5 Important Measurements to Take Before Shopping

published Sep 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

About to hit “purchase” on a new item for you home? Wait! Make sure you’ve thought to measure these things first. They’re measurements people often forget to consider before they buy, but they’re measurements that can really muck up your design if you don’t take them into consideration first.

1. Measure your bed before you buy a comforter, blanket, etc.

Though it might be tempting to just press purchase on a “queen” size comforter if you know you have a queen size bed, you want to take a look at the actual dimensions of the blanket, quilt, comforter, duvet and more and then measure your bed’s dimensions. Things like how high your bed sits off the ground and mattress depth can affect how long a covering might hang over the sides of your bed (and could be a bummer if you were hoping for more or less coverage).

2. Counter height

Looking to get some stools for your kitchen counter? Cool. Just make sure you measure to see if you need bar height stools or counter height stools. Bar stools are usually higher than counter height stools (think seat heights 30″ – 32″). You’ll find counter height stools are lower, usually 24″ – 26″ seat height. A good rule of thumb is having 8″ – 12″ of leg room between the stool seat and the counter or bar top. (We spotted these dimension suggestions on Lamps Plus).

3. The thickness of an object

From art to accessories, you might be measuring the width and length of objects you’re considering purchasing, but what about the depth or thickness? A piece of art you plan on purchasing to hang above your bed or your sofa could stick out a lot farther than you realize and make sitting in front of it awkward.

4. Chair seat and back height

You want to make note of the dimensions of the chair seat and back height of the furniture you’re about to buy and the furniture you already have. Really big differences in seat and back heights can be a little visually awkward for furniture sharing the same space, so check before you add any new dimensions into the mix.

5. Lamp height plus the shade

When thinking about adding a new lamp to your home, make sure the height dimension they mention on the website includes the lampshade, which depending on the lamp can add significant inches to the lamp’s overall height and really mess up a vignette or design idea you may have had (if it turns out to be much taller than you thought it would be with the shade).

What would you add to this list?