Bed Design Guidelines 1. A lower bed makes a room look larger than a higher bed and creates a less formal appearance. 2. Most beds are designed so that the top of the mattress is 16" to 24" from the floor. 3. For maximum comfort, the bed should be 6" to 8" longer than the height of the person that will be using it. 4. To provide clearance for bed covers, allow 1" extra length and 1/2" to 1" extra width for the bedframe. 5. Mattress and boxspring dimensions often differ from the "standards" so measure them before designing the bedframe. 6. The top of the headboard should be at least a foot above the top of the mattress. If a footboard is planned, aesthetics are enhanced by making it shorter than the headboard. 7. Most beds are designed with knock-down joinery to simplify moving and storage. 8. Make allowances for wood movement if using solid wood for the headboard. One approach is to oversize the mortises in the bed posts where the tenons on the headboard attach. Another approach is to cut a double mortise/tenon and allow one tenon to float by not gluing it in place. 9. Most headboards, footboards, and sideboards are made from 4/4 or 5/4 material. The use of thicker material is generally not necessary. 10. Give consideration to a platform bed rather than a conventional bed with a boxspring. This approach can save money, enable the use of narrower stock for the sideboards, and provide greater clearance under the bed (boxsprings are often set close to the floor to put the mattress at a suitable height).

Adult Bed Specifications Height to top of mattress Best mattress height for sitting Best mattress height for changing sheets Acceptable toe room for platform beds Bunk Bed Specifications

16"-24" 17"-18" 24" 6"-8""

Overall height Height to top of lower mattress Height to top of upper mattress from top of lower mattress Crib Specifications Mattress height adjustment Spacing between slats Height-floor to top of crib Cradle Specifications Width x Height Height (top) Height (swing type) Bedroom Storage Specifications Hanging space for long coats and dresses Hanging space for jackets and shirts Clothing storage unit depth Drawer depth (shirts sweaters towels) 60"-87" 16"-24" 30"-45" 31" to 39" 2-1/4" 48" 22" x 36" 22" average 40" average 58"-64" 32"-36" 24" 16"-20" Standard Dimensions of Adult Mattresses Mattress Bunk Single Twin Double Queen King Width 30". 80" 80". 80". 84" 80". 33" 36" 39" 54" 60" 76" Length 75" 75" 75". 84" 75". 84" Standard Dimensions of Juvenile Mattresses Mattress Bassinet Bassinet Junior crib Junior crib 6-year crib 6-year crib Width 18" 22-1/4" 23" 25-1/4" 27" 31-1/4" Length 36" 38-3/4" 46" 50-3/4" 51" 56-3/4" .

situate each to form a triangle with a perimeter less than 18 feet. stove.Youth bed Youth bed 33" 36" 66" 76" Standard Thicknesses of Mattresses and Boxsprings Type Inner spring Foam Boxspring Futon Thickness 5-1/2" to 6-1/2" 4" to 7-1/2" 5-1/2" to 9" 3" to 6" Standard Dimensions of Bedroom Furniture Item Dresser (bureau) Chest of drawers Double dresser Night table Blanket chest Lingerie chest Height 29"-37" 42"-56" 26"-34" 16"-25" 16"-20" 50"-54" Width 36"-48" 32"-40" 60"-72" 18"-28' 32"-54" 22"-24" Depth 18"-24" 18"-22" 18"-22" 16"-22" 14"-22" 16"-18" Kitchen Cabinets Kitchen Cabinet Design and Layout Tips 1. position the sink under a window with a light above it. To minimize wasted motion. and refrigerator. The oven and refrigerator should not be adjacent. 3. The dishwasher should be located nearby the sink and if possible. The number of doors for each cabinet is based on the door width not exceeding its . 2. The three most used elements of a kitchen are the sink.

