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  • by Desiree Mastracchio, DMDesign

Too High? Too Low? Just Right!

Have you ever walked into a room and something just felt "off"? The curtains seem too short... the art above the sofa is too high... It's bothersome, and can throw off the flow and the look of a room.

While a professional home stager is the best resource for handling these concerns before listing, I'll share some general decorating rules that will be helpful to you and your clients. I learned them from Vern Yip, and they're available in his newest book Design Wise. The Atlanta interior designer became a household name through the TLC series "Trading Spaces," and he was the keynote speaker recently at the nation's largest professional home stagers' convention.

These simple guidelines take the guesswork out of furniture, wall art etc. placement, and are a great quick reference when decorating or preparing to list your house for sale.

Here are some basic guidelines for furniture placement:

- The coffee table should be 18" from the sofa or chairs

- An ottoman should be 12" from its chair

- You should allow at least 24" but preferably 36" passage distance for walking through a room or by furniture

- Dining chairs should be spaced 24" apart

- The distance between seating in a conversation area should be 3.5 - 10 feet

Such a pretty corner, but the coffee table is way too close to the sofa... how would someone even be able to sit down?

Following these guidelines for hanging things:

- The bottom of a light or chandelier over a dining table should be 66" from the floor

- When hanging wall art or a mirror, the middle of the item should be 60" above the floor

- Lighting should be no lower than 76" from the floor for ceilings under 9.5 feet, and no lower than 84" for ceilings higher than 9.5 feet

- Curtains and window treatments should be at ceiling height

While the chandelier is hung too high on photo A, it is too low on photo B.

In the following photos, the wall art is hung too high (C) and too low (D). Follow our guidelines for quick and easy perfect placement every time!

Below is an example of ideal furniture placement, rug size, and wall art placement, by D M Design Home Staging. For help getting your property ready to list, contact us at or 404-702-6769.

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