We all tend to fall for the “purchase before Sunday” line at furniture stores and we race against time not to miss out on a sale.  In our rush to get the new item, we sometimes forget to start at the beginning, by getting the planning and measuring phase right.  Here are a few pointers of what you should consider before taking out your wallet.


This might seem like a very obvious point, but you’ll be amazed at how many people go to a furniture store and buy the first comfortable sofa they see.  To start off with, draw yourself a simple diagram and indicate the length of each wall, where doors and entry ways are, placement and size of windows, as well as features such as fireplace or other details. With technology you can now save this on your phone permanently and never get caught off guard!

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Just because your furniture will fit the space you bought it for, doesn’t mean it will make it all the way to the finish line.  Remember to measure the entire path it will travel, the entry way and all the way through the hallway, especially those corners that are hard to maneuver.

measuring narrow hallway
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I have a friend who purchased a very large and bulky, comfortable sofa with big head rest.  She was very confident that it would fit into her lounge room, as she had measured the area and was already having daydreams about their family moments getting comfortable in front of the telly each night.  She had to wait many, many weeks for this perfect sofa with its’ perfect colour and was over the moon when the delivery truck finally pulled up.  After countless attempts to get the sofa through the front door, the back glass sliding door came as a welcome second option.  This however, was also not to be… a builder was called in to remove the whole sliding door.  Needless to say, this option was also not a great alternative and they ended up returning the sofa and picking something else instead.  Motto of the story, (I know, you guessed it) measure your doorway and staircase before buying new furniture!

measure sofa and door
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With size, I mean the Height, Depth, as well as Length of the new piece of furniture.  In the case of a sofa, it’s important to know how far it will be sticking out from the wall so that it doesn’t block any pathways.  If you’re purchasing a new tv, measure it from top corner to the opposite bottom corner.  Manufacturers use their measurement, for example 65 inches, indicating the screen only, and it does not include the outer frame of the screen.  So if your new tv needs to go into a tv unit, it’s important to get the size right so that you know it will fit comfortably.


Remember to measure the height of the ceiling, as well as any pendant or fittings hanging from it.  No use you’ve purchased the most amazing bookcase for your library and the only place it fits into is your garage…


It’s good to know the size of your windows and your power outlets will determine where you place your furniture, so it’s important to indicate these on your drawing.  So if you would like a side table with a beautiful table lamp for a bit of romantic ambience, it might leave you frustrated if there’s no power point located in this area.


Measuring - negative space
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Negative space is the space around each furniture piece.  You need enough space between your sofa and coffee table to move comfortably.  This is also true for behind the chairs in your dining room and around the bed in your bedroom.  You need this empty space for a functional layout and to create flow and balance throughout the room.

Happy measuring!  Let us know if you’ve had any embarrassing moments getting furniture measurements wrong.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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