Scale refers to how an item relates to the size of the room or to something else and can be one of the biggest challenges for consignment shoppers when mixing different furniture pieces.
Interior designers say you should strive to group furniture with visual balance. If you group items that have different scales, you’ll notice that the room just feels “off”.
If you are planning on putting seating pieces near each other or across from each other to create a conversation area, pair two chairs at a height which is similar in height to other seating areas. For instance, pair low accent chairs with a low modern loveseat so that when people are seated they are at the same height. It can be uncomfortable for two people to have a conversation when one person is sitting up higher than the other or if one person has been gobbled up by a really deep chair.
Also, the height of the back of the furniture piece is also important in achieving balance. Think of the room as having a horizon line and include furniture that falls within that line of sight, rather than arbitrarily varying heights that do not relate to each other.
One tip that I find helpful, is to bring the depth and height dimensions of the seating pieces that I already have in my room with me on my shopping trips, that way I can compare the critical dimensions of pieces that I’m considering and know which ones will work in my area.
This isn’t to say that varying scale is never a good idea. In fact, it can be one of the most exciting tools in the designer toolbox. But, it can be difficult to vary scale and end up with a balanced look in a room without the help of a professional.
If you are working without the assistance of a professional and prefer to play it safe, you’ll have more success getting the balance right when mixing and matching furniture pieces if you remember to keep the scale of your pieces similar.
As always, we hope you find this tip helpful.