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Rules to play by. Ergonomic furniture arrangement.



A good standard to follow is that the walking space between two opposite objects should be at least 27.5 inches [70 centimeters] wide - or the minimum space necessary for one person. Ideally, for anyone to walk freely, you should aim for 35.5 inches [90 centimeters], and 47 inches [120 centimeters] for two. This is especially true for places like hallways and the space between your shower and your toilet. You often come across situations where an open door into one room blocks the way into another. Keep that in mind when placing cabinets or wardrobes in your entry space. If the width your working with is less than a yard [1 meter], then you should seriously consider a sliding-door wardrobe or other narrow furniture.

Living Room.

The minimum distance between furniture (for instance a chair and a side table) should be one foot [30 centimeters]. This way, you won't have to worry about bumping your knees when your getting to the couch. If you like for your living room to feel light and airy, then you should place furniture two or more feet apart [50-60 centimeters]. If you often make use of a foldout couch (using it as a bed), then you should plan where you'll move any side tables so that you don't trip over them in dark during the night.

Another important thing to consider (especially for your health) is the distance from your lounging furniture to your television screen. Here you need measure based on the diagonal width of your screen. Doctors recommend that screens with a 37-inch diagonal be placed about 6.5 feet [2 meters], and screens with a 50-inch diagonal be placed about 8 feet [2.5 meters], from the couch. When it comes to height, the difference shouldn't deviate over 15 degrees from the height of your eyes to the height of the center of the screen.

In this image, the furniture is arranged quite uncomfortably. It's difficult to reach the table both from the couch and from the chairs. The television is too high for viewers' eyes and would be quite uncomfortable for watching anything as long as a movie, for instance.


The most important rule is this: place your stove further away from the sink rather than closer. This is rule is first and foremost about your safety. If they're going to be right near one another, the recommended minimum distance between them is between 1.5 and 2.5 feet [50-80 centimeters]. If your kitchen counters are placed in a horseshoe shape, then the distance between your parallel cabinets should be at least 4 feet [120 centimeters] so you can simultaneously open their doors (and probably still have space to turn). If you have an island or a bar counter, leave a yard or so of space so two people can still work comfortably in the kitchen at once. When it comes to your dining table, the chairs should be at least a yard [1 meter] from the wall if you need to have space for people to walk behind the chairs, or at least two feet [60-70 centimeters] if not.


Most importantly: don't squeeze your passageways (normally 27 inches), or your big toes will constantly suffer from bumping against your dresser and your knees against the bedframe. If yo're planning on putting a wardrobe near the bed, save at least 2.5 to 3 feet of space so you can easily open the doors.

Additionally, we want to remind you that the minimum footage for a bedroom for one is at least 86 square feet, and at least 130 square feet for two. But that's quite difficult to realize in many people's situations, so your bedroom should either have a window or a good way to circulate air, otherwise a chronic lack of fresh air could easily lead to poor health.


We can often see in photographs that work desks or vanities are places across from windows or very near them - that's not by accident. Daylight is as good for work as it is for making-up. It allows us to save electricity and is better for our eyes. If it's impossible for you to do the same, then make sure to get your hands on good artificial lighting.

The most important rule is that your apartment should be comfortably for you and everyone living there. Remember that, working from home, you'll probably need to rearrange furniture, move from room to room, replace things that don't work for you. And if you have kids or pets, those too add their own difficulties. In any case, you are the sole judge of what works and what doesn't.

All photos taken from

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