Part 14 Proportion
Proportion, as it applies to home design, is the size of something measured against other elements in a room, or against some mental norm or standard. It can be used to create balance, emphasis, harmony, etc. Typically we show you the ‘how to’ rather than the ‘how not to,’ but in this case we’ll illustrate how it influences a room with an example that exaggerates the way it looks when it’s misused.
In our mind’s eye we are accustomed to the norm of a bedside lamp being smaller scale than the bed next to it or the table it stands on. However, the lamp in the photo is much bigger than that norm. It is clearly too large for the nightstand, and it looks odd standing taller than the top of the headboard because it is so top-heavy. In other words, it’s disproportionate to the rest of the décor. If your goal is a room that is harmonious and grounded be sure to compare the size relationships between all of the elements in the room.
With that said, skewed proportion is also a very effective way to achieve emphasis. Have you ever walked into a room with gargantuan fireplace and impossibly high ceilings? The effect is stark and immediate. No matter what else is going on in the space, the fireplace and open air above your head will be foremost in your mind. Another great way to use this technique is to showcase artwork. If it’s bigger than all that surrounds it, it’s sure to be the star of the show in your room.
Proportion is also an important consideration if you are upsizing your home. Let’s say you just moved into your dream home and it has an enormous great-room. There’s a good chance the furniture from your previous home will feel out of place because it looks so much smaller in the new space. The furniture is disproportionate to the room. Your first order of business in that case would be to purchase new furniture to the scale of the room.
Next read Part 15 – Scale
Don’t forget to go back and start by reading reading Part 1