Scale and Proportion in Interior Design: The Golden Ratio
Not surprisingly, I talk a lot about The Art of Space and the seven fundamentals that go into great design and spacial harmony. But if I had to single out one of those principles as most important, the choice would be easy.
Scale and proportion are without a doubt THE most important part of achieving great design. Together, they are the holy grail of design (btw, not just interior design, but ALL design). But don’t just take my word for it. A little research will quickly show that the formula for scale and proportion has been around forever. It was first studied in ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. The Romans knew about it too.
It’s called the “golden ratio.” It’s also been called the “golden number,” and even “the divine ratio.” That’s just how amazing it is.
The number is 1.618. Without going into all the mathematical gyrations, it’s a ratio that appears in nature, art, architecture, even music. There’s something in our DNA that finds this proportion pleasing and “comfortable.” You can Google it and find out more than you ever wanted to know, but GoldenNumber.net is a great place to start.
To put it simply, “scale” is the size of things. “Proportion” is the relationship between them.
At one time or another, you’ve probably put things together in a room and thought, “That doesn’t feel right.” I’d be willing to bet that something is the wrong size or out of proportion. Once you look into the golden ratio (and practice using it), you’ll enhance your sense of scale and proportion and it will become second nature.
It’s important to note that math is not the end-all-be-all of creating amazing scale and proportion in interior design. Your proportions don’t have to be mathematically perfect. The golden ratio is just a guide. But it’s an important step on the way to achieving harmony. It’s the quickest path to making your interiors, well, golden!