Back to Basics III – Scale and Proportion

We’ve covered the Elements of Design in the last two posts, now let’s look at some of the Principles. Today we’ll look at Scale & Proportion.

Scale and Proportion

Scale is the actual size of an object, pattern,or space. Scale and proportion go hand in hand.  Proportion is the apparent size of an object in relation to other objects. A large object may appear small next to other larger objects.  Likewise a small object may appear large in a small space.

In our most recent “Rustic Contemporary” space, created by Linda, notice how the cocktail table and chairs are the perfect proportion for the sectional.  Large overstuffed chairs would have made the sectional appear small and insignificant.



Notice how the length of the cocktail table is the  perfect scale  to the width of the quilted leather sofa and the width of the cocktail table is  the perfect scale  to the width of the chair.  A square cocktail table just wouldn’t have been right!

CEF Quilted

Sometimes its fun to break the rules and use an object that is totally out of propotion to the space its in.  We are more likely to see examples of this in individual objects but let’s what we can find.

Wow – that is one big flower!!!!


The proportion of these water hyacinth chairs is exaggerated to create a comfy enclosed seating arrangement.  You don’t generally see arms this high – almost as tall as your head!  If you are little you can hide in these chairs.Water Hyacynth

Now that is one oversized light fixture!  It is so playful it really really works!

Light Fixture

Love the big lamp in the corner but the tub in this bathroom feels out of proportion to the vanities and lamp.


Several years ago I was in New York and they were installing these lamp shades in a hotel lobby – now that’s ONE BIG SHADE.


We are going to take a look at balance next but in the meantime take a look around your house.  Are your furnishings to in proportion to the rooms?  Can you exaggerate the scale of something to create to create that “WOW” factor or introduce an element of surprise?  Send me your pictures



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