Details: Scale and Proportion

I am most certainly not an expert on the architectural implication of scale and proportion in a building or room. What I do know is the most satisfying proportions follow the golden mean, which is the basis for traditional composition and modern asymmetrical design. Pleasing proportions are created as much by intuitive judgement as by strict calculation. It is difficult to illustrate this concept, but I have a few images that will make the point.

Classic mosaic patterns are a good way to demonstrate the difference the right scale and proportion make in the bath (and everywhere else in the house as well). Faucets are another good barometer. An error of just half an inch in the placement of handles on a deck can throw off the proportions of a lavatory or bathtub so the entire space looks awkward. A well-scaled space produces a feeling of ease and comfort; on the contrary, if scale is out of balance, a sense of disharmony will prevail.  No amount of craftsmanship or beauty can fix a space that is out of scale.

In tight spaces, where every decision can dash the scale of the room, the fixtures and furnishings need to be proportionate to the architectural frame. Classical symmetry can reveal the true dimensions of a room.  Mosaic floor patterns can help manipulate the perception of scale and room size. If you are renovating a bath and not increasing its dimensions, you must keep in mind that more than likely the components you want to install will be larger than the existing ones, and that being flexible about your choices will help create just the outcome your were hoping for.


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