8 USEFUL MEASURING TIPS WHEN BUYING FURNITURE

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Samantha Clarke, marketing manager at Focus on Furniture shares 8 useful measuring tips when selecting new furniture for your home.

A little preparation can save you disappointment and frustration when choosing your next furniture piece. Unfortunately, most bulky good retailers cannot offer refunds for items that don’t fit as the item becomes ‘second hand’ the minute it is unwrapped and delivered. We, therefore, provide the below helpful advice to ensure you select your next furniture piece correctly.

Not measuring your home properly is probably the biggest mistake customers make when they shop for new furniture. This commonly results in issues for the customer while picking out their new furniture, and also upon arrival when their new furniture is delivered.

1. MEASURE BEFORE YOU SHOP.

When shopping for furniture, bring with you a list of measurements. Here is a list of the most important measurements that you should have with you:

LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT.  These are the most basic dimensions of the space you will be furnishing.

DOORS, HALLWAYS, STAIRCASES. Know the sizes of the openings that the furniture will be going through.

CEILINGS.  Covering the height measurement above, don’t forget about things hanging from the ceiling like chandeliers or ceiling fans.

TELEVISION SIZE.  Understand actual size vs. the purchased size of your TV.

BED SIZE. Can your space allow a king or queen, or perhaps a double? Sometimes what CAN fit, is different from what is most functional and attractive. Have a solid understanding of the size you are after.

CABINET DOOR SIZE. If you're buying a wardrobe or cabinet, make certain you have enough clearway for the doors to open. 

WINDOWS & POWER OUTLETS. Know where these are within the room, you don’t want your new furniture to block the only available window!

2. DOORWAYS, HALLWAYS, & STAIRCASES

If you have opted for delivery, the first thing our drivers do when they arrive at a customer’s home is to look at where the furniture has to travel to reach its final destination. They do this to determine where the “tight spots” are going to be while carrying the heavy items. Just because a piece of furniture will fit into the space you measured for, doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to make it there.

Consider all of the “tight spots” in your home, and know how much space you have. You’d be surprised how often that perfect piece of furniture that you’re so excited to put in that perfect spot, never get's the opportunity to shine where it belongs.

The most common “tight spots” are DOORS, HALLS, and STAIRS. These spots can make it impossible to reach the desired room. As an example, consider a spiral staircase with a small landing. Would you want to navigate a large sofa through this obstacle course?

TIP: Remember to measure light fixtures and ceiling fans. They are often forgotten, which can result in easily avoided damages that end up costing you even more money.

3. TELEVISIONS & ENTERTAINMENT UNITS

Sometimes customers make the mistake of purchasing the largest item that can fit into the space required. Example: you have just moved into a larger dining space so are excited to go purchase your beautiful large dining suite. However, once it is delivered, and all the chairs are in place and used, you realise the available space around your magnificent new table is greatly compromised. Not only visually but functionally also.

Ensure when you measure your space that you take into consideration bodies sitting in those seats, not just seats pushed in under a dining table. Don’t forget how important comfort is. If you want to design a whole room, make a plan and consider all the factors. It’s all about maximizing your space. You want it to look good and be comfortable.

4. THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

The sky’s the limit…except when there are ceilings.

The biggest mistake customers make when they are pre-measuring is to forget about ceiling height.  Ceiling height can restrict where your new item ends up so ensure you give this consideration when selecting your new piece. Ceiling height also needs to be considered on certain pieces like buffets, tallboys and bookcases. Although most of our pieces won’t reach ceiling heights, is there enough room above to achieve the look you were after? Consider how much space you want above your piece because you will have your furniture for a long time, you want to ensure you achieve exactly the aesthetic you were after.

5. DOORWAYS, HALLWAYS, & STAIRCASES

Television manufacturers measure televisions diagonally. So when it says that your television is 48 inches, that is the size of the screen from corner to corner. That does not include the casing that the screen is enclosed in. The edges of the television could give you an extra 15cms or more. To make sure the television will fit in the desired space, measure from the outside edges Width and Height. That would give you the exact size you would need to fit your TV comfortably.

Another important measurement is height! If you have a really low sofa and your TV stand is mounted really high, it might leave a kink in your neck or be uncomfortable for use. A good guide is to have your television somewhere around eye-level while in the sitting position.

6. POWER OUTLETS AND WINDOWS

Each room has multiple outlets, yet we can still find ourselves just out of reach when we move furniture around. When determining where you would like to place your furniture, don’t forget to factor in all of the electronics you will be plugging in.

Always plan around your outlets and make sure you maintaining a safe environment. Be mindful of safety, especially when there are children around the house.

Ensure you also give consideration to windows, doors and mantelpieces etc. Sometimes we don’t think about it when measuring, but you don’t want to block windows or have the door swing space interfering with the placement of your furniture. 

7. TOPPLING FURNITURE SAFETY

Due to an unfortunate increase of toppling related injuries in the family home, recent safety initiatives were implemented. These initiatives mean any furniture that falls into topple risk categories, MUST be fitted with anchor kits and meet appropriate standards of safety and compliance. For all topple risk items, anchor kits must be fitted to your walls. Consider the materials and fixings around your home and where might be the best place for your item given this requirement.

8. MARK OUT YOUR SPACE

The best way to ensure you are one hundred percent happy with your choice is to mark it out. You can do this with masking tape, or blue tac or just simply place cushions where your piece will remain. This gives you an idea of exactly how your piece will finish when set up in your home. Sit on the space where you have marked out. Can you get your feet up if required? Can you walk around the outside of your marked space easily? Sure, it might fit, but is there enough breathing room around the piece?

Again, it might fit space-wise, but there is nothing more common than a reasonable space being made to seem small and tight because of oversized furniture selection. Of course, it needs to fit, but the whole room must look the way you hoped, and it must function the way it should. Following these considerations and early planning may assist in avoiding headaches in the future.

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