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7 House Measurement Tips for Small Living Spaces

God is in the dimensions when it comes to designing for small spaces. We reveal the most efficient design measurements to take note. By Ashley Choo

Everything is a squeeze in small spaces but if you get the dimensions of your spaces right, your little space can be a comfortable haven. Arm yourself with your floor plan and a ruler and we’ll go through certain numbers and dimensions you need to know while shopping for your remodelling project. By Ashley Choo

Pendant lamps: 30cm clearance space

First consider the height of your ceiling when hanging up your lamp and then ensure that there is enough clearance space for the height of the people using that space. You should provide at least 30 cm clearance space for the person standing below. Hanging a pendant lamp too high up may not be aesthetically pleasing too. Plan for the lamp to cover up to 20 per cent of the ceiling height for the space to look balanced. If you have a rectangular table below the lamp, you may wish to install more hanging pendant lamps over the table.

Sofa: 25cm breathing space on each side

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Aside from measuring the side of the wall your sofa will be placed, ensure that there is not only enough space for your new sofa but also at least 25cm on each side of the sofa for breathing space. “If you’re planning for your sofa to fit perfectly in that space, your sofa will feel crammed and look uncomfortable,” says Ben Hou, retail manager for furniture retailer OM. Ben also reminds homeowners that the space will also account for your curtains, which will take up 10–15cm.

Coffee table: Allow for 30cm legroom

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Make sure there is enough legroom between your coffee table and your sofa when you sit down. Ben reckons 30cm is the bare minimum space you should allow for. On the other side of the coffee table, you should allow for at least 40–45 cm between the table and the TV console so that you’ll be able to pull open your coffee table or console drawers.

Dining table: 60 is magic

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A well-balanced, proportional dining table usually comes in the standard size of 1.8m x 90cm. For small spaces, this size is a luxury owners can ill afford. “You need at least 60cm in length for a person to feel comfortable eating at the dining table,” Ben says. Bearing that in mind, you can shop for a dining table with a minimum 60cm length with extendable options whenever you have guests over. With placement, 60cm is also the dimension of choice between the dining table and the wall so that you can pull out a chair and slide in comfortably

Floor tiles: That trendy 80 x 80

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To get away from the uniform HDB look, homeowners now go for larger tile sizes than the typically supplied 60 x 60 cm. “People don’t like grout lines,” says Wee Geck Ying, Senior Business Development Executive for Hafary, a tiles supplier, “and more are opting for 80 x 80 cm tile sizes.” If you want even bigger sizes, you need to see if your living space can accommodate them for e.g. if you can only lay a handful of 60 x 180 cm tiles in a small space, it is just going to look awkward. Also remember that bigger tile sizes not only cost more per sqft, the labour cost to lay each tile is also higher since since two men will be required to lay each tile right.

Bathroom floor tiles: 30 x 30 is safer

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Grout lines are your friends when it comes to the bathroom to make your floor slip resistant, therefore large tile sizes should be avoided. Also note that any type of flooring is going to be slippery when it comes into contact with water. Eschewing the typical HDB supplied 30 x 30 cm bathroom tiles, you can opt for up to the 30 x 60 cm varieties. Anything more is not recommended. Smaller tile sizes will also make it easier for your contractor to level a slope to the floor drain.

Sinks & Faucets: The perfect permutation

Consider the usage of your wash area before selecting your faucet and sink. For example, will you be using the area to brush your teeth or to fill a large pot of water? For the former, you’ll prefer a lower faucet spout to bathroom sink height so that it will create less splash, i.e. a lower faucet height in a deeper basin. For the latter, you’ll prefer a higher faucet height coupled with an undermount basin for a larger range of motions without bumping into the handles. If you have an overhanging cabinet with a standard bathroom countertop height of about 80cm, you’ll have a smaller range of faucets to select from.


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