Let’s Talk About PROPORTION and SCALE

While some people have an innate sense of scale and proportion when it comes to furnishing a room, most of us could use a little help, which is the reason most professional interior designers and architects carry tape measures with them at all times.   At Emery & Associates we usually start with scaled floor plans, and then go on to develop the the rest of the space, adding color, texture, furnishings, and art to make a harmonious, finished whole.  The example below is a very large master bedroom, roughly 16 feet square, with eleven foot ceilings, in the penthouse at Tanner Place in the Pearl District.

Master Bedroom 1000This beautiful room resulted from taking note of the generous proportions of the room, and searching for furnishings that would be in proper scale with each other and with the size of the room.   When my clients first looked at this condo, they took photos of the rooms with the previous owner’s furnishings.  BEFORE:

BEFORE Tanner Place Master Bedroom (Previous owner's furnishings)

BEFORE Tanner Place Master Bedroom (Previous owner’s furnishings)

The queen-sized four-poster bed and delicate night stands belonging to the previous owner are dwarfed in this space.  I told my clients that they needed a king-sized bed, with large chests on either side, as standard-sized night stands would be out of  proportion with the size of the room.  So we installed a bed with a six-foot-high, fully-upholstered headboard and proportional footboard.  And when I say “we,” I mean the excellent delivery crew from Parker Furniture.

Installing the bed at Tanner Place

Installing the bed at Tanner Place

Standard-sized night stands would be out of proportion with the size of the room, so I found oversized chests that measure four feet wide by three feet high to flank the bed.

The crew wrestle the chests into position

The crew wrestle the chests into position

The mirrors above the chests are each five feet high by 41″ wide, reflecting back the views of downtown Portland from outside the condo windows.  Bed, chests, and mirrors by Hickory Chair Furniture through Parker Furniture.

Putting the mirrors into position

Putting the mirrors into position

Draperies mounted just below the crown molding emphasize the high ceilings, and add color and pattern to the room.  Since the clients wanted to keep the lemon-yellow broadloom carpeting and walls, I thought the cool grey/spa blue tones in the fabrics worked as a perfect complement to the warm walls and floor.

DETAIL:  Drapery and chair fabric by Calvin Klein through Kravet

DETAIL: Drapery and chair fabric by Calvin Klein through Kravet Fabrics

Proper proportion and scale are essential design principles.  If you’re not sure about how these principles apply, or if you want to learn more about the elements of design, contact Emery & Associates.  We would love to hear from you.

Sweet Dreams.  Art by Robert Bissell.

There are 6 Comments to "Let’s Talk About PROPORTION and SCALE"

  • Donna Pizzi says:

    Once again, Kathia, your taste and vision bring a formerly under-appreciated space into a beautiful – and in this case – restful room that surely must make the homeowners dream deep, exquisite dreams. Brava!

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    I LOVE this bedroom and what you did with it. The difference (before and after) is shocking. The former owner’s furnishings were so inadequate to the space. I love the headboard, the chests of drawers, mirrors and chairs, etc. This is indeed a restful (as well as beautiful) room. I’m not quite sure of the coloration. Is the main color on the headboard a grey or a blue? The light and reflection make it a little hard to determine which it is. It’s a pale blue in the flower on the fabric, I think.

    • Kathia Emery says:

      Thanks, Dinah. The color of the headboard is a greyed aqua that I call
      “spa blue.” It’s not quite as bright as the color of the flower in the fabric, and the texture of the nap greys down the color somewhat.

      • Dinah says:

        I’d love to see the actual colors and the spa blue. Curiosity only, as I just did my bedroom, but sometime Kathia. It’s such a lovely room. You do such a wonderful job with color, texture and scale!

  • Thanks Kathia! When we photographed this space for you, I had no idea what you had started with. Yes, scale & proportion is so important, as you’ve shown us here with the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. I love your artistry!

  • NC Design says:

    I love the before and after and it addresses a problem that I see with so many homeowner designs. Well done… and great photos! :)

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