Sheron Cardin's Input...: Decorating Tip #8: The Industry Standard in Measuring

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

Decorating Tip #8: The Industry Standard in Measuring

This doesn't seem like a very exciting tip but it is one of the most important tips I can ever give to budding decorators. There is a standard that is used by everyone in the industry.

When you are measuring anything, you measure the width first and then the height, and then the depth. 


Windows - always measure the width first. You will need to know this when you order custom draperies

In a house...always measure a room clockwise.

For bedrooms you start with the master bedroom and then the next room to the right is bedroom #2, then #3, and so on. 

I have made every mistake in the book and measuring wrong is costly.

Hope this comes in handy for you. I will add more industry standards later.


Comment balloon 15 commentsSheron Cardin • March 16 2007 12:47AM


Thanks, Sheron for posting this tip.  I've got it drilled in my head to measure twice and cut once; but never knew measuring a home clockwise.  Thanks.
Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 12 years ago
When measuring a room clockwise, where's 12 o'clock?  I'm assuming it's the wall you're facing when you enter the room?
Posted by Judy Heinrich (Judy Heinrich Home Staging) over 12 years ago
When you enter a room, you start with the first window on the left.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

Hi Sheron - Thanks for the useful tip.

Posted by Maureen Graziano (Third Eye Home Staging) over 12 years ago

Great tip Sheron! Keep them coming.

I've never heard of measure the room clock-wise but it makes sense.

Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) over 12 years ago

Well this is a post that certainly "measures up". I love your suggestion as a way to remember what you are measuring. I try to do the same thing when I photograph a room. I start to my left and go counterclockwise but I think I try your method instead. But then I am usually backwards from the normal way of doing things.

Additional Historical Note: Memory, as we know it today, was an unusual skill to have up until the high middle ages. Usually story tellers and bards were those who possessed this skill and, of course, most people did not read or write-that was left to the priest class. Anyway, when people first got the idea to use devices to aid memory it was by projecting some physical space- the four directions, the zodiac, etc. or some other well known figure into their imagination. Then they would associated  each item with a particular part of the projected figure and in that way aid their memory. So if you needed to remember four items, you would associate each one with one of the directions.

from James Frazier's little known and useless facts department.

Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) over 12 years ago

James...someone suggested you start a group called the Rockford Files...I second that emotion...! I will never remember your ditties but I surely enjoy reading them.

As far as measuring goes...installers will come out and measure the same way...workrooms will make your draperies according to YOUR specifications and the whole industry of window coverings follow the same procedure  

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
Sheron, your blogs always measure up. And don't Argue with me young lady.
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) over 12 years ago
Sheron, you know i think you are the bomb!
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 12 years ago

Sue - thank you for the YOUNG part...I'll take it!

Marci - what are you doing sitting at your computer in the middle of the get back out there and beautify the world!!! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago

Sheron, this  will help me out because today when I was at a client's home I lost track of where I took my last photo, I took some extras because I wanted to make sure, thanks.


Posted by Joni Van Deventer, RoomByRoomRedesign (RoomByRoomRedesign) over 12 years ago
I know a lot of redesigners that do the same thing in a room. They start with the focal wall and move clockwise - that way they don't have 4 half done walls and nothing that is complete. My friend Mary Trochill Larsen says that it is better when redesigning to have 3 finished walls and a blank wall then to have 4 unfinished ones. The blank wall can be explained - the unfinished ones look.....unfinished!
Posted by Teri B. Clark ( over 12 years ago
Teri, I believe focal walls can be left up to interpretation. I don't really know what you are talking about otherwise. Installers and professionals always start with the immediate left in any room.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago
Hi Sheron!  So helpful are you... great tip!
Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 12 years ago
I know this wasn't a very exciting tip but it is an important one that many of you know already. But for those of you that don't, it will save you thousands of dollars over time. Thanks for stopping by Diane...
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 12 years ago