Fundamentals of Style: Scale

Design Studio

Whether you're ready to add your style to a new home or just looking to refresh the look and feel of your current home, our design team is here to help. We've developed five fundamentals of style to use as guideposts for any design project. In this post, we'll focus on scale and how to vary the size of certain design elements to achieve a dynamic look.

Scale refers to the size of a certain element and how it compares to other objects in the room or to the room itself. Experimenting with scale can emphasize visual impact and interest whether you’re using same-size objects or juxtaposing sizes. Ready to incorporate scale into your room design? Here's a few tips.

Design the room around your most important piece of furniture.

Decide which piece of furniture you want to be at the center of your room's them and design around it. In the dining room this might be a large dining table, or a sofa in the living room. With this important piece of furniture in place, you're ready to work on the rest of the room.

Ensure all furniture is to scale.

When it comes to the scale of individual pieces of furniture, it's all relative. Accompanying pieces of furniture should scale to larger, more substantial items. For example, an oversize coffee table will complement a large sectional or sofa while offsetting a small art display, but a small sofa and large coffee table grouped together might look out of balance.

Leave room for negative space.

To avoid a "cluttered" or "busy" looking room, allow for some open space. And when hanging art, allow plenty of space around the frame, rather than covering up every square inch of wall space.

Incorporate rugs in the room.

Scale also comes into play with rugs. A rug that's proportionally scaled to a room should fill the majority of the floor, accommodating most of the room's furniture on top, but with enough “breathing room” around the perimeter to keep it from hugging the wall.

Scale design elements to a room's ceiling height.

A room with high ceilings might call for larger, more substantial furniture, while lower ceilings might call for smaller, more modest furniture. Molding also plays a part as high ceilings can allow for thicker crown or chair molding.

Experimenting with the right scale often takes trial and error, but the room will feel more in balance when design elements are properly scaled. Use these five tips to help achieve the proper scale in your room and stay tuned for more fundamentals of style from our design team!