Layout and furniture: measures and dimensions
To circulate freely in the home, minimum distances must be respected. Here is an overview of the measures that will make it easier for you to buy furniture of the right size depending on the layout.
Furniture is designed to meet utilitarian and domestic functions, which can include decoration, storage, relaxation, meals or rest. Its dimensions are determined by these needs. However, in addition to the dimensions and the space that furniture occupies in our homes, interior design must also take into account the space needed to enjoy this furniture. In our design, we must calculate the living space required for both comfort and circulation, so that our furniture fits the space well and does not obstruct our movements. This explains, for example, the necessity to provide enough clearance to sit at, or stand up from a table, or to provide space to open and close the doors and drawers of a kitchen island.
To ensure comfort and freedom of movement, the relationship between the person and the furniture is fundamental. No measure or dimension is absolute since the relationship can vary, depending on whether we are tall, small, sturdy or thin. It is therefore necessary to adapt our furniture and our layout to the dimensions that suit us perfectly. However, and provided for your information, here are some useful measures and dimensions depending on the rooms in your home.
Layout of the living room
Generally the dimensions of the largest sofa determines the layout of the room. It should be carefully chosen as a function of the size of the room’s area. The sofa will determine the distances between the television cabinet, the other seats or the coffees table. However, here are some tips to remember:
- Leave a minimum distance of 40 cm between the sofa and the coffee table, the armchairs and the table and between the armchairs. If you neglect this space, you may feel cramped when it the time to vacuum comes!
- Choose tables of a height adapted to your sofas and armchairs, which should be at armrest height. The height of buffets and other items of furniture placed against the walls may be greater. Several interior decorators suggest making sure that each seat is matched with another piece of furniture, whether a second seat, a side table or a surface on which to rest a beverage or a reading lamp.
- The circulation space itself is calculated in different ways depending on whether you have a classic sofa or a corner sofa.
- A television should generally be placed at a distance of three times the size of the screen. However, given the size of large screens today, this may not always be feasible!
- Favouring practicality over appearance is often suggested for the layout of the living room. Think of your activities in the room, what you will like to have at your fingertips and how much room you will need.
- A suggestion: do not push all your furniture up against the walls! Leaving about 30 cm between a sofa and a wall will create the illusion of a larger and more open space.
- Need more space? Do not hesitate to redesign the layout of your furniture so that the bulkiest pieces are up against the wall, and favour built-in or multi-functional furniture that incorporates storage space. Furthermore, do not hesitate to consider ottomans and other mobile seats, which can easily be moved.
Layout of the dining room
The layout of your dining room is based on the size and shape of your table, as well as the number of guests it can accommodate. Central to this layout is respecting the minimum distances for circulation and chair clearance. However, here are some considerations:
- The table must be well lit. A distance of 60 cm should be kept between the table top and the lighting fixture suspended above.
- Keep a minimum distance of 50 to 60 cm between chairs and adjacent walls.
- Need more space? Pick a smaller table with extensions. This will allow you to adapt your table to the number of seated guests.
Layout of the kitchen
The kitchen is a space with a host of considerations that must be taken into account to be functional and well-proportioned, including the direction of movement between common areas, which is often nicknamed the kitchen work triangle. This triangle of movement between the sink, refrigerator and stove must be functional for your kitchen to be practical and pleasant. The distance between these three elements should generally be equal. A successful kitchen plan will also optimize movement between the kitchen counter, garbage, sink, dishwasher and storage space. Here are, however, other elements that should be considered in your layout:
- Plan for a waist high kitchen counter, which is generally between 85 and 95 cm.
- Keep a minimum of 70 cm of free space in front of your kitchen furniture, and to plan for kitchen counters that are 60 to 65 cm deep.
- To easily circumvent your cabinet doors or open appliances, we suggest a minimum of 100 cm to 120 cm of clearance.
- The range hood should be about 60 cm from the stove top.
- The oven should ideally be placed at eye level to facilitate use.
- For the cabinets, the highest shelf should be about 220 cm to remain accessible and comfortable. Ideally, the cabinet should be about 35 cm deep.
- Need more space? Take advantage of corners!
Layout of the bedroom
The centrepiece of a bedroom is undoubtedly… the bed. Whether a bed is a single or a queen, the dimensions are standard. However, it should be placed in such a way as to ensure you can move around it comfortably. Additionally, we suggest the following:
- Leave 60 to 75 cm between the bed and a dresser or wardrobe;
- Favour bedside tables that are adapted to the height of the bed;
- Favour a dresser that is lower than the height of the windowsill to ensure that the view outside is not obstructed, therefore giving a more airy effect.
- Need more space? Do not hesitate to invest in a sofa bed or in a wall bed.
And finally, enjoy yourself! Sometimes, all it takes is to move an armchair or reorient a bed to give the home new life!
Cover picture: Romano