How to Measure Your Space Before Furniture Shopping

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Once you know which furniture pieces to buy first, it’s time to do one of the few exciting activities for first-time or new homeowners—furniture shopping.

However, you cannot do that without the right numbers. Whether or not you managed to purchase a fully-furnished space, measuring your home or condo’s area is a must.

After all, you’re still bound to buy stuff for your place that will occupy a specific area, and you best be prepared and know if it will fit perfectly. Otherwise, you risk the hassle of returning those things.

When furniture shopping, make sure to have a list of measurements with you. These measurements include not only the size of the furniture you need, but also other specifics that will make shopping and shipping easier.

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Having a blueprint or floor plan of your home can also help you see the big picture before making the furniture purchase.

  1. Measuring the Furniture

Sofa: The width of the couch is its widest point or from one arm to another. Measure the back’s highest point down to the floor to get height.

Depth is measured by from the outside edge of the seat to the back. Diagonal depth, meanwhile, is measured by placing the tape measure from the top back of the frame to the bottom front.

For a sectional sofa, the overall length is from the one arm to the other, plus the corner chair. Width, meanwhile, is the total measurement of the components along the back.

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Cabinet: Height is the vertical measurement from the floor to top. Width is the cabinet from front to back. Length is simply the one side to the other.

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Bed Frame: This is measured almost the same way as a cabinet, except you need to make sure that the headboard or the canopy is not taller than the ceiling and does not interfere with any ceiling fixtures.

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  1. Measuring the Room

You need to make sure that there is enough space in the room to place the furniture you bought. Aside from that, all other details in it should also be measured.

  • Measure the length and width of the room and the height of the walls. Standard height size of the ceiling is around 8 feet, but newer models may have higher or lower ceilings.
  • Make sure that its location won’t obstruct the doorway, window, fireplace, outlet, or any other features in the room. It should be at least 40 inches away from any entrance.
  • If you’re placing the furniture against the wall with windows, get the distance of the window from the floor and its width and total height.

Having a clearance space between the furniture and the walls of the room or other furniture is also worth noting:

  • Dining Table: Leave at least 36 inches between so that your chairs can slide out quickly and there’s enough space to walk around.
  • Dining Chairs: Keep at least 20 inches between chairs for elbow room.
  • Living Room: Allot 18 inches between table and sofa to give you enough legroom, while allowing you to reach out to the table comfortably.
  1. Measuring the Entry Points

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How can your new furniture get inside your home for you to use it if it won’t even fit through the door? Take note of the entry points, passages, and stairways where stuff will pass through to reach the area of your home where it’s going to be placed.

  • When measuring, make sure to get the actual width, height, and diagonal width. For staircases, measure diagonally, too.
  • Take note of any corners as well.
  • Doors should be measured for height and width, as well as diagonally from top left to bottom right. Make sure to measure inside the door frames, too.
  • Obstructions on the way like light fixtures, railings, and other fixed appliances can potentially damage your furniture, which may incur additional costs for you.
  • Ideally, anything that you would buy should have a clearance of at least 4 inches less than the passage’s measurements so that the delivery people can move around.

Keep these tips in mind to make furniture shopping a breeze!

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About the Author

Oscar Florea

oscarOscar is a content contributor for Avida’s lifestyle blog Pursuit of Passion. He is an engineer by profession but a multipotentialite by destiny. Just like a normal dude in a basketball-crazy country, one of his passions is shooting hoops. Grant Hill is the older brother he never had.