use 2 doors. 7. Provide a corridor width or passing space of no less than 36". 6. 36" is optimal. 4. 24" to left 8. Allow 18" of counter space on door-opening side of the refrigerator. Use false drawer fronts where drawers not possible (e. Allow 30" of counterspace to right of sink. Allow 18" of counter space on either side of the range or microwave.. under sink) for a consistent look. 5.g. Standard Dimensions of Wall Cabinets Depth (25" deep countertop) Depth (30" deep countertop) Height with full soffit Height with no soffit Height of cabinet above countertop Height of cabinet above stove top Height of highest shelf Width 12-1/4" 15" 30" 42" 18" 24" 60"-68" to match base cabinet Standard Dimensions of Base Cabinets Cabinet depth Countertop depth (1" overlap) Height from floor to countertop Splashboard height Kickspace height Kickspace depth Depth of drawer above cabinet doors 24" 25" 36" 4" 4" 3" 4" . 9. For cabinets between 2 to 4 feet wide. Maximum height of a shelf above a countertop is 42" for an average sized adult.height.

fall within the ranges given below.Standard Dimensions of Counters Countertop height Counter length per person Depth (one-sided seating) Depth (two-sided seating) For the physically challenged: Countertop height Under counter access width Under counter access height 36" 21" 15" 30" min 31" 30" 29-1/2" Standard Dimensions of Kitchen Appliances The dimensions of most appliances used for residential purposes in the U.3" 33-35 13-18" 35-36" 61-68" 23-24" 5-8" 55-69" 33-35" 23-25" 39-50" 38-40" Width 12-48" 23-24" 21-23" 19-40" 30-40" 23-24" 24-72" 24-36" 12-15" 21-24" 21-24" 21-24" Depth 18-22" 23-26" 14-22" 24-26" 25-28" 22-25" 12-72" 26-33" 18-24" 21-23" 21-23" 21-23" Chairs Chair Design Guidelines . In general. obtain actual measurements before starting cabinet construction. drop-in Range hood Refrigerator Trash Compactor Wall oven. double Wall oven with broiler Height 2. major appliances are designed to fit beneath a 24 inch wide countertop. single Wall oven.S. Although these dimensions are useful for planning purposes. w/ upper oven Range. floor model Range. Appliance Cooktop Dishwasher Microwave Range.

As the chair back angle increases. the seat should slant slightly toward the back (about 5° to 8°) to keep the occupant from slipping out of the chair. A seat that is too shallow may be unstable and feel precarious. However. The seat back should support the lumbar region without being so high as to interfere with the shoulder blades. 6. the seat should be tilted further backward to prevent forward sliding and lowered to prevent the front edge of the seat from pressing against the back of the legs. For relaxed seating. The back of the chair is often slanted backwards for comfort . A seat that is too deep will press against the back of the legs forcing the occupant to slouch forward. The depth of the seat should allow clearance from the front edge of the seat to the back of the occupant's leg. 7. The lower portion of the seat back (first 4"-8") should curve out or be left open to allow room for the buttocks. Note that this guideline is often ignored for formal "high-backed" dining chairs. an office desk or typist's chair often has a flat seat to facilitate leaning forward. Half armrests enable the chair to be drawn up close to a table. A back height of about 12" to 16" above the seat is ideal for most adults. 4. Seat width Seat depth Seat height from floor Slope of seat front to rear Armrest height above seat Armrest length (full armrest) Armrest width 16"-20" 15"-18" 16"-18" 5° to 8° (3/4" to 1" drop) 7"-9" 8" minimum 2" average . 3. Chair Dimensions For Average-Sized Adults The following dimensions apply to chairs designed for average-sized adults sitting in an upright or alert posture. 2. Many chairs have seats that are about 15" wide in the rear and 18" wide in the front. The feet should rest flat on the floor without the knees projecting above the upper leg.1.up to 5° for a dining chair and 10° to 15° for a more casual chair. 5. A seat depth of 15 to 18 inches is recommended for most adults. The width of the seat often tapers by 2" to 3" from the front to the rear to allow clearance for legs and clothes in front while allowing elbow room in back. The occupant should be able to sit in and get up from the chair without difficulty. Armrests should support the forearms without raising the shoulders (7" to 9" above seat). A seat height of 16 to 18 inches fits the bill for most adults.

