As we explored the principles of interior design, we can easily see that these established guidelines help us improve our home’s aesthetics. Balance, focus, and rhythm all can help create our space. However, just having all the right ingredients does not guarantee you success without the right quantities. Imagine baking a cake. You have the flour, baking powder, butter, eggs, sugar, and milk, yet you do not have the right amounts. You have a teaspoon of milk when the recipe calls for a cup. We can easily see that the proportions added to the formula matter and this is true with interior design as well. Proportion and scale are crucial to our room’s success. Interior design is not just the aesthetic appeal but functionality as well. An over-cluttered space can feel overwhelming, whereas an under-furnished room can feel incomplete. So, how do we always master perfect ratios? Well, let us take a closer look.
Proportion and Scale
It is essential to distinguish the difference between the elements and the principles of interior design. The elements are color, texture, space, lines, lighting, form, and patterns that are then influenced by the principles of design. Hence, these elements can all be influenced by proportion. There are several ways in which scaling these elements can affect your design. Let us take a look at a few in particular:
The element of color can easily be one of the most psychological influences on an atmosphere. However, color psychology can come down to how we scale it. The color red can positively influence an atmosphere by provoking passion, warmth, excitement, and strength. Yet, when used too much, it can stimulate anger, defiance, aggression, and even danger. Colors can have warm, cool, or neutral effects on spaces. Typically, we see design themes stick to the 60:30:10 ratio to control the proportion of colors in the room. You can pick three colors to use in your space. You give one color 60% influence on the atmosphere – this will make it the room’s primary color. Next, the secondary color can have 30% usage in your space. While of course, your accent color will be the least frequent and only take about 10% influence in your atmosphere.
Next, we should consider the proportion of space. We never want to clutter a space or leave it feeling bare. Figuring out the perfect balance and dimensions of furniture can help give your room the rhythm it needs. All the principles can tie together by figuring out how to incorporate spacing. For greater insight and tricks on space, check out the Golden Ratio and how it is used in almost all aspects of nature, art, and design.
Light proportions affect our perception of a space as well. We can incorporate natural or artificial lighting. We can facilitate task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting to create the right ambiance. Areas that are too dark are less likely to attract us than well-lit areas. Making sure our rooms are proportionally and evenly lit will also help us achieve balance and scaling.
There are so many ways to integrate scale and proportions. It can be very powerful and can easily be identified if it is well done. Make sure you can step back and assess your room. This can be challenging when moving. Sometimes our old furniture is not to scale with our new homes. Make sure you are never too physically attached and know when and how to proportion your space! Make sure to check out the last Principles of Interior Design to make sure you are ready to tackle any design project.