Designer Tips & Tricks | Working with Scale

There are many aspects of being a designer that can be tricky.  It's not just about being good with colors or knowing what's on-trend.  Design is about creating a balance, flow, harmony, in a space.  It's about making things work on multiple levels.  Part of making this happen is by having a good understanding of appropriate scale and understanding how to implement it in each unique space.  It's awesome that you can pick something pretty out but can you use the entire room to its maximum function while making it all look good together?  Understanding scale is a lot about understanding what to accentuate and what to minimize. So today we're sharing with you ways to get the scale right in key places of your own home.

First, you have to understand that design and working with certain elements of design involves a lot of editing...  Editing the items in the room, the pieces in the space, and yourself.  You've got to be able to edit yourself.  Everything that you love can't all be in one space, it has to be broken up and mixed in so that special items can shine.  This comes into play when you're figuring out what to put on your walls.  You have to look at the space as a whole and determine what's the "shining" piece and what's the "background" filler.  

One of the biggest areas where people struggle with scale is in their artwork.  Walls are tricky because they vary in height and furniture and what's appropriate for the space may not always match the wall exactly, so you have to look at everything together.  Since the goal is for everything to flow, the biggest thing to consider is balance.  Does the artwork balance out the furniture or is it too small or too large?  If it looks tiny on the wall compared to the rest of the room and furniture, you may need to go bigger.  If it's just way too large and seems to overpower the space, maybe take a step back and use something smaller.  The key is to adjust size, not number of items on the wall.  Gallery walls are great and all, but we're currently in a less-is-more trend, so go for less items that are bigger.  It keeps everything clean.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 8.34.24 PM.png

Lamps are another area where homeowners seem to struggle.  There are times when big lamps are necessary and times when they're not. Light is always important so you don't want to negate the importance of lamps in general, but consider a few things when selecting a lamp for the space. How tall are the ceiling?  How wide is the piece of furniture the lamps is sitting on?   Is there something behind the lamps that needs to be visible--art, photographs, etc?  What other lighting is in the space?  Lamps can be powerful balancers.  They can balance out a bed and frame a piece of art.  They can define a reading nook or work space.  A safe height for most lamps is anywhere from 27"-32".  For most spaces--nightstands, buffets, end tables, this height will work well.

Rugs are the final item that need to be fought for in the scale game.  So many people go smaller on the rug to save the money but let us be the first to tell you, it's not worth it!  If you get a smaller rug, you might as well throw your money away because you're making your room look smaller.  Yes, you may have a soft place to step, but you've instantly shrunk the room and have detracted from the overall look of your home.  Understand that a rug doesn't have to fill the space but it should be large enough for the front feet of all of your furniture to be on it.  If it's just sort of floating the in the middle of the room under a coffee table, it's pointless.  If you can fit all of your furniture on top of the rug, that's your best bet.  It takes you up in price bracket but it jumps your style scale up about 10 notches!