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When it comes to professional interior design, you will often hear industry professionals reference the act of keeping their styles ‘to scale’ – but what exactly does that mean?
Although some interior designers use the term “scale’ synonymously with the term “proportion,” you should learn the difference if you want to speak with complete accuracy. Proportion refers to the relationship of one part of a furniture piece to the other parts of that same piece- like the top of a table in proportion to its legs. Scale, on the other hand, refers to the size of a whole piece of furniture in relation to the rest of the entire room.
When you’re working on styling to scale, always try to start with whatever you consider to be the most important piece in the room design- so if you’re working in a master suite, for example, start with the bed. After deciding where you want said bed to be positioned, you then need to consider scale as you place other objects like chairs and end tables around the rest of the room.
In doing so, you simply need to contemplate the visual weight of certain objects. This is an instinct that you’ll gradually develop the more you work in the field, but it’s pretty simple to use your intuitive eye. If you notice that a large armoire and a substantial chair are positioned directly next to one another while a separate part of the room is uncomfortably blank, move one of the aforementioned pieces to fill the empty space and maintain the visual scale.