Comfort isn’t just about a room full of plush furniture (though this doesn’t hurt). It’s about how the room is outfitted with furniture and decor so that the size and position of each piece creates an inviting and livable space.
Despite the subjective nature of the feeling of comfort, the way to achieve it is downright scientific, with measurements and guidelines that help create an atmosphere and setting that’s, well, comfortable.
The Perfect Fit
Typically, you want to give each person 30 to 32 inches of sitting space on a sofa. In smaller rooms, opt for sofas that fall between 60 and 76 inches long to fit two people or three close friends comfortably. In larger rooms, you can up the ante with sofas that are as long as 108 inches.
Pay attention to depth in your seating as well. The average person can sit comfortably in a chair that’s 37 to 39 inches deep, which is perfect for smaller homes.
The typical great room setup with a sofa, coffee table and two flanking chairs makes for a convivial space. For a sofa and chair that share the same end table, leave 10 to 15 inches between the sofa’s corner and the edge of the chair. If you expect traffic to flow between the two, allow for 20 inches.
Wall art and sconces should typically be hung around 67 to 72 inches off the floor. You want to be able to see paintings at eye level or just above. Sconces work best at this height, too, so the light emanating is at people level.