Scaling Furniture 
Photo by: Boston Design Guide

Scaling Furniture To Room Size

 7 Steps For A Scale Furniture Plan

A Scale Furniture Plan is a good starting point in achieving well-placed furniture in a room. Before you make your scale furniture plan, determine the purpose of the room and the amount of space you have. Room purpose makes use of space in different ways.  To determine the space you have available, you will need to know the square footage of your room, ceiling height and location of windows and doors.

Step 1: What is the purpose of the room? How will the room be used- a baby’s room, master bedroom, formal living room, family room? Next determine what you would like to have in the room and how must space you will need. Consider the number of people who will use the room – do you entertain?  Are there people with disabilities who will use the room? How durable does everything need to be if children use the room? If elderly persons will use the room, consider how accessible things need to be. Consider what activities will take place in the room-to entertain, sleep, playroom for kids, relax with family. The more you know about the purpose of the room, the better able you can plan your space to achieve its purpose.

Scale Furniture
Baby’s Room

Step 2:  What is the size of your room? To find the amount of space a room has, measure the length and height of the walls.  How many windows and doors are in the room. This will give you an idea of the wall space and how the furniture will fit in that space. In a room with high ceilings, you can use taller furniture such as a higher four-poster bed in a bedroom. The location of windows and doors will also affect the placement of the furniture.

Scale Furniture
Family room

Step 3: Select key pieces of furniture before adding accessory pieces. In a small room you may need to forego a side table or other accessories. Too much furniture will make the room look closed in. In a large room, the challenge is to avoid too much distance between wall space.

Step 4:  Know how to place your furniture. Scale refers to visual size—how furnishings look next to each other and how they fit in a room. Rooms need big things, little things, tall things, and short things. If everything is the same size, nothing will stand out. Vary scale within a room to create interest and drama.

Scale Furniture
Using Different Sized Pieces

Step 5: Make a scale furniture plan. It will save you time, and best of all, it will save you money by helping you avoid mistakes. A furniture scale is a good way to see how your furniture will look in the room before you place it. To make a scale furniture plan use a piece of graph paper and draw the room to scale using the measurements you have for the room. For example, 1 square on the graph paper will equal 12 inches of wall. Next, measure the pieces of furniture including area rugs and cut out the furniture shapes from the graph paper using the same scale as you did for your room-12″ equals one square. Write the name of the furniture piece and the overall dimensions on the paper cutout. Now, place the furniture cut-outs on your scaled room.

Scale Furniture
Scale Furniture Plan

Step 6: After you have placed your furniture cut-outs, use the visual layout to make any adjustments you may need. For example, there should be 12 to 18 inches between the edge of the coffee table and the seat of the sofa in a living room. You can see if your furniture will allow this by counting the number of squares that are between the pieces and find the distance you have.

Step 7: When you are satisfied that you have the best furniture arrangement for your room, be confident that your room and furniture will be proportionate, practical and pleasing to the eye.

Whether you are laying out a room for your first apartment or planning one for your new home, understanding the scale of furniture and its relationship to the room can help you create a comfortable and functional space.