How to Measure a Space for Furniture

Young male and female measuring on the floor

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Taking measurements may not sound like a lot of fun, but it is very important that you do that before you buy any furniture. Even before you start making any plans for furnishing and decorating, the first thing you need to do is measure your space.

To make it easier, measure everything once and save the measurements in an accessible place for easy reference later on. Do a thorough job so that you don't have to do it all over again whenever you buy more furniture. There are lots of apps out there to help you do that, but it may be better to just do it manually, because sometimes an app will not let you measure or store everything accurately.

In addition to measuring the room that you are furnishing, you will have to start with your front door, and other points of entry. It would be sad to buy furniture that you then can't bring inside. It is one of the biggest furniture buying mistake that people make.

Measure Entries and Passages

It is very important to get accurate measurements for entries and passages because your furniture will have to pass through these to get to where you have planned to place it ultimately.

  • Go over your home and measure all the entries, passages, stairways and doorways through which your furniture has to travel to get to its destination.
  • When you are measuring, make sure you have all the accurate width, height and diagonal width.
  • You should also make a note of any corners that will need to be turned in a hallway or on a staircase. Make sure to measure diagonally on the staircase, too.
  • Don't forget to make a note of any light fixtures, railings or any architectural impediments along the way. These can potentially create problems in moving your furniture in if you are not aware of them.

Any furniture you buy should have some clearance around it and should be at least 4 inches less than the passage measurements. This will allow you or the furniture delivery people to move it easily.

Measure Your Rooms

While it is important to measure the passages and entries, you also need to measure all your rooms in detail so that you are aware of not just the size of the rooms but all the windows, doors, and fireplaces that a room has.

  • First measure the door that you will be using to bring the furniture into the room. Measure the height and width and also diagonally from top left to bottom right. Make sure to get the measurements for inside the door frames, too, because those are the most important measurements.
  • Next, you should measure the length from the entrance of the room to the far wall. You need this measurement to know if you will be able to bring the furniture into the room and be able to maneuver it easily to place it.
  • Measure the length and width of the room. That is an easy one.
  • Next, measure the height of the walls. Most homes have a standard sized height for ceilings which is around 8 feet, but your ceiling may be higher or lower. This is a helpful measurement when you want to bring in taller pieces such as book shelves or armoires.
  • Measure all doorways, windows, radiators, fireplaces or any other architectural features.
  • For windows, measure the height from the floor, along with width and total window height. You will need this measurement if you are placing any furniture against the wall with windows.