For interior designers, the idea of scale is one of the most important guiding principles of great design. Whether having a consistent and appropriate scale throughout a design, or mixing scale up to create something truly unique, when it's done right, you'll know it. Scale is simply the size of an object or design element (e.g., pattern on a fabric or wall covering). Since scale is an intangible aspect of the design, it's important to understand the principles that guide the proper use of scale. Here is how the designers at JBi use scale on a daily basis in designing our clients' homes.
Space and scale go hand in hand. When designing a room, designers often begin with understanding the size and volume of a room. It might be a really large room with high ceilings (overall large volume) or maybe a smaller room with standard ceiling heights. We take into account the way the space feels as direct reflection of number of windows, openings to other rooms, etc. Understanding the volume of a space is important in selecting the appropriately sized furnishings, lighting and accessories to fit the room. Under-scaled furniture in a large room or really large furniture in a small room would both feel awkward. When done right, like the following examples, the room feels just right.
This rooms feels like it all works because all the furniture, art and accessories are in the same scale, and fit perfectly with the room's size.
The larger volume of this room allows for a larger sectional and larger scale pattern on the area rug. Again, the scale of design elements fit the room's scale.
Scale becomes a design element with tweaked. I've always been a firm believer that really good design should stir something in the soul. This is often best accomplished by throwing in something unexpected in the room. When scale comes into play, an oversized light fixture or exaggerated fabric pattern can cause surprise and delight in the viewer, and create a special moment in the room.
The volume of this space (out rather than up) allows for the use of this over-sized ceiling fixture creating an almost architectural feature in the room.
The scale of these pendant lights, end chairs and mirror all play well with one another in this higher-ceiling dining room.
The scale of the art adds an interesting texture in this kitchen space beyond the clean, contemporary surfaces.
This extra large floor lamp adds an almost whimsical and modern touch to this otherwise traditional living room.
All in all, scale, and the way you use scale in any design, can have one of the biggest impacts on the way a room feels. Don't be afraid to play with scale in unexpected ways. You might just surprise yourself and create something that becomes a showcase in your home.