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Design Principles // The Golden Ratio

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Design Principles // The Golden Ratio

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Scale and proportion are the most fundamental elements to consider in the design of a space.

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Great design doesn’t just happen and unbeknownst to most, there are some basic principles that sit behind the idea of ‘good’ design. One of the most important being the golden ratio.

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Residence designed by Fiona Lynch

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KK Daybed by KlipKlap

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The importance of the golden ratio

Used since the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the golden ratio is said to occur in everything from the proportions of the human body through to musical sequences, as well as the design of buildings and objects.

There’s something about the ratio that sits comfortably with the human eye. And in interiors, it provides guidance to the scale and proportion of furniture, colours and objects, allowing spaces to feel comfortable and appeasing.

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Its application in interiors

Without dwelling too much on the detail, the exact ratio is 1:618, which is interpreted visually as 2/3 or 60:30:10. So how exactly are these numbers translated into interior design?

When it comes to choosing colours, think wall colour 60%, furniture colour 30% and accent colour 10%. With furniture, the rule relates to the sizing and placement of pieces – for example a dining table should be 2/3 the length of the dining room, and buffet roughly 2/3  the length of the sofa. Easy!

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Design by Arent and Pyke

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Design by Amber Road Interiors

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Make then break the rules

Most designers are taught the rules around proportion and scale. Some use it instinctively, others have a more thoughtful approach. Whichever it is, a space that incorporates these principles will feel more comfortable, balanced and aesthetically pleasing.

Whilst certainly not a hard and fast rule, keeping the golden ratio in mind when designing will help to create a more cohesive space. And remember, the beauty of knowing these rules is that you can have fun breaking them!

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Ferm Living

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Design by Arent and Pyke

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