This post could also be titled, “Confessions of a Scale-Obsessed Decorator.” Here’s the things about the “rules”—sometimes they’re meant to be broken. Love something but it’s not the perfect scale for the space? Well embrace it and love the things you love anyways. It’s a good lesson for me too. Sometimes doing everything right isn’t the right thing, if that makes sense.
I’ve written a little bit about what it’s been like to move from a 800 sq ft home to a 1600 sq ft home, but I’ve yet to hit on the revelations I’ve been having with the difference in scale. When our home went bigger, so much of what we had from the old house didn’t work—things like art, pillows, rugs, lamps, curtains—they were too short, too small. It all looked like dollhouse furniture in our current home, especially with the tall ceilings and the more open floor plan.
Our first home:
Our current home:
I guess it’s all common sense, right? But as I’ve slowly been working to furnish this house, I’ve realized that it’s launched me into a specific category of home decor (giant everything) that I didn’t see coming. For example, curtains. Nine and ten-foot ceilings have stuck me firmly in the 105″ length category. I can’t even pretend to get away with 95 inchers these days.
This era of “bigger scale” in my home has had a ripple effect in two major ways.
- Bigger decor pieces also means a bigger cost. It has made bargain hunting