Hey all! Three super important tips today if you’re planning any spaces with a table & chairs — your kitchen eating area, dining room, a game corner, or your home office desk/chair combo.
First off! Can you tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
There’s nothing wrong with the furniture itself, per se. The table and chairs — independently — look quite lovely. I’m looking at this spot.
1. When High is TOO High
This is one of the problems that homeowners of prior generations — back when most people walked into a furniture store in person to furnish their homes — didn’t face, because they could TEST things. But now that we buy almost everything online, we can’t verify through experience that everything will fit like we think it will. We have to rely on information.
And while, sometimes, we may forget to look for it, sometimes the information isn’t even available!
A dining table is usually 30″ high. So, when figuring for clearance for arm height on a chair, you need to factor in the thickness of the table and the depth of the apron, if there is one.
Now this above chair does provide pretty good measurements.
But, I won’t kid you. 27.4″ is pretty high for an arm. That only allows the table top to be up to 1.25″ thick for clearance. I couldn’t find the exact table, but even if I did, you almost never see a measurement for how thick the table top is.
That’s also a pretty high seat at 20.7″. Granted, an upholstered seat will compress, but keep the height of the seat in mind further on in this post.
Anywho! Back to table thickness. Unless I could VERIFY that the table top was only 1″ thick, I’d probably pass on this combination.
The table in the above example doesn’t even have an apron.
2. Table Aprons — Nothing to Do With Neatness
Sometimes called a “skirt,” a table apron is employed on many table styles. It can range from 1.5″-4″ in depth and provides both structural support in itself as well as hides other, more unsightly structural elements like corner blocking or mechanical elements like extension mechanisms and self-storing leaves.
Here is an example of a dubious arm chair/table apron situation.
Now, it could just be the camera angle that makes it look as though the arms will run into the table apron.
The table top is 1.5″ thick according to the website. So, the apron couldn’t be more than 2.75″ in order to give the arm chair .5″ to slide under. But the apron height isn’t available.
So, in this situation, I would call up customer service and ask for more details. Sometimes they don’t have it, but sometimes they do. If you can’t find the information, you can do one of 3 things:
- Order the combo anyway and leave it to chance.
- Don’t use arm chairs on the ends of your table.
- Keep the arm chairs and switch to a table without an apron.
3. Making Space for Your Legs
When a table has an apron, you need to be doubly careful.
- Make sure you have room for any chair arms, as we discussed above.
- Make sure you have room for your legs!!!
The seat height for chairs varies between 17″-20″. If your seat is upholstered, like in our first example, it will probably compact a bit, taking that 20.7″ down and inch or two, depending upon the “give.”
However, it could also be hard as a rock with no “give” at all. No telling, unless you’ve actually been able to sit in it … which is difficult to do nowadays, like we said!
You should figure on about 7″ clearance between the bottom of your table and the top of your chair seat. So if you have a seat with a 20″ crown, you probably don’t want a table that is 1.5″ thick and a 4″ apron — you’ll only have 4.5″ of clearance for your legs.
Now, that upholstered chair seat might compress 2″, and then you’d basically be fine. But it might be worth a call (or a visit, if one is nearby) to Pottery Barn to check!
Do you HAVE to follow these tips? NO!
“Rules” are made to be broken, and I’ve decided not to follow the above tips here and there for purposes of my own. For example, the bench seat in my kitchen has less than 7″ of space below the apron. (Oh, the HORROR!) J.K. The upholstered cushion does compress a couple of inches, and no one in my family has very big legs anyway, so it’s all cool.
All I want you to take away from these tips are some general best practices, so that if you choose to do something different, you’ve done so WITH INTENTION.
These tips are just a *few* of many in my new 23-page “Space Planning for Decorating Success!” Guide.
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Any questions about today’s topic? Any questions about Home Glow’s Space Planning Guide? The Home Glow Method???? I’m all ears!
As I write this, it’s already Saturday. Actually, it’s been Saturday for a couple of hours. It’s been very busy, but a good busy. A looking-forward-as-well-as-enjoying-the-present busy. I’m super excited with projects underway, and possibly even more excited for the upcoming Spring 2021 Class of The Method. From the way the wait list looks, I think it’s going to be really great! I can’t wait to interact with all of you in the Facebook Group, show you what I’ve got going on, and help you with your own projects. Summer will be well-earned by all!
Happy Saturday, everyone, and stay healthy!!