances are, most of us have been in homes where something about the furniture layout just felt awkward. Furniture that is not sized or positioned correctly for the room it’s in can create inconveniences and discomfort for your family and guests. Taking the time upfront to determine appropriate furniture sizes for your home can help you get the most out of your furniture so you and your guests will enjoy it for years to come.

Measure, Measure, Measure!

It seems like a given, but many people dive headfirst into the fun part of furniture shopping and overlook this simple first step. Before shopping for furniture, measure the room or rooms the furniture will be in. Be sure to account for doorways, windows, closets, built-ins, or recesses. Take into consideration wall height, window sill height, and lighting fixtures and switches. Locate electrical outlets and make sure your new furniture won’t cover the outlets you use the most. If you have ceiling fans or chandeliers, measure how far they suspend from the ceiling. Don’t forget to measure doorways to make sure your new furniture will have a way to enter your home upon delivery. 

These initial measurements will help you determine how much space you have for your new furniture, but there are other important aspects to consider before determining what size your furniture should actually be. 

Traffic flow

Choosing the correct size for your furniture definitely has an impact on traffic flow. Let’s say your dining room is 16’ wide x 20’ long. You already have a buffet and a hutch in the room. You determine that you have a 10x12 space left in the room for a table. Do you go out and look for a 10x12 table? Not unless you want to put someone in the awkward Easter dinner scenario mentioned at the beginning of this article! 

A general recommendation is to allow for at least three feet around the entire table, which will accommodate the chairs when people are sitting in them and allow for smooth traffic flow around the table. So in a 10x12 space, your table should be a maximum size of 4x6. 

If you choose to have an area rug under your table, it should extend at least three feet on all sides so that chairs don’t get caught on it when sliding in and out.


The next thing to consider is proportion. For smaller spaces, you’ll want to look for furniture that doesn’t overwhelm the room. An oversized, overstuffed couch, loveseat, and chair in a small living room will make the room appear even smaller than it really is, not to mention making it feel…well…stuffed. Simple designs and straight, clean lines work well in smaller spaces, and round shapes can visually make tight spaces look larger. 

Likewise, in large spaces you’ll want to look for furniture that makes the room feel inviting and comfortable. Furniture that is too small for the room or spaced too far apart can make a large space feel sparse, and isn’t very conducive to good conversation. 

Large spaces lend themselves well to creating multiple groupings of furniture that represent separate zones within the same room. A large bedroom could have a separate seating area with a couple cozy chairs and a side table and lamp for reading. A large dining room could have a separate zone for a mini after-dinner coffee bar. A large living room could have a main seating area grouped around the TV, and another separate conversation area with chairs positioned around the fireplace. 

Plan for the future

Whether you’re buying a single piece or an entire collection of furniture, it is important to consider future plans when choosing furniture. 

In a large bedroom, you might be tempted to buy a king-size bed, a dresser, two night stands, and an armoire. You’ve determined that even with all those pieces, you would have at least three feet of walking space around your bed. Before deciding, consider whether you’ll want to use the space differently down the road. Maybe you’ve thought about adding a cozy window seat, or a media chest for your bedroom TV. Make sure your new furniture will leave enough space to allow for these future additions.  

Get measurements while you shop

Once you’ve determined what size your new furniture should be, it’s time to go shopping! Get measurements for any pieces you’re interested in purchasing so you can be sure they will fit in your space nicely.

Use masking tape or painter’s tape for visualization 

A good way to visualize how the furniture will fit in your home is to use masking tape or painters tape to mark the dimensions it will cover on your floor, or even your wall if it will be against a wall. This will give you a feel for how much space you’ll have around it, and whether the size feels out of proportion compared to the size of the room and the other furnishings in the room. 

While purchasing handmade hardwood furniture is one of the best choices you can make when it comes to buying furniture, choosing the right size will complement your home bring you and your guests comfort for years to come! 

cow choosing the right size furniture for your home

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