For maximum comfort. a backrest height of 9 to 11 inches. they should be 7" to 9" above the seat but able to fit under the table apron. .about 14" to 16". Armrests are recommended for easy in/out and they average 5" to 8" in height and 2" to 4" in width. reclining position than a dining chair . Other chair dimensions can be derived proportionately based on the chair dimensions for adults. The seat is angled backwards about 10 degrees with a seat to back angle of 95 to 120 degrees. seat width averages about 15-1/2" in back and 18" in front. The seat back is reclined no more than 5 degrees and ranges in height from 12" to 20" above the seat (or higher in very formal chairs). and average seat depth is 16" to 16-1/2".seat height is lower (about 16") with allowance made for compression of seat cushion.Set back of armrest from front Seat back height Seat back recline angle 2"-3" 12"-16" above seat 0°-5° (formal). the seat back should be no more than 14" to 16" above the seat. For most elementary school age children. Child's Age (Years) 1 to 4 5 to 7 8 to 10 11 to 13 Seat Height 10"-12" 12"-14" 13"-17" 15"-18" Specifications for Different Types of Seats (Listed dimensions are based on average-sized adults). Dining Chair: The seat height averages 16" to 17". a seat width and depth of 12 to 14 inches. If armrests are used. The seat is usually level or has a maximum front to back slope of about 1". 10°-15° (casual) Chair Dimensions for Children The following table presents seat heights for children of various ages. The average width between armrests at the front of the chair is approximately 19". Desk Chair: Most specifications for a dining chair apply here except that the seat back often protrudes no higher than the middle of the back . Easy Chair: Should provide a more relaxed. and an armrest height of 5 to 7 inches are good starting points.

Do not join softwood to softwood.. Rocker: In a stationary position. Bar Stool: In general. For longer spindles. Back: Use hard woods such as maple. Upholstered seats generally slope 1" from front to back. the seat of a bar stool should be 12" to 15" below the top surface of the bar. abrasions. select woods such as white oak or ash that can be steam-bent without fracturing. a seat height of 28" to 30" is standard. The seat back typically rises 15" to 18" above the seat and is usually angled backwards at up to 25 degrees. Legs: The legs of a chair are subject to extreme stresses and abrasive forces. For a 30" high bar (most tables). The seat width ranges from 15" to 18" and the seat depth ranges from 12" to 16" (16" to 17" diameter if the seat is round). so consider white oak or hickory.g. For bent chair parts. and other stresses will occur. plus 4" to 6" for each armrest. The runners commonly have a horizontal extension of about 30" with a curvature radius of 36" to 38". Select a wood such as hard maple that is hard. Stretchers: Abrasion resistance is less of an issue but a hard wood such as maple is recommended. Bending strength may be important (e. . spindles). The seat height in front should be no higher than 16" to 17".24" per person. Wood Selection for Chairs • • • • • • • • Use hardwoods for pieces where shocks. oak or ash for spindles.Sofa/Loveseat: Seat depth ranges from 18" to 22" and seat height ranges from 14" to 18" (16" average). resists impression. A rung 20" below the seat provides a comfortable resting spot for the occupant's feet. The seat back is higher than most chairs .g.. the seat back should tilt back approximately 25 degrees from the vertical with a seat to seat back angle of about 95 degrees.hickory is ideal. The seat back is typically 10" to 14" above the seat. Armrests generally protrude 4" to 8" above seat. Softwoods in thicker dimensions may be used for arms and rails.about 40" above the floor. but soft woods such as pine or poplar are much easier to sculpt if you are intending to use hand tools (early craftsmen typically chose soft woods for this reason). and does not splinter. The overall width of a loveseat is about 56" to 60" . a seat height of 22" to 24" is standard. Standard seat widths and depths are 18" to 22" and 16" to 18" respectively. feet placed on the stretcher). Use softwoods in larger thicknesses to enable greater penetration of hardwood pieces (e. select a resilient wood that allows for movement . Seat: Many woods will suffice. A full-size sofa measures about 90" in overall width. For a normal bar that is 40" to 45" high. but never higher than 30".

