In interior design, choosing the right scale is always important – and sometimes bigger really is better!
A version of this article originally appeared in OUR HOMES Fall 2018.
In interior design, choosing the right scale is always important – and sometimes bigger really is better! Here are my top 10 ways in the home to consider going BIG with your décor choices to create a strong statement and a generous sense of luxury.
Oversize lights add big drama and character to elevate the look of an entire space. This is especially true when you mix the scale of a grand chandelier with a modern shape to create an unexpected effect.
1. For a sense of balance, try a large pendant fixture with an airy form that includes a lot of clear glass or negative space, like an angular fixture. The silhouette is can’t-miss-it big, but the look isn’t overwhelming.
2. Floor lamps with a 24-inch shade or larger match the scale of a large piece of furniture like a bed or sofa, giving the whole grouping a sense of weight. Using simple drum or cone shades in a solid neutral colour makes sure the look is strong but not too heavy.
Patterns & Papers
In the digital era the options for patterns and even custom prints are virtually endless. Rather than playing it safe, consider using a paper or wallcovering with a large-scale pattern, one that you can see without having to stare at a wall up close.
3. Love a wallpaper with a large print but don’t want to overwhelm the room? Such a wall covering is perfect for a single accent wall, paired with neutral paint for the remaining, creating a dramatic focal point in a balanced way.
4. When choosing a large-scale print for wall coverings, look for ones with light backgrounds that can be matched to a nearby wall colour. This helps create a seamless effect and a sense of depth, which avoids visually shrinking the room.
Seating is definitely an area where quality should not be ignored for the sake of quantity. It is often better to have fewer bar stools or dining chairs in a generous size that people will truly want to use.
5. Regardless of the size of the seat you choose, a person needs 24 to 30 inches of width to dine comfortably. Choosing wide seats (24 inches or more) ensures each guest has enough space reserved, while giving your island or table a rich, filled-in look.
6. In a living or family room, use a wide, plush sectional sofa to create a comfortable environment for day-to-day lounging. Even in a small space, a large sofa will make a room feel grand, and you’ll be able to fit in a few extra guests when entertaining.
With eat-in kitchens being ever more popular, many are choosing islands much deeper than the typical 30 to 42 inches. A large scale makes your island a standout visual feature as well as a central hub.
7. To allow for both diners and a home chef to coexist in harmony, consider an island that’s 48- to 60-inches deep, with seating on two or three sides to allow for natural conversation. With a truly comfortable island, you might not need a separate breakfast nook at all.
8. To suit the scale of a feature island, consider a marble or quartz counter with rich veining. Keep in mind that large-scale veins won’t show well on a small sample, so you’ll want to visit a quality showroom to see larger slabs and get the full picture.
Art & Mirrors
Scale is never more important than when talking about wall art – after all, it’s hard to make a statement if you can’t even see the piece.
9. Gallery walls have been a trend for nearly a decade, and they have their place, but there’s also a beautiful simplicity to a singular large-scale canvas or photo print. Choose a piece that takes up at least 60 per cent of the available wall height to make a grand statement and a true focal point.
10. To capture the eye and also double the apparent size of the space, choose an oversize mirror hung prominently on the wall. A circular shape will add some softness to the room, perfect for a bedroom, living room or dressing suite.