DESIGNERS KEVIN SERBA AND JOHN RATTRAY, OF BIRMINGHAM-BASED SERBA INTERIORS, say achieving proper scale and proportion is a balancing act. They advise not only to consider furnishings in relation to scale, but architectural elements as well.
“One of the most important design principles to employ when planning your space is the balance of scale and proportion both in architecture as well as interior furnishings. It is also important to identify the impact you are hoping to achieve with these elements within each space.
“Smaller rooms with lower ceilings, such as a guest bedroom or sitting room, may benefit from minimal architectural moldings and furniture that mimic the scale of the space. On the contrary, a smaller room, a study or den, for example, can be made cozier by the addition of stronger architectural elements such as dark wall paneling and oversized furniture that fills the space.”
More spacious rooms present their own challenges to achieve balance, they say, but there are some solutions.
“If a room is large, one might balance the scale of the room with a wall of architectural interest, such as a fireplace wall or the addition of a large built-in. Larger rooms can also be balanced by arranging the furniture to create multiple groupings within the space, rather than one large central seating arrangement.”
The scale of the artwork in a room should also be a factor.
“In the living room shown above, you can see that the art by Cathy Daley adds movement and contrast in a room with white walls and neutral upholstery pieces. The artwork fits well within the room without overwhelming the space. Not shown is the paneled fireplace wall opposite the sofa, another consideration when choosing this large-scale piece of art for the room.”