and 12 to 15 inches deep. . For aesthetics. and personal effects. The knee space under the desk should be 20 to 26 inches high. Provide for adjustability and modularity in the design. paper clips. etc. disk drives. Computer Furniture 1. 7. no less than 20 to 24 inches wide. flat table although a more functional design provides three separate levels: one for the monitor. Drawers behind the knee space or to the side of it are commonly 4 to 10 inches deep. and one for a regular writing surface. File drawers should be 10 inches deep.) in relation to each other and to the computer operator. one for the keyboard.Desks Desk Design Guidelines 1. 4. A 28 to 30 inch high work surface is optimal for writing and general purpose desk use (same as a dining table). A 24 to 28 inch high work surface is recommended if the desk will be used for typing. The key design criteria in computer furniture is flexibility since it must provide for the proper placement of the various computer components (cpu. 2. Lower drawers are used for larger items such as paper and are usually as long as the desk is deep. Upper drawers are typically used to store small items such as pens. A drawer over the knee space can usually be no more than 4 inches deep because of limiting space between the work surface and the person's knees. stamps. 3. monitor. A standing desk (versus a lap desk) is normally 30 to 60 inches wide and 20 to 30 inches deep. 6. printer. Lower drawers should be at least 12" wide in order to hold a standard piece of paper (letter size) lengthwise. A conventional office desk is often about 60 inches wide and 30 inches deep. Drawers installed below the work surface are generally larger than those above it. 5. A workstation may be just a single. keyboard. deeper drawers should be placed toward the bottom of the desk and shallower drawers toward the top. The width should be 12 inches for letter files and 15 inches for legal files (add 1/2" to width if hanger frames to be used).

For maximum flexibility. Many people prefer a printer stand that is lower than the work surface. Provide a flat area next to the keyboard and at the same height to accommodate a computer mouse. with the keyboard resting on an adjustable shelf. The work surface should be between 20 and 30 inches deep and at least 24 inches wide.6" 28"-30" 28"-30" 28"-30" 28"-30" 28"-30" 24"-28" 28"-30" Width 24"-30" 24"-60" 20"-24" 48"-72" 48"-72" 36"-42" 36"-42" 30"-48" 36"-42" 36"-40" Depth 18"-20" 20"-30" 12"-18" 24"-30" 24"-30" 18"-24" 18"-24" 20"-30" 16"-24" 20"-24" . about 28 to 30 inches. With fingers resting on the keyboard. Standard Dimensions of Desks Desk Type Children's desk Computer desk Lap desk Pedestal desk Rolltop desk Secretary Slant-front desk Table desk Typing table Writing table Height 20"-22" 24"-28" 4". Seat height should be adjustable from 16 to 20 inches. The line of sight angle from the keyboard to the top of the monitor should not exceed 60 degrees with the top of the monitor at or below eye level. In general.2. about 18 to 24 inches. the monitor should be placed closer to the keyboard. 3. For those accustomed to using a typewriter. 7. the more comfortable typing will be. Provide ample access holes for wires and heat dissipation. 6. The keyboard height should be adjustable from 24 to 28 inches. 4. to enable easy access to the printer controls and paper. the angle between the upper arm and forearm should be 70 to 135 degrees. the height should be that of a conventional writing desk. the closer the keyboard is to the lap. 5. Most people find that 90 to 100 degrees is most comfortable.

