How do you Decorate a Very Large Room?

One of the questions that I get a lot is what to do with a very large space. Many people that I know who moved from their one family residence to a town home in a gated community have had this problem.  While they may have downsized in square footage, their living rooms (or great rooms) were usually very tall (some double entry height) and their old furnishings and art work just didn’t work in the room anymore. 

A great way to break up a huge space via

The above room would look too voluminous and imposing if it was left without any architectural embellishments.  Adding the built-ins and the ledge (which brings your eye up – but not as far up as the ceiling) help tame the height of this room. The decorative beams, the wainscoting, the moldings and the windows all aid in bringing your eye down and help break up the vastness of the space. The flooring, with its diagonal design, helps to emphasize the width of the room. Even the planking on the ceiling helps to bolster the sense of width in this room. The pendant over the billiards table brings your eye down as well. The billiard table itself is chunky and substantial. A smaller piece of furniture would have been out of place.

What I am talking about here is the principal of scale.  In an over-scaled room like this, you need items that are as substantial as the space and architectural elements that help bring the room to a more human scale.  This room would make anyone feel small if the items I mentioned above were not part of the room.

What else makes this space warm and welcoming?…the texture on the walls and the warmth of the wood tones.  Anytime you use a texture on walls, it’s like giving your room “a big hug.” It’s not only just warm – it actually helps to prevent light from bouncing off it and it gives the sense that the wall is “advancing” and coming forward – so the room feels more cozy and smaller.

If you’re puzzled by your large space, try to think about ways to break up the vastness – as above.  Use texture on your walls to cozy up the space.  A darker color on the wall would also help to reduce the perceived size of the room.

Kitchen, designed by Kenneth Bordewick
The beautiful kitchen, above, shows how to tame the scale of this room.  Look at the hefty beamed ceilings – this brings down the perceived height of the room. The room is also broken up – notice where the cabinets begin and end – and they don’t go up to the ceiling.  There are also two isalnds – again helping to break up the space, The large scaled pieces, like the Italian vase, are very substantial…and in scale with the room. The lighting also brings your eye down.
So, when you are decorating an overscaled room, try to remember some of these things – and don’t be afraid to use larger accessories and artwork.  Your room needs them!
If you are having any trouble with your rooms, just give me a call.  I know that I can help.  Happy decorating!

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3 Responses to How do you Decorate a Very Large Room?

  1. Wateringen says:


    Your blog is amazing!
    I will follow your blog.
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  2. Welcome to my blog, I'm delighted you're here and I wish you much fun

  3. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Marijke and Doris – thanks for commenting and for following my blog also. I appreciate every one of my followers – especially when they are as talented as the two of you!!


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