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Decorate & design your space around this trick: proportions

Achieving proper proportions is one of the most difficult elements of good design. All too often, we are in spaces where the furniture, the architecture, the art or even the accessories are too small for the room. The space will not be successful — no matter how incredible the elements are — if the proportions are incorrect and out of balance. That’s where an interior design expert comes in.

What does this even mean, you ask?

Envision a living room where the window is too small for the space. That’s proportion.

Proportion is difficult because every element, including furniture, art and even accessories, needs to be weighted and measured to ensure good proportions.

Take a look at the room below for example. The homeowners have taken the time to hang beautiful artwork, but it gets lost in the grand scheme of things because the artwork is very small. It no longer becomes the focal point of the room.


Here are some basic guidelines to help ensure that your rooms are well-proportioned:

Two-thirds, two-thirds, two-thirds

  • If you cover two-thirds of a wall with art or an armoire, you will have achieved a well-proportioned vignette;
  • Furniture should cover two-thirds of an area rug;
  • A piece of art hung behind a sofa should be about two-thirds of the back of the sofa in length.
  • Nightstands should be a third of the width of the bed.
These homeowners are doing things right! Walls are  adequately covered!

These homeowners are doing things right! Walls are adequately covered!

(Left) The furniture on the area rug does not cover the rug adequately compared to the shot on the right.

(Left) The furniture on the area rug does not cover the rug adequately compared to the shot on the right.

It’s not just about furniture

A window in a living room or even the master bedroom (where the window is a focal point) should cover two-thirds of a wall. Interior design experts will trick the eye if the window is ill-proportioned by making the window feel larger with flanking drapery panels on either side of the window, or off to one side.


These rooms would get a thumbs up from an interior designer!

What if the space is small?

Just because a space is compact doesn’t mean that you should use small-scale furniture and art pieces. In fact, it will feel better proportioned if you use fewer but larger pieces (stick to the thirds rule):

  • Employ a full-sized sofa and a great chair as opposed to two love seats;
  • Use a tall armoire and oversized art to help make the space live large and the ceilings look tall.

small spaces

One of the best tricks to ensure that you have achieved visually good proportions is to take a photo of your walls and even the individual elements within the space. Print off the picture and determine if you have achieved the golden rule of thirds.

It’s a scientifically proven fact that the human eye relates best to objects and elements that achieve these proportions. That’s how fabulous spaces are created.

Are you ready to create fabulous spaces in your home? If you hire the right interior design expert, it shouldn’t be a problem! Read through customer reviews who have taken the time to share their experiences working with designers. More importantly, scroll through image galleries to get inspired about your own home.

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