Size Does Matter
A conversation between my husband and I goes something like this: it’s not going to fit, yes it will, no it won’t it’s too big, don’t worry it’s perfect it’ll fit, I’m not going back if it doesn’t fit, I promise it will fit, I think you’re wrong on this one, you can stop talking now. And of course I’m always right because I have an extremely heightened sense of space and I innately know when something will fit. In fact, my aunt used to tell my mother that I was spatially gifted because as a baby I could do the shape sorter in record time. This was the same aunt who gave me a subscription to National Geographic every Christmas (which I hated) not knowing that one day I’d be a total galactic junkie. Obviously a very brilliant woman.
For the rest of you, I beg you to buy at least one serious tape measure and put it somewhere where you can get at it easily. A tape measure is hands down one of the most important tools any homeowner can have and let’s face it, while no one hates having to do math more than me, uh, size DOES matter. The difference between something fitting or a huge-ass marital brawl can come down to a hair.
I share this cautionary tale because I’ve seen this movie too many times. Eager couples running wild in a furniture store with nary a clue on how big their living room is or what size sofa is right for their space. And let’s not even TALK about the importance of measuring the door! Oh the sad stories of having to call the guys who take the sofa apart because it didn’t fit in the door, in the elevator, up the stairwell, around the corner. I’ve also witnessed real heartache and remorse around chandeliers. There’s too big, too small and just right – and there is simply NO way to tell without measuring. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt to buy furniture or décor items without measuring once, twice, three times. It’s suicide. It’s death by increments and you will be sorry.
Here’s the thing. Even with my exceptional talent for gauging size and space, I still carry a tape measure in my purse everywhere I go and have for years. In my work bag I have a laser measurer for measuring rooms, a carpenter’s expandable ruler for when I need to measure height or for showing the position and size of a chandelier, a cloth tape for things like lampshades and pillows and a standard metal retractable for everything else. Without them, I am dead.
So let me attempt to send you out into the world armed and ready for battle. Look at your room, take photographs, draw a picture, measure the walls, the windows, the doorways, the tabletops, etc. and then measure them again. Use graph paper and cut out the furniture (what feels like the right size?) or use painter’s tape and do an outline on the floor. Do anything that helps you to zero in on what works and what doesn’t before you buy and you’ll be doing a happy dance because your shit looks amazing instead of a weep-a-thon at customer service. Take it from me, the girl with no left brain who has to ask her son for help converting fractions to decimals, the tape measure is your BFF. And she won’t leave you for a cute guy. Class dismissed.