Stepping Up the Scale

Conventional design theory teaches us to create balance and use shapes and lines to create pleasing harmonies. And to adjust the scale of the bits we decide to fit the space perfectly. As all of these are sound theories, there are certainly times when it is appropriate to break the rules.

Playing the scale of accessories, materials and furniture may give your room a jolt of character. Try amping up the volume of your chandeliers, going grand with outdoor furniture and boosting the impact of your artwork by scaling the size up.


In a more “appropriate” size, this standing lamp would nonetheless be striking and lovely, but as an oversize statement piece, it truly sings. The lamp is obviously the star of this room and serves as a part of artwork in addition to a functional source of light.

ZeroEnergy Design

Looking for hanging fittings? Try simply employing a classic lampshade, sized up for impact, for your island pendants. The neutral colour and linen material keep them humble.

Play scale to produce an entrance. This walkway could have been crafted with a traditional poured concrete walk or equal circular pavers. Instead, the designer went huge with the scale of the circles, creating a functional walkway that serves as a conversation piece.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

The fantastic outdoors is the place. A giant firepit really grounds the distance and supplies the seating arrangement considerably more impact.

Terrance Mason Interiors

Art is just another attribute that always benefits from a larger scale. Large architectural bits give this tall attribute wall a stunning presence. If you do not have big pieces of artwork, try grouping two or more for a gallery wall.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

The unexpected often works. In this vignette, the baskets have been stacked too high and smooshed up against the ceiling. There’s too much white space on both sides, and the baskets are all wrong. Or are you? The most “wrongness” generates a sense of overabundance and extends the height of this furniture. The collective piece then accounts the floor-length windows on both sides. What might at first look erroneous is very, very right.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

So the next time you’re purchasing furniture, artwork, accessories or lighting, look at playing the scale of the bits. Try oversize colors or a nontraditional-size couch. Why not hang supersize canvases of your kids ‘ artwork or put giant stepping stones leading to your front door? Be courageous!

Remake a Room With One Big Piece
Architect’s Toolbox: Scale and Proportion

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