Interior design is something of an art – and the best schemes are usually created with professional input, though you needn’t hire a decorator to get it. We talked to renowned interior designer Kelly Wearstler about using scale in interior design. Renowned for her dramatic but liveable schemes, she offers her invaluable insight, below.

1. Use scale to create contrast

‘When working with scale in a room, what you’re really trying to do is create a beautiful tension,’ says Kelly Wearstler. ‘It’s so much more interesting to pair a large sofa with a smaller side table than have everything lined up.’

2. Vary furniture heights

‘Looking at heights of furniture is so important. Pair side tables of different heights, a lower one at around 14 inches high with one that’s maybe 26 inches. Having varying heights creates a depth of field and more interest to the eye,’ says Kelly Wearstler (opens in new tab).

3. Draw attention to a bed

‘In bedrooms, if you have a large bed in a room that isn’t too big, pairing it with two really small, delicate side tables will help make a small bedroom feel bigger.  ‘For larger bedrooms, beds can seem quite out of scale, so I love to design beds which have a larger piece of upholstery or wood around it, accentuating the furniture, making it appear even wider and ensuring the attention is on the bed as the main element in the room.’

4. Consider hierarchy 

‘When I design, I think about hierarchy. What is the largest piece in the room – the sofa? The bed? A piece of art? There’s no wrong or right answer, but once you have your largest piece in mind you can start to think of how to create that contrast with smaller pieces.’

5. Consider lighting when playing with scale

‘Lighting is really so important and an excellent way of playing with scale. Oversized chandeliers are a great place to begin, then I love sconces and then having lamps on a table uplighting a sculpture or piece of art.’

Where Kelly Wearstler shops for scaled up pieces

Morentz (opens in new tab) is a great gallery when it comes to sourcing just about anything, including large sofas and sectionals. They tend to have an array of post-modern designed sofas along with other modular classics by De Sede, Mario Bellini, and Ettore Castelli. They’re amazing for sourcing for the odd and peculiar. For statement, lighting I look at Carpenters Workshop Gallery (opens in new tab) (Vincenzo De Cotiis), Tod Merrell and David Krynauw.