There are five elements of design you should use when designing your space. A great designer will help you execute these in your design project.

The elements are:

  • Emphasis
  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Rhythm
  • Color

PROPORTION is the consideration of weight, shape, and division of an object. Proportion is a difficult element of design because there is no definite rule or formula. A designer must make close observations and many manipulations of objects in order to achieve proportion. The Greek concept of the Golden Oblong or Golden Section is used in proportion. The Golden Oblong uses a system of two-three, three-four, ect. The idea behind this is an oblong is more interesting than a square. The Golden Oblong and a square can both be used in proportion.

The following are some examples of how proportion can be applied in your home:

End Tables

If you are out looking for a bargain on an end table for your home you want to make sure it is not too short to be functional with modern furniture. Many people are getting rid of end tables because they are too short for today’s furniture. When buying an end table you want to make sure your table is 26-28 inches high to be in-line with your couches or chairs.

Night Stands

When picking a lamp for your night stand you want to choose a rectangular shade that can go up against the wall so you have room to put needed items on your night stand.

Functional Lighting

A typical end table lamp should be 30 inches high so the light comes up behind you to provide you adequate light for reading and other activities.


When hanging a chandelier in a dining room you want to consider the proportions of the chandelier to the dining room table. It should be approximately 34-38 inches from the top of the table to the bottom of the fixture. If you have taller people in your family you need to make sure it is high enough so they do not hit their heads on the chandelier. When people get up they tend to move their heads forward so a chandelier should be hung accordingly.