The successful interior design of a living room can stand or fall on four key features, all of which need to be scaled correctly to ensure you maintain a balance. Having an eye for these kind of things obviously helps, particularly as striking a balance in terms of size is quite a subjective matter.
Often it is a fine line between something being too big or too small in a room, but when you are investing significant sums on a piece of artwork or a sofa, or when the rug you choose will dictate the colour scheme for the rest of the room, your judgement is critical.
Of course colour is important to the overall feel of a room, but size and having everything in proportion is arguably a more decisive factor, as it influences both the look and feel of a room and how it functions as a space. In many respects, the bigger an item is, the more expensive it is, so you can’t afford to get it wrong, and therefore size judgement is something you need to plan very carefully, particularly with the following items:
Fundamentally, lights need to be big enough and powerful enough to adequately light the room. But in terms of physical size, you don’t want lights to overly dominate, or be insignificant. A table lamp should be tall enough for the bottom of the shade to be around eye-level. Any higher creates a potential blinding effect, and any lower reduces the effectiveness of the light.
Likewise, pendant lamps shouldn’t be so low or big that they become a nuisance and only light the floor, nor so small and high that they shine in your eye while not sufficiently lighting the room. Lights need to be effective, but retain the right balance in relation to all other items and the available space.
- Wall decoration
People often choose between one large piece of artwork on a wall or multiple pieces that neatly fit together, ie. four pieces in a square, and effectively take up the same space. Small pictures can lose impact and look imbalanced on a big wall, while a large picture can be too dominant and can negate the effect of your colour scheme.
A common rule of thumb when assessing the size of wall decorations is to take the overall width of the wall in question and multiply it by 0.57. This would give the rough width of a piece of artwork that would balance well on the wall.
Like artwork and lighting, the bigger you go with rugs, the more expensive it becomes. But sometimes it is worth the investment in the right size, to ensure your purchase does itself justice in the room. A rug needs to leave sufficient border for carpet or tile colour and also have enough of its own border retained around a table or sofa.
With the items mentioned above, amateur interior designers tend to make mistakes going smaller, rather than bigger. But the opposite is true with sofas. An armchair or a two-seater sofa will look okay in any room, as long as they have a practical purpose and other furniture balances them out. But you can go too big with a four-seater corner sofa that has to be pushed against the walls and prevents any flow around it.
Also, the bigger the sofa, the less flexibility you have in re-arranging or re-designing the room after a period of time. Naturally, some rooms will only be able to accommodate a small sofa or a three-seater sofa, but a bigger room is not necessarily enhanced by a chaise corner sofa if it doesn’t allow for any harmony of balance with the rest of the room.
After all, harmony and Feng shui is the key to our everyday happiness, so sketch out your ideas and play with templates of your interior items to look at the options, because striking the right balance is everything, and size definitely matters.