Space planning is an essential element to any design. It not only makes a room look amazing but it creates a well though out and intelligent atmosphere. There will be less frustration and activities will be easier to complete. A seamless flow from one room to the next will be noticeable and nothing will feel like a chore.

A well planned room can only be attained if proper consideration is taken into space planning. To achieve this, it is essential that a comfortable amount of room is allowed between objects and residents are able to move around freely without feeling cramped. There should be unobstructed pathways that don't interfere with other activities. While it is necessary that there is enough space it is also important that there is not too much. Having to much space between sofas and chairs can affect conversation while a task light too far away might render it useless. While you now know why space planning is important you may be wondering how to achieve this. There are a collection of guidelines that you can follow to better improve your space.

Space Planning Furniture Guidelines

Critical Heights and Depths

Dining Room

  • Table or desk height: 29″-30″ 
  • Chair seat height 18″ 

Both these heights are directly related as this allows for you to sit comfortably without hitting your knees on the underside of the table. If you are planning on using a taller table then it is important the chair seat is raised to the relative height.  

Living Room

  • Sofa arm: Varies with style
  • End table: Matches sofa arm height

By choosing an end table height the same height as the sofa arm, it will allow for a consistent, clean design and nothing will look out of place. If you were to choose end tables that were lower you would have to reach over and down to place something on it. Anything taller would mean you would have to reach up which can get frustrating if you keep bumping into it.


  • Bathroom counter: 28″-36″high x 22″ deep

This counter height is comfortable for washing hands, brushing teeth and performing other activities in front of the bathroom sink. It is also deep enough to allow for a standard sink. 


  • Kitchen counter: 36″ high x 24″ deep
  • Kitchen wall cabinet: 24″-36″ high 12″ deep
  • Space between counter and wall cabinet: 15″-18″ 

The standard kitchen counter is higher because it is essential that you can properly reach and see what you are preparing. This is ultra important if you are chopping food with a sharp knife. The space between the counter and wall cabinet allows for adequate room without obstruction and the upper wall cabinets are shallower so that you do not hit your head. 

Tomorrow I will be discussing clearance requirements for specific activities and traffic paths. 

Word of the Day: Ergonomics  

The study of human beings and their responses to working environments. 

Happy space planning! 

AuthorCamille Pacori
CategoriesImages, Text