An element that is often overlooked, but proportion is just as important as everything else if your scheme is going to be a success.

Selecting a focal point in a room gives interest and impact. Quite often in a living room this would be a fireplace, but could equally be furniture grouped round a coffee table, or a stunning window treatment. When choosing any items you need to consider how big or small they are going to look when they are in place, this can be difficult to judge in a large showroom where there are huge open spaces and high ceilings. Try to obtain measurements particularly for furniture and lighting; you don’t want to be constantly walking into a light fitting that hangs too low! Also bear in mind door widths and access when contemplating large pieces of furniture.

A good idea is to draw to scale a floor plan on graph paper to see exactly how each item fits into the space.

Smaller objects grouped together often look better than scattered around a room, such as photographs or a collection of ornaments. Vary heights for added interest. Think about where you position them. Remember the space around something is as important as what is in it.

Tiny objects in a big area will look lost and equally so, big items crammed into a little alcove will be uncomfortable to the eye. This does not mean that a large ornament isn’t suitable for a small room; on the contrary, they can often look fabulous, it simply means make sure there is enough room for it to sit happily within the space.

Balance needs to be taken into account too. Whilst symmetry is probably the easiest way to bring balance into a room it is not always the most exciting and can look rather stiff. Instead try placing a group of interesting objects in a concentrated area, then introduce a simple point of impact elsewhere in the room, with a vase of flowers or a contrasting cushion and this will redress the balance. Hanging a group of pictures of different sizes can be very effective but play around with the layout first to get the balance right before hammering in the nails!

In window dressing scale is very important, the most beautiful and stunning of schemes are easily spoilt if the proportions are incorrect, full length curtains not only require a thicker and heavier duty pole to bear the weight but also to be aesthetically pleasing. Pelmets and valances, as a general rule, should be a minimum of a sixth of the curtain drop, but this is not always appropriate. Valance’s less than 18-20cm would tend to look too short and not hang correctly.

A room having windows that sit at different heights, install tracks poles or valances at the same point on each window so that they are in line around the room. Do not install any window dressing into the recess as this will accentuate the differences.

For more visual inspiration look through our website and a selection of home decoration magazines, notice how and where ornaments are placed in relation to other pieces, and their proportions against the size of the room. 

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