A lot of my customers tell me that they go to a retail store and the setup of the furniture looks beautiful in the space and then when they get it home, it looks terrible. It’s too big. One of the problems that I end up fixing for a lot of people is replacing over-scaled furniture. As homes have gotten larger, and manufacturers have countered by making bigger furniture. Furniture that’s not just big, it's super-sized.
A lot of the housing stock, certainly within Rte 128 in the Boston area, was built before 1920 or 1930, when houses were typically smaller. Even grand Victorian homes, like we did for This Old House, Newton, do not call for large furnishings.
Large-scale furniture, just doesn’t fit in the vast majority of houses. It is made to sell. But it doest work in real homes . People can’t really put their words on why their space doesn’t feel comfortable. They just know it's not right. But I know immediately, and it's usually a numbers game with sizes of furniture. They bought chairs with very high backs in their dining room. Maybe they are 42" high which is way too tall given standard 8' ceilings. This combination makes the space feel cramped.
Or they bought a sofa with a really big rolled arm and a lot overstuffed cushions and pillows and they have a regular-sized living room and it just doesn’t feel right. The scale of the furniture is too big and there's no air to walk around the room. So you don't feel like you want to stay in the space.
I don’t make mistakes of scale and proportion in furniture size. That’s where my training comes in and my expertise comes in. So clients can know that if I’m buying furniture for them I’m not going to let them buy something that will be too big for their space. My clients will tell you I am a stickler for scale and proportion. Taste is personal though.