It’s The Principle of the Matter: Scale and Proportion

Although there are no absolute rules when creating a design, most spaces are enhanced by adhering to the basic principles of design. We are starting a new blog series on the 5 Principles of Design, and the first one we are examining is Scale & Proportion.


Scale is how the size of an object relates to another object in a space or to the space itself. In determining if an object’s scale is appropriate, we tend to use our bodies as the instrument of measurement. We can find examples of this in our homes such as standardized heights for counter tops or chairs scaled to fit our bodies.

Variations in scale throughout your room is important. Scale is applicable to all aspects of your room. For instance, when working with multiple fabrics, you should vary the scale of each pattern to bring attention to each object.

In the room above, the wallpaper has the smallest pattern, the rug has the largest pattern, and the chair fabric is in the middle!


Proportion is the ratio between the size of one part to another part of the same object. When looking at your space, think of the furniture & accessories as one part of the larger part which is the space itself.

For instance, if you have a room with a low ceiling height, hang your drapery panels all the way at the ceiling to create the illusion of height and improve the proportion of the room.


Consider proportion when adding architectural details to a room. For the Dining Room above, the dark wood furniture tended to weigh the space down so we carried the wainscoting 2/3’s up the wall to lift your eye to the barrel ceiling.

Remember you can create the feeling of unity in your spaces when all of the parts relate well with each other.

%d bloggers like this: