Decorating & Design

March 24, 2010

Playing With Scale

Something that gets talked about a lot by House & Home design editors is scale. This is mainly because we are often producing some kind of story that requires bringing in a lot of furnishings from disparate sources in order to create a “room” — without having time for it to evolve slowly, the way decorating a real room would. So we are working from instinct, asking questions such as: “Is this lamp going to be too tall?”, “Is this side table going to be too short?”, or, “Is this chair going to be too big?”

Still, some of the images I like best in either our own mag or others, are those that involve messing with scale.

Photo Blog March 24 Scale Art

This shot is one of my favourites and has been sitting on my desktop for ages. With the framed artwork being twice the size of the chest of drawers it hangs above, I am sure this is breaking every old-school rule about scale, yet it works.

For playing-with-scale novices, there are a couple of tips to been gleaned from this photo. The artwork is graphic, sure, but still subtle and simple in both its colours and content. Big and quiet works in a way that big and loud would not. Also, take a look at how it’s hung. A wall space border of about 8” (I’m guessing from sight) surrounds the artwork on top and both sides — using the beam on the left as an indicator of where that area ends. So, they are keeping it even. And despite it hanging over both sides of the chest in terms of width, they are keeping the overhang even, too. Lastly, the art is the only big thing in the room. It’s not an Alice in Wonderland room full of very big pieces, therefore it’s more of a statement piece.

And we in the design business love statements.

For more tips on hanging art, see our Art Advice Guide.

Photo credit:
1. Forge River, Carrier and Company