Interior Decorating
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The 411 on Decorating Measurements

Blue Tape Measure from Ado Annie's Etsy Shop

Here we go…

36 inches is how far the bottom of a dining room chandelier should hang above the table.  (Do you have really high ceilings? Add an inch for every additional foot of ceiling).

How big should an overhead light fixture be?  Just add the length and width of the room in feet and whatever number you come up with is, in inches, your guide for the fixture’s diameter.  So a 12 x 18 foot room would need a 30 inch wide chandelier.  (Bunny Williams)

26 inches is how far a dining room rug should extend past the table on all sides so chairs can scoot in and out without getting caught on the carpet.

About 55-58-ish inches is where the approximate center of a piece of art should hang from the floor.   (Or eye level for an average person).

Curtains should be 2 ½ to 3 times the width of the window.  So if you are doing two panels, each should be 1 ¼ to 1 ½ times the window width.  Buy a rod that’s about 20 inches wider than your window so it extends 10 inches on either side.  Your window will seem much wider than it really is.  (Libby Landon)

Drapes should “kiss the floor” when hung.  If they don’t they look like “floods”.  Drapes that only  hang to the windowsill should have a good reason for doing so—I’m having a hard time coming up with one.  Hang a roman shade instead! (And by the by did you know that Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that made them looks like it is kissing the conveyor belt?  Just a bit of Valentine’s Trivia since it is right around the corner).

Hang curtains 4” to 8” higher than the window to make the ceilings appear higher (this is a good thing).

An overhead light fixture should hang about 7 feet above the floor—for lighting that will be walked under.

And this is an important one!  When hanging art above furniture the general rule of the thumb is that the artwork should be about 2/3 the width of the piece you are hanging it above.  Postage stamp sized artwork “should-not, would-not, be-not” over a couch!

3 is a good number to stick to when arranging a grouping.  (On a side note did you know X-ray technology has shown that there are 3 different versions of the Mona Lisa under the visible one?).

(And if you love the blue tape measure in the picture you can get it at Ado Annie’s Etsy Shop).


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