This month, I wanted to share a few basic design tips for the DIY-ers out there.

These are the top questions I am asked when making updates in the home and typically this is what creates disagreements between spouses, you can thank me later for keeping the peace!

Ideal height to hang a chandelier = 66”

Measure from the bottom of the fixture to the floor. This should leave enough room for a centerpiece and allow for an unobstructed view and plenty of light. There should be about 30” from the top of your table to the bottom of the fixture on a standard height table, bar tops will need to be figured 30” from the top of the table to the bottom of the fixture.

Ideal height to hang a pendant light = 30-36”

Measure from the top of the counter to the bottom of the pendant light.

Tip: Most pendants have rods that you can mix and match to get the proper length needed.

Optimal height to hang art and mirrors = 60”

Measure from the floor to the center of the item for an eye-level view. I laugh when the wife and husband asked which eye-level? Now you know!

Best Distance between pictures on a gallery wall = 2”

When making a gallery wall, it is suggested to horizontally and vertically space the grouping 2” apart from one another. It will look cohesive but not cluttered.

Tip: For a no fail gallery wall, lay out your pieces the way you would like them to be hung. Trace them on butcher paper/brown paper; cut each piece out, mark the placement of the hooks or wire on the paper and stick to the wall with painters tape to perfect the placement before nailing into your wall. 

Best distance between and area rug and a wall = 12-18”

When determining the size of a rug, you’ll want to anchor the room. I suggest finding your boundaries, wall, fireplace, etc. backing off the suggested 12-18” and then measure around the space to anchor the pieces of furniture. I have found putting blue tape on the floor can help you visualize placement and size. I suggest that you put 12-18” under each piece unless it is a table; you’ll need approximately 24” larger than your table for your chairs to be pulled out and still be on the carpet. Don’t forget the rug pad!

Best distance between a bed and nightstand = 2”

You need little space between each piece and you want the ability to reach a glass of water, your phone or the alarm clock without having to climb out of bed.

Let’s continue with a few window covering tips and questions.

Are silk fabrics in or out?

Silk fabrics were usually reserved for the more formal places in our homes; dining, living and sitting rooms.  Our society is becoming more relaxed and using these spaces in other ways and even opting not to include them in their floor plans.  The trend is towards more linen and linen-like fabrics.

Talking about linen and wrinkling and relaxing.

I truly love the look of linen but let’s be honest if comes with some baggage. 100% linen wrinkles the same way your clothes do! Some people call it charm, others can’t see past the wrinkles. I also have watched linen panels grow in a home…it happened to mine. They grew over 2” longer than what they were installed as. If you are on the linen bandwagon, opt for a linen blend. There are many great options out there with textures, weaves, and embroideries even metallic threads. With linen and silk, I always suggest adding an interlining to give it body and fullness. You’ll see many ready-made panels that are just lined…me, I prefer a little more weight to my panels but it all comes down to personal preference.


If you have questions that I didn’t answer feel free to shoot me an email and I research, reply and post your question and answer next month.


Jennifer Smith is a wife, three boy mom, owner of JLS Designs and a school volunteer that doesn’t know the word NO. When not working or volunteering, she loves watching her boys play football at Independence. Fall is a busy time in her house with trips to watch the Titans, the Vols and the Preds. She is seriously looking forward to daughters in law…just not anytime soon!  Jennifer has always had a passion for fashion and decor, when doing what you love, it makes owning a business fun and not be considered a job. instagram @jlsdesignstn