Measure dining tables before you buySolidago/iStock
In the market for a new one? Make sure it’s wider than 36 inches. This allows room to eat, even when the center of the table is filled with serving dishes and centerpieces. Tight on space? Consider a round table. It fits well into a small corner and, with no edges, offers more eating space.
Follow this go-to color schemearchideaphoto/iStock
When choosing a color palette, assign 60 percent of the room a dominant color, 30 percent a secondary color, and 10 percent an accent color. In a classic room setting, this may translate to designating walls the dominant color, upholstery the secondary color, and a floral arrangement or pillows the accent color. If you have a nice view outside, frame it by painting the interior window trims a dark color.
Want a new coffee table? Check these measurementsnevarpp/iStock
Because couch seats today are typically about 20 inches high for easy sitting and standing, the ideal coffee table is 15 to 20 inches tall. Situate it 18 inches from the sofa; this is the average distance from a person’s hip to kneecap (people usually sit perched on sofas in living rooms). In a casual family room, 18 inches gives space for lounging and comfortably walking around the furniture. Choose a coffee table that’s two thirds as wide as the sofa.
Sources: Bryan Sloan, owner of Sloan Interiors and senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts; Susan Morgan, American Society of Interior Designers board member and principal designer of Susan Morgan Interiors; hgtv.com; apartmenttherapy.com; Real Simple; houzz.com, thedecorologist.com