Have you ever walked into a room and thought, “Something is very wrong here,” but were not quite sure what or why? Could it be the individual furniture pieces do not properly connect with one another? Well this can be a problem when furnishing a room, and the culprit may be inappropriate scale and proportion of items used.

When selecting furniture for your room, it is important that each piece fits the space, that it is in proper proportion to the room. If it is out of sync with its surroundings, it will become an “eye sore” rather than a compliment.

In earlier posts, the topic of balancing furniture layout was addressed, but the nitty gritty of balancing furniture in groups and creating symmetry still needs attention.

The word “Symmetry “ means to balance. When bringing symmetry to a group of furnishings, one side mirrors the other. One object is balanced out against another of equal proportion around a center point. For instance, suppose you have chosen a sofa to go up against a wall. You want to add lighting. You can add end tables and lamps, or you can use floor lamps. If choosing end tables, you will want them to match and be in proportion to the sofa as well as to each other. If your sofa is large, your tables should be of substantial proportion. If the sofa is small, the tables will also be small in scale. You cannot mix the sizes of tables, one being small and the other being large. If you do, you will lose symmetry to your furniture arrangement. The lamps too, must be in proportion to one another as well as to the tables they are sitting on.

On occasion you will not be able to perfectly balance your furniture arrangement by the use of matching pieces. In this case you will have to implement a different approach, using objects of similar “visual weight” to balance each other out. In the instance of using tables and lamps dissimilar in style and design, proper proportion can be maintained by balancing equality of visual weight between the two sides of the arrangement, and though at first glance, such an arrangement may seem unbalanced and disproportionate, its overall appearance is acceptable.

Dealing with symmetry does not end with furniture arrangement however, it continues to need consideration when adding accessories to your walls. You may want to place a picture or group of pictures over the sofa. These too, need to be in proportion to the wall space being filled. A single piece of art or a group of pictures of uniform shape and size, kept in proportion to the amount of wall space placed upon, will please the eye. Likewise will a less uniform group, though made up of different sized and shaped pieces, if properly kept in-scale with the space it covers.

Now just when we think we have had enough of this subject, it is important to note that not only is size a factor in achieving symmetry, but so is shape. It is important when hanging pictures, mirrors, or other wall furnishings, to pay attention to how their shape best fits the space. That is to say, for example, if the space is a basic square, a square picture or mirror will fit best, and if the space is rectangular, a rectangular mirror, picture, or group of pictures is more appropriate. What about a curved mirror? Can it fit into a rectangular or square space? The answer is yes, as long as other rules of proportion are observed.

So, this ends today’s blog! I invite you to check out the accompanying visuals and decide which choices best adhere to the rules of proper proportion. I trust their contribution will shed even more light to the subject, as we all know, a picture “ is worth a thousand words!”


~ by shirleyliseblogspot on February 5, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: