Scale and Proportion…What comes to mind when you think of these 2 things?
If you are in “diet mode” and are using this beautiful Fall weather to get back in shape, you immediately think of “SCALE” to measure your weight, and the PROPORTIONS of your body in your favorite jeans…hmmm. If you are into Design, Proportion is defined as the relationship of one object to another. Our eyes tell us immediately whether things are in or out of proportion and Scale is the size of an object compared with the space in which it is enclosed.
Example: if you are a very short person who’s wearing a very big, loose shirt with padded shoulders, long sleeves and a long hemline, you could see immediately that it is too big and not right for your figure and proportions. The furnishings in a room can also be considered as units, and must be in proportion and scale. Two 10’square pillows would look lost if paired with an 80” long sofa. Or, a lamp with a too small or too big shade will appear lop-sided/non –harmonious, as two objects that don’t belong together. (Sort of like me going to my youngest son’s “Mom’s Fraternity Weekend”…2 of these things don’t usually go together)
Scale means that every piece of furniture in a room should relate in scale to the other pieces. That doesn’t mean they must all be the same size -how boring – but rather, the furnishings should be in scale with the dimensions of a room. Small objects get lost in a large room- and vice versa, a large baby grand piano in a small room takes up too much space.
You can find the right scale by starting with some of the most important elements you want in a room, or by taking into consideration your “givens” ie: a sofa, built-in bookshelves, or that inherited grand piano. Then add or subtract from there. Rules of scale also apply to wall coverings, floor coverings and window treatments. You wouldn’t want to put a very embellished, elaborate formal drapery on a tiny window. Again, your eyes tell you immediately this won’t work. Remember that you can play with scale, up or down. Plain white ceramic tiles, or painting a small room entirely white, can make a space seem larger as does solid colored wall to wall carpeting. Heavily patterned area rugs, however, bring in the walls of a room as do dark wood paneled walls and large, busy wallpaper.