In Techniques

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End tables are usually between 24″ and 30″ in height. Often these are matched in height to nearby seating, with the top of the table slightly higher than the arm of an adjacent chair or sofa. Too low and it becomes awkward to reach around the arm of the chair to place or retrieve something from the tabletop. Too high and it begins to feel like you’re putting something in the overhead bin on an airliner.

Tables for hallways or for behind sofas are close to the 30″ standard height of dining tables, but this can vary to be nearer to the height of the back of a sofa or to accommodate some object on the tabletop.

FIG. 4-57   One way to lighten the appearance of a table without sacrificing territory is to alter the corners or the overall shape of the table top.

Desk surfaces are also close to dining table height, but an inch or two lower is often helpful. This encourages and makes sitting upright more comfortable so you can pay attention and get something done. Surfaces for keyboards are lower — 25″ to 26″ is a reasonable working height.

For work surfaces designed for use in a standing position, start with the standard kitchen counter height of 36″ and adjust up or down as needed. This type of surface is best matched to both the task to be performed and the individual user.

FIG. 4-58   Consider other polygons as well as circles and rectangles to create a more interesting design.

FIG. 4-58 Consider other polygons as well as circles and rectangles to create a more interesting design.

In addition to the height of the tabletop above the floor, it is also vital to consider the space immediately below the top. The height of an apron shouldn’t intrude into the knee space available when seated.

– Robert Lang

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Showing 3 comments
  • jeanne888

    Thanks so much, NickT66! I guess I need new glasses….

  • jeanne888

    Thanks for this very helpful article. Is there a way to save all three pages as one article to my computer (I have a Mac), or must I save it as three parts? Is there a “printer friendly” option I haven’t noticed?


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