Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When Scale Doesn't Matter

There are some rules to decorating, but if you peruse the high end magazines and projects of top notch designers working these days, you soon realize that rules are often disregarded.  Whether it's done for personal taste, dramatic impact, or simply to do something unique, rules in decorating are often made to be broken.  This is when decorating becomes art and in the hands of a real designer, it has incredible results.

Scale is one of those elements that can be toyed with to create real drama.  A large object in a small space or a small object in a large space can really command your eye and focus your attention.  If you want a relaxed, peaceful, calm interior, scaling something to fit the space is very appropriate.  However, if you want some drama or to create a really personal, artistic statement, try over or under scaling an object of importance in a space.

Dick Bories and Jim Shearron - Elle Decor

Doesn't that small, beautifully carved clock command attention in the vast expanse of all that white?

Patrick Printy - Elle Decor

The justaposition of the hefty brass candlestick on top of the tiny table arouses curiosity.

Susan Ferrier - House Beautiful

Is there any doubt that it's all about the chandelier?

Barry Dixon - House Beautiful

The large mirror makes a grand gesture. By comparison, the sconces are dwarfed, making the space seem even grander.

Steven Gambrel - Elle Decor

The vintage Italian light fixture is small in scale with the rest of the room.  That scale dynamic emphasizes it's importance.

Jim Hodgins - House Beautiful

That piece of art above, reaching from sconce to sconce and from the ceiling down past the top of the sofa creates a strong visual in this room and commands your attention.  Don't you feel you're in the presence of a real masterpiece?

Steven Gambrel - Elle Decor

What a strong, architectural presence the overscaled dentil moulding gives this room 

Amilee Wendt - ASID Showhouse 2011

I loved this light fixture Amilee Wendt chose for the study in the showhouse I was in last spring.  It was such a bold statement.

Jay Griffith - House Beautiful


I love how dramatic this little lamp and table looks in the tall niche one would typically want to fill with art or stuff.

Anytime you break the rules, you must be careful it doesn't look like a mistake.  In the hands of masterful designers, breaking the rules can become art.


designchic said...

What a thought provoking post and love studying each of these rooms. Such a great point!!

Jessie said...

Very well said, Carla. Your gorgeous inspirations really illustrated your points very well.

Good post as usual.

P/S: I am hosting a fabulous giveaway. So, come by and enter for a chance to win a $50 Kirkland's gift card, if you like.


Anonymous said...

so fun to see how these rules are "broken" as it does grab your attention without you really realizing it...and I agree about having an expert help with finding ways to gain the most impact for an item or display...more often than not your average homeowner will need some help with this rule...and hey, who doesn't want to break the rules from time to time..?!!

My Notting Hill said...

You've given the best description I've ever seen as to why "out-of-scale" is sometimes so right - drama/attention or artistic statement. Great images to illustrate it too.

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Your right, rules are made to be broken! I believe a good designer has a feel for balance. This is not taught in a school, but it is like a 6th sense. You can look at the room and just know if it works or not. Like the image with the small clock. the fireplace frames it like a piece of art. It balances it. Good post!

Splendid Sass said...

You have chosen some of my favorite designers here, Carla. This is a great post, and it definitely exhibits how designers can shake things up!
Have a nice day.

Marivic said...

Inspirational collection of photos. Thanks for an informative post. I love rules that need to be broken, but sometimes I don't know which ones they are. Obviously because I'm not the expert. Very good point!

Donna said...

I wish my scale didn't matter ;-)

Kellie Collis said...

Gorgeous spaces! I'm loving that mirror in the bath and the gorgeous chandelier. Enjoy the fabulous end of the week, Kellie xx

Concrete Jungle said...

Some very clever design 'tricks' . Being a designer who likes the overstatement that small clock above the fireplace is definitely thought provoking in it's effectiveness....thanks for making me see again!

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