Interior Design 101 - Scale

Principles of Design

Interior Design is a fascinating, exciting profession that allows us to create rich and luxurious environments or comfortable and inviting spaces. Being an Interior Designer is a rewarding career. Interior Design is vital, vibrant and dynamic; it is never static. As the world changes, life changes - design keeps the pace. Anyone with an interest in interior design can apply the "principles of design" to their own living space.

Each week we will post a short lesson to demonstrate how the "principles & elements" of design apply to interior design - like learning a foreign language. If the vocabulary and grammar of a language are mastered, we can adequately express ourselves.

The six "principles" of design are: scale, proportion, balance, rhythmn, emphasis & harmony. These principles are abstract concepts that form the theory that implies that "truly fine interior design incorporates appropriate scale and good proportion, as well as harmony of all the elements achieved through sensitive balance" (K. J. Neilson & D. A. Taylor)

One of the goals of an aesthetically pleasing interior is to select objects that are similar - visual weight - in overall dimensions or mass, pattern, or in other forms. Scale, in residential design, is most appropriate when it complements and easily accommodates the average human form. Scale relates to the size of an object when compared with the space it occupies.

Here are some examples of how scale plays an important role in creating good design:

The large scale of the framed mirror and console are appropriate against the large scaled rock wall. Nothing here looks wimpy or bulky.

Two small drum tables and a small sofa work perfectly in a small room. A single coffee table would probably create some traffic problems in this small space.

The large scaled artwork looks great against the large wall and is scaled appropriately to the large windows. Anything smaller would look awkward. You can also group several smaller framed prints to create one large focal point.

For a dramatic effect, why not use large patterned wallpaper.

The scale of this adorable Ming console from Mitchell Gold will fit nicely in a small entry hall.

A large overstuffed sofa requires an equally large coffee table.

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