DESIGN SPACES: Measuring for success

As an interior designer I am constantly gathering information that I use to help my clients.


By Linda Brooks | For the Pioneer |

As an interior designer I am constantly gathering information that I use to help my clients. Some of the questions that I’ve helped clients address are:

θ How do I organize my spaces?

θ How do I choose colors that work well with each other?

θ How do I arrange my furniture?

θ How can I make sure I have enough light in my spaces?

θ How do I protect my artwork and photos from fading?

θ How do I use what I have to make my spaces more user friendly and welcoming?

Some of the sources that I use are magazines, some are drawings that I make and collect as I’m traveling, and some are websites that help me facilitate my business.

Cottages & Bungalows, HGTV magazine, Refresh, do it yourself, Traditional Home, and House Beautiful are some of the sources that I use. Each magazine has a website and they can also be accessed on your Kindle. All these sources help me build on various designers’ knowledge and I learn from their expertise.

For example:

What’s the perfect size for a chandelier? Take the width of your room in feet, double it and the number of inches is the minimum diameter for a chandelier.

What’s the ideal height to hang a chandelier? 66” from the floor – this gives you plenty of room for a centerpiece and doesn’t block your sight lines across the table.

What’s the best height for a pendant light above a kitchen island? 30-36” offers good task lighting and helps avoid head/lamp collisions.

What is the most comfortable height for kitchen countertops? 36” from the floor – you may adjust this for taller chefs.

What is the ideal distance between recessed lights? Measure from the center of one fixture to the center of the next and place the fixtures in a line so they create a strong beam of light over surfaces.

What is the optimal height for hanging mirrors and artwork? 60” – measure from the floor to the center of the item for an eye-level view. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust this for the height of the person hanging the objects.

What is a good distance for hanging pictures on a gallery wall? 2”, horizontally or vertically will give you a unified look.

What is the best distance between an area rug and at least one wall? 12-18” makes it so the rug won’t look like wall to wall carpeting that wasn’t large enough for the space.

What is a standard headboard height? 48” from the floor to the top edge, leaving about 24” from the top of the mattress to the top of the headboard – this is a nice amount to leaning space.

What is a smart distance from the TV to the sofa or chair? 72” allows for less eye strain as you watch TV. One exception is if you have a high-def TV, multiply the screen’s diagonal measurement by 1 ½ and use that number.

What is a good height for a towel bar in the bathroom? 48” from the floor allows you to easily grab your towel when you step out of the shower/bath.

What is the perfect height for a toilet paper holder? 26-28” from the floor will give easy access without difficult stretching.

These are just a few designer recommendations for measurements for your spaces.

Linda Brooks, owner of Design Consulting, has an Interior Design degree from NDSU. She lives in Bowman.