Skip to main content
Helpful SolutionsRedesign and Decorating Ideas

Decorating a Room By the Numbers

By June 21, 2012January 8th, 2021No Comments

Decorating a room does have some basic rules to follow. I am often asked how far, high, amount, etc. things should be placed in a room.  There are general guidelines to use, but many factors go into creating a perfect space. The contents of the room, the placement of objects in a room, size of the room,  architectural details, etc. all play together to make a space perfect.

These tips might help when decorating and you are not sure or find something that is not looking quite as you expected.


Decorating with art, hanging a piece on a blank wall (no furniture around) the center of the frame should be at eye level- approximately 50-60 inches off the floor. This can also be applied if you have two large pieces side by side. The approximate space between the pieces should be about 2 inches.

decorating a room Above a couch, the bottom of the picture is typically hung 6″ above the back of the couch.

When grouping pictures of different sizes and shapes in a room on different walls, keep the top of the frames or bottoms level throughout the room depending on objects within the room, and sizes of frames. This allows the eye to easily move around the room. Of course, these are only general guidelines but it’s a place to start if you are totally confused.

Lighting above a table

Decorating a room with lighting requires a variety of different lights. Hanging light fixtures above a table should hang around 30-34 inches above a table for a standard 8-foot ceiling. If the ceiling is higher add an inch for each additional foot beyond the standard 8 feet. You do not want to be sitting at a table with the light fixture obstructing your view.

Wall sconces minimum height are at five feet or 60″

If hanging a chandelier in a hall where people walk under it, the minimum distance to the bottom of the fixture should be 7′


Decorating with accessories add a lot to a room. Although symmetry can create a calm space within a room, the best way to achieve balance other than symmetry is to work in odd numbers (3, 5, 7, etc.) The eye finds this more pleasing.

Window Treatments

If you are decorating a room and want a window to look wider, consider the rod to extend 4″-10″ beyond the casing on each side. It will create an illusion of a wider window.

The Panels should have a combined width of 2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the entire window.

If you are decorating and want the windows to appear taller or the ceiling to feel taller hang the rod above the casing a minimum of 2″. The closer to the ceiling the rod is hung the illusion of a taller window will be created.

If you are considering tiebacks for your window treatments use the rule of thirds. Two thirds down the window will be a good place to break a drapery to be tied back.

Decorating with other items

An area rug you should consider having at least 18 inches between the edge of the rug and wall. There are exceptions such as entryways.

When grouping furniture so guests can comfortably sit and talk place the couch and the armchairs 4-9 feet apart.

Shelving should be open, less is more. Try to keep 30% of the space as open space when adding items. Baskets are a nice way to reduce the cluttered look on shelves. Consider organizing bookcases similarly.

Kitchen counters… the maximum appliances left on countertops should be no more than 3. Countertops are work areas and they should be kept clear.

Let me know how you have used numbers in helping achieve the perfect room!

Other good reads:

Key Improvements That Will Reap a Profit | Kitchens

5 Decorating Elements to Make a Room Look Fantastic

Karen GP

Author Karen GP

Karen GrayPlaisted is the principle owner of Design Solutions KGP. She is a graduate from Pace University and The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Her marketing background and design sense are a perfect combination for home sellers. In the first year she began her staging business, she won the ‘Rising Star’ accolade from RESA, selected from all North American stagers, USA and Canada. In 2016 she won top Occupied Stager in the USA. Karen’s ability to educate and empower clients using simple solutions allows homeowners to transform their spaces with desirable affordable decadence.

More posts by Karen GP

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!