Key measurements for every home
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INTRO_House_By_Numbers_vo21 of 15
Comfort Zone2 of 15
Critical to comfort, conversation and movement, the sofa is the building block of any living room. "The biggest mistake people make is buying everything oversized," says Prevezanos. A depth of 38 inches works well for styles with a back cushion, while 36 inches works for cushion-less styles such as the Chesterfield. He also suggests choosing a couch with an overall height of 30 inches. That's enough comfort for your back and slim enough to fit through a standard 32-inch doorway.
Coffee Talk3 of 15
Think of your coffee table and sofa as a team. The best sofa seat height is 16–17 inches, and the coffee table should hit the same mark. Depending on the size of the room, also allow 15–18 inches' distance between the two for ample legroom.
Slim Pickings4 of 15
At 30 inches tall and 16 inches deep, a perfectly sized console should define, not obstruct, an entryway. "While it can beautifully set the tone for your home, it's ultimately a functional setup to keep a bowl for your keys and a place to float that crucial mirror for a last look before heading out the door," says Prevezanos.
State of the Art5 of 15
Hang art at the eye line, which is technically 57 inches from the ground. Then eyeball it: Every artwork has a center-point. Generally, the center-points of all pieces hanging in a room should match. If grouping pictures or doing a collage, then think of the mass of pictures as one artwork and find that center-point. "A great tip is to arrange them on the floor as you'd like, snap a photo and identify the center of that photo for hanging purposes," says Prevezanos.
Book Smarts6 of 15
If you have the luxury of building your own bookshelves and built-ins, then the depth of each shelf should be at least 14 inches and ideally 15. That's enough room for larger art books and binders. If buying something ready-made, then look for adjustable shelves to allow for varying heights.
Breathing Room7 of 15
Creating an inviting dining space is a must. The magic distance between chair and wall (when chair is pushed in) as well as rug and wall is 3 feet, which equals easy ins and outs for guests and creates a safe passageway. Remember: Planning ahead can spare you a lot of awkward moments at your next dinner party.
Food for Thought8 of 15
It's happened to all of us even at restaurants: smashed fingers courtesy of a chair arm that can't slide under the table. The all-important, oft-neglected distance between the arm of chair and the underside of a table is 6– 8 inches. For comfort and easy access, knees, elbows and bottoms benefit from chairs with an 18-by-18-inch seat.
Head Light9 of 15
If you're hanging a simple or transparent light fixture in the dining room, then place it at 28– 32 inches from the surface of the table. If it's large or imposing, then keep it higher at 36 inches. "The idea is not to obstruct vision or create a scenario where people are always hitting their heads," says Prevezanos.
Island Time10 of 15
Kitchens are gathering places. The distance from the sink or stove to the island should be 40 inches, which makes for effortless flow. "It's comfortable without feeling too weird or too far," explains Prevezanos.
Rest Easy11 of 15
Make your bedroom a no-brainer. Twenty-four inches is a comfortable mattress height for most people. It should allow you to easily get in and out of bed, reach over to your nightstand for a book, and click the lamp on and off without overexerting. The bedside table should be, at minimum, the same height as the bed, or up to 4 inches taller if you need the storage space.
All Aboard12 of 15
At 50 inches, the ideal headboard height lets you prop up pillows but leaves enough room to hang artwork. "A too-tall headboard dwarfs everything around it, making the room feel un-proportioned," says Prevezanos. "Keep it simple and balanced."
Tall Order13 of 15
Little details make or break bathrooms. The crucial height of a showerhead hovers between 76 and 77 inches, allowing for little wiggle room. A tall man should be able to bathe comfortably. For present and future residents, these are the gifts that keep on giving.
Bathed In Light14 of 15
Like artwork, bathroom sconces should be placed a bit higher than the sightline to avoid direct glare. A height that accommodates all in the family is 66 inches from the floor.
Desk Duty15 of 15
"My litmus test when buying a desk is to choose one that can fit a filing cabinet underneath with legroom to spare," advises Prevezanos. "That's 30 inches tall." And the desk itself doesn't have to be huge to function. A 28-inches-deep desktop can accommodate a computer and supplies without taking up massive amounts of space.
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