Design Principles from the Barcelona Chair: Scale and Proportion

One of the main principles for a Designer is to watch carefully the scale of the space and the proportion of each element. The management of space is basic to make sure the tour place is comfortable and functional. 
To achieve this in a good way is important to be clear in the concepts of Scale and Proportion.


Scale has to do with the relative size of one element with respect to the other: The size of one Barcelona Sofa with respect to the whole living room; or the size of the same Barcelona Sofa with respect to the rug. The scale of elements in furniture must harmonize. One fine, beautiful rug may work just fine in a large country house living room, but in a small apartment, it can be an inconvenience and is still the same fine, beautiful rug. 


Proportion has to do with the relative amount, the presence of one part in the whole element, for example, in a large living room, the presence of the color beige against the blue color in the accent wall is about 60%. That’s a proportion. But proportion is not only about color, but about  texture, size, and shape. 

Management of scale and proportion

These helpful tips must be taken into account when we make the management of scale and proportion:

Keep in mind your ceiling height

The ceiling height is a key factor in the scale of your place. High ceilings and low ceilings require different elements and create different effects. With a high ceiling sleek, tall furnishing fits better. Walls can be more used, and there is more freedom to play with color. With low ceilings, is better to choose clear wall colors and choose subsequently smaller, flat furniture. 

Build your entire design around your focal point.

As we all know all spaces whirls around a focal point. It can be your fireplace in your living room or a giant hanged TV  in a family room. If the scales of the focal elements are correct (about a max. of 60% of the whole space of the room), then is the duty of the designer to be sure that the 40% works to enhance that focal point and make it functional. 

Remember the golden ratio

A rule inherited from ancient times, the golden ratio comes from the Greeks, and it’s used today. Though its real value is 1,61, you can assume 60/40 in Interior Design. With this ratio, we assign and reassign several elements in the space taking care of locating the main element in the 60%. This way, you must assign 60% of positive space (physical space), and 40% of negative space (free space); or 60 % of focal point space and 40% of adjacent, secondary space; and so on. The golden rule is a very useful guide to solve many doubts in interior design. 

If you want to experience the beauty and magnetism of Mid Century Modern design masterpieces, like a Barcelona Sofa, don’t lose the opportunity and go to Barcelona Design, the best place for Mid Century Modern replicas.