For ease of shelf access. Shelf width or span is determined both by aesthetics and sag considerations. 2. corner blocks. In choosing a shelving material. A well built shelf unit will exhibit minimal side-to-side racking. Shelf spacing will generally range from 7 to 15 inches with 8 to 12 inches being common for bookshelves. The highest shelf in a bookcase should be as high as an average-sized person can comfortably reach . Particleboard will creep more than other materials so that an unsightly sag could develop if an excessive shelf span is used. For most shelves made from 3/4 inch stock.about 72 to 78 inches. Solid wood is stiffer than plywood which is stiffer than particleboard. If the shelves will be accessed from a sitting position. and support cleats on the top and bottom of the unit. 4. One of the most effective means of preventing racking is to add a 1/4 inch plywood back that is rabbeted and tacked to the shelves. Shelf Material Maximum No-Sag Span . A fully loaded bookshelf carries a load of 20 to 25 pounds per running foot. Other methods include a diagonal back brace. 3. Small bookcases are usually 30 to 42 inches high. use a smaller shelf spacing near the top and a larger one near the bottom. To prevent the case from looking and being top-heavy. The eye will notice a deflection of 1/32 inch per running foot so that a fully loaded (70-80 pounds) bookshelf that is 3 feet wide. The lowest shelf should be 3 to 4 inches from the floor level. should sag no more than 3/32 inches. a practical span is 30 to 36 inches. 6. Shelf depth for a general purpose bookshelf is usually 10 to 12 inches. Maximum No-Sag Spans for Various Shelf Materials The following table depicts the maximum spans for 10 inch wide shelves supporting 20 pounds per square foot (typical loading for a bookshelf) without noticeable sagging. 5. factor in each material's stiffness and susceptibility to creep. the highest shelf should be no more than 60 inches above the floor. bookcases are generally no higher than 84 inches. Shelf depth is determined by the size of the items to be stored. generally within the range of 6 to 24 inches.Shelves Shelf Design Guidelines 1.

12 .24 1.49 1.3/8" Glass 3/4" Particleboard 3/4" Plywood 3/4" Plywood w/ one 1-1/2" wide support cleat 3/4" Plywood w/ two 1-1/2" wide support cleats 3/4" Yellow pine 1" Yellow pine 1-1/2" Yellow pine 3/4" Red oak 1" Red oak 1-1/2" Red oak 18" 26" 32" 42" 48" 36" 48" 64" 44" 52" 78" Stiffness Ratings for Various Wood Species Here are stiffness ratings for several woods commonly used for shelves. ranked in order of decreasing stiffness.78 1.83 1. Wood Species Yellow Birch Douglas Fir Hard Maple (Sugar) White Oak White Ash Shortleaf Pine Black Walnut Yellow Poplar Black Cherry Red Oak White Fir Ponderosa Pine White Pine Western Red Cedar Modulus of Elasticity (E) 2.68 1. Shelf stiffness is measured by the modulus of elasticity (E).01 1.77 1. and the less it will sag.38 1.49 1.76 1. the stiffer the material.58 1.26 1. The higher the E value.95 1.

78" 8" . Shelf Space Requirements for Various Items Shelf Storage Item Compact discs Stereo equipment Children's books Small paperbacks General reading Video cassettes Slide trays Magazines Photo albums Record albums Linens.48" 7" .15" . 5.24" 24" .Techniques for Increasing Shelf Stiffness 1. Use thicker material. 2. Employ torsion box construction for the shelves. Shorten the shelf span or use vertical support pieces. Change the shelving material. Screw case back to back edge of shelves. Attach a 1 to 2 inch wide cleat to the front or back of the shelf. 4. 6.clothes Large hardcover Shelf Spacing 6" 7" 8" 8" 10" 10" 10" 12" 13" 13" 14" 15" Shelf Depth 7" 18" 8" 8" 10" 7" 10" 12" 12" 14" 18" 12" Standard Dimensions of Bookcases and Shelves Standing Bookcase Height: Highest shelf: Depth: Width: Minimum shelf spacing: Maximum shelf spacing: Hanging shelves 30" .84" 72" .8" 13" . 3.

Most tables designed for writing or dining should be 28" to 30" high (29" is common) with chair seats 11" to 13" lower.54" 6" .42" 36" . close tolerances required Fairly strong. ok for utility shelving Tables Table Design Guidelines 1. unattractive. minimal racking resistance Fairly strong. additional work to notch shelves Strongest joint. must cover exposed ends Fairly strong. quarter rounds Dado Stopped dado Sliding dovetail Dowels Biscuits Metal brackets Simple. relatively simple.16" 24" . good racking resistance. the more uncomfortable and formal the table feels.36" 36" . unattractive.36" 72" . In figuring seating capacity. minimal racking resistance Simple. keep in mind that round tables blend in easier with other furniture and also allow easy movement around them. allow at least . In choosing between a round or rectangular (including square) table. shelf height reduced on ends Fairly strong.Height of unit: Height of base above floor: Depth: Width: Stepback Cabinet Height of unit: Height of base cabinet: Height of shelves above base: Base cabinet depth: Shelf depth: Width: 30" .54" 15" . clean. clean minimal racking resistance Simple.25" 10" . Provide about 24" of leg room below the table (height from floor to bottom of table rail) and at least 12" for knee clearance (projection of table top beyond table leg). not exposed. clean precise alignment. 2.13" 36" . simple.48" Methods of Attaching Fixed Shelves Butt joint Cleats. The higher the tabletop.84" 30" .

7. if a lamp is to be placed on the end table. Standard Dimensions of Tables Type of Table Card Coffee. Coffee tables are generally 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the sofa and about the same height as the sofa seat. round Drafting Drum End Hallway/entry Library Night Sewing Sofa Workbench Writing Height 26"-30" 15"-17" 15"-17" 28" 28"-30" 28"-30" 32"-44" 30" 18"-24" 34"-36" 28"-30" 16"-25" 26" 26"-27" 32" 28"-30" Length 30"-36" 36"-42" diam 36"-60" 48"-54" 60"-80" 40" min diam 31"-72" 36" dia 24"-28" 36"-72" 60"-84" 18"-28" Any 60" Any 36"-40" Width/Depth 30"-36" 36"-42" diam 18"-24" 16"-18" 36"-42" 40" min diam 23"-44" 36" dia 18"-20" 16"-20" 24"-36" 16"-22" 17" min 14"-17" 26" 20"-24" . the bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when seated. 6. Bedside tables should not be more than six inches above the height of the bed. They are usually 2/3 the length of the sofa and about the same height as the back of the sofa. Additional guidelines exist for desks and tables designed for use as computer workstations. rectangular Console Dining. rectangular Dining. Sofa tables are designed to conceal the back side of a sofa that is not against a wall. 5. round Coffee.24" of elbow room width per person and 12" to 15" depth from the edge of the table. 3. 4. End tables should be the same height or a few inches shorter than the armrest of the sofa. Also.

No. allow 24" of elbow room width per person. . of People 2 4 6 8 10 (Rectangular) Width 22"-28" 28"-36" 34"-42" 34"-42" 42"-48" (Square) Width 24"-30" 32"-42" 44"-52" 48"-54" 56"-62" (Round) Diameter 22"-28" 32"-42" 46"-54" 56"-72" 72"-84" Length 28"-32" 44"-52" 60"-72" 72"-90" 96"-108" Determining Table Size For square or rectangular dining tables. If 22" of width was allocated per person. allow 26" width per person for a table seating 3 to 6 people and 24" for a table seating 6 or more people. For example. square. the circumference equals 8 times 24 inches width per person (192 inches) and the diameter equals 192/3. of (Rectangular) (Square) (Round) People Width Length Width Diameter No. Subtract 2" for snug seating.Standard Heights of Tables and Seats for Children Child's Age (Years) 1 to 4 5 to 7 8 to 10 11 to 13 Table Height 20"-22" 22"-25" 24"-29" 26"-30" Seat Height 10"-12" 12"-14" 13"-17" 15"-18" Table Seating Specifications Here are the minimum dimensions for rectangular. in designing a table to comfortably seat 8 people using chairs without arm supports. For round tables. The circumference of a round table equals the width per person times the total number of seating spaces and the diameter equals the circumference divided by 3.14. Add 2" to all of the above figures if armchairs will be used.14 or 61 inches. and round tables needed to accommodate the number of people listed in the first column. the resultant table diameter would be about 56" (see table above).

STANDARD HEIGHT OF A DINING TABLE Most tables designed for writing or dining should be 28" to 30" high (29" is common) with chair seats 11" to 13" lower. In figuring seating capacity. Provide about 24" of leg room below the table (height from floor to bottom of table rail) and at least 12" for knee clearance (projection of table top beyond table leg). The higher the tabletop. the more uncomfortable and formal the table feels. . allow at least 24" of elbow room width per person and 12" to 15" depth from the edge of the table.

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