Mid Century Modern Furniture and Design

Furniture shape and proportions

Hello dear friends,

I hope you are having a wonderful year so far.

Today we are going to talk about the importance of furniture shape and proportions. Choosing the right furniture shape for the space can be the difference between having a show-stopper room and having a blah room. 

You might have a wonderful house, with plenty of space but not having the right furniture shape and layout will make it look out of place always. 

You definitely need measurements of the space. You cannot guestimate this. I can’t tell you enough how important this is. You need to make sure you have plenty of room to move to open windows, flow to doors and opening to other adjacent rooms. 

Also, you have to remember to leave enough room for supporting furniture. For example, in a living room your main piece would be your sofa but you need to have supporting furniture such as tables, chairs, a credenza or case piece, etc.  

I am sure you remember I mentioned before the customer who had an oversize sofa and every piece surrounding it was a mismatched chair. So everywhere you saw there was a chair and nothing else. When she consulted me, she knew something wasn’t working but she didn’t see the problem. My solution was to take away some of the random chairs and add other supporting pieces.

If you downloaded my 5 must-haves for a perfect mcm living room, then you know that your case piece needs to balance out the size of the sofa. Meaning don’t add a tiny credenza barely making the length of the tv if you have the space for a larger one and you also have a large sectional sofa. And if you have a sectional sofa but that doesn’t leave you space for a decent size credenza and a coffee table then the sofa is too big for the space. 

In the bedroom, if all you can have is the bed and nothing around it, then your bed is too big for the room. You need to have at least 1 nightstand or surface to set a glass of water, a lamp, a book, etc. 

And I say this knowing that a lot of us live in tiny urban places. But I truly believe that with the right furniture supporting your main pieces you can achieve a wonderful design that can be functional and beautiful. (Stay tuned for a clear example of this that is coming in a future blog post).

I am definitely generalizing here because the furniture definitely needs to be chosen for the needs of the family and the measurements of your room. 

But what I want you to keep in mind is that with the right measurements, you can plan your entire room. Even if at the beginning you only have the budget for the main piece. When I design a space I always tell my clients to buy in layers when they don’t have the budget to buy the entire room at once. So don’t think about filling up the space with just 1 piece because that is all you can afford at the moment. Think about what other pieces you will need to complement the main piece. Buy your main piece first, then add complementary pieces and lighting, then art and accessories. I am pretty sure everyone has a different process. But I find it easier to do it in this order.

And don’t think about your space as a static thing. Even when you don’t like decorating, you will find other pieces later on to add or change and your space will evolve with time. It is not a static entity. So having a design to work towards is always helpful so you don’t end up with a room full of furniture pieces that don’t relate to one another.

And that is all my friend, see below a few examples that I feel reflect the right proportions and shapes of furniture in relation to the room. 


As always this blog is just my opinion, it is meant to be helpful and proactive not to be offensive in any way. If you like it please share it with friends and family and help us grow.

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