When you begin moving into a new residence, or start planning a renovation to your current home décor, it is highly likely that your first focus will rest on elements of design like style and color. While these visual attributes are indeed important, the actual size and proportions of the furniture you add to a room are really the defining features of true design.
Interior designers and professional renovators are universal in their agreement that, in order to maximize the lasting beauty of your furniture, paying attention to proportion is the best path. Even when you have chosen a unique décor theme and found a furniture ensemble with pieces that complement one another, the room you design may end up appearing cluttered and cramped if you fail to account for proportion.
Within the realm of home décor, the concept of proportionality is best thought of in terms of depth, width and height. For example, you may have found a comfortable, attractive couch or sofa that you think would perfectly offset your recliners and loveseat. While the fabric, pattern and stitching may be ideal, the couch’s depth relative to the walls it rests against is actually the most important design factor.
Depending on the scale and size of your living room, if the couch exceeds 40 inches in depth from back to front this projection of size may become exaggerated in the eyes of visitors. Upon entering the living room, you may notice that a couch with too much depth appears to be closer than it actually is, and this illusion can contribute to a discomfiting feeling of crowdedness.
In order to correct this design flaw, professional interior designers advise homeowners and renters to limit sofa depth to between 32 and 38 inches, depending on the square footage of your living room. Another tip to help you balance the role of your furniture’s proportionality is to avoid clunky, oversized couch arms and overstuffed cushions which will only serve to increase the illusion of excessive depth.
Large open rooms filled with airy expanses, on the other hand, present an entirely different problem relating to furniture proportion. Today’s modern architectural trends accentuate a room’s sense of grandeur by including arched ceilings, decorative alcoves and other features which exaggerate the sense of space and size.
In order to effectively furnish a bedroom or sitting room which includes vaulted ceilings, 18-foot walls and other touches of extravagance, you must adjust your sensibilities. Accenting an especially large room with suggestions of size, such as towering grandfather clocks, ornate headboards, antique standing desks and massive portraits, will serve to put the décor on a similar scale.
If all pieces of furniture in a given room are proportionate to each other, it will not matter how large or small the room they occupy actually is because proportionality achieves a level of balance. You don’t need professional drafting tables or home design manuals to successfully design and furnish a room when you pay close attention to your furniture’s basic proportions.