One of the things that makes people anxious about made-to-measure furniture is the need to measure-up. We totally understand these worries. So here are some tips to make you feel more confident.

1. If you are fitting Jali furniture into a space such as an alcove, your measurements need to be accurate to ensure a good fit. So you may find it easier to use millimetres rather than inches. It may seem a bit weird at first, as it did to several of us when we first started working at Jali, but it’s our preferred way of measuring now.

2. If you use inches to measure the width or depth of your space, you may end up with something ending with, say, 8/16ths or 13/16ths of an inch. As the Jali computer-controlled cutting system works in millimetres, it has to translate inches, including those pesky 16ths, into mm. And as a 1/16th of an inch is bigger than a millimetre, total accuracy is impossible, and you’re much better off working in mm.

3. So it makes sense to use mm to begin with, and as our brilliant (and, unlike me, highly numerate) designer Jim says, you’ve only got whole numbers to deal with, and no fractions. Hooray! Even if you use centimetres, you may end up with a point-something, such as 227.6cm, and I prefer not to have anything that reminds me of school maths lessons messing up my head while I’m trying to finalise my design, thank you very much.

Jali made to measure dresser

4. On the other hand, although it’s made-to-measure, our freestanding furniture, such as the dresser above, doesn’t have to be an exact size – it’s entirely up to you to decide what you need and what will looks good in your home. So if you’re more comfortable measuring in ins or cms, that’s fine. As I said, the online Jali Designer uses millimetres by default, but you can easily change this to inches or centimetres. Just use the drop-down menu under “Measurements” on the bottom-left of the Jali Designer screen to change the settings.

5. Get yourself a decent tape measure. I bought myself a big, shiny new one with clear markings and a really good lock that doesn’t suddenly spring back and trap my fingers. It wasn’t the cheapest in the store, but I love it and it’s made a huge difference to my confidence – and accuracy.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get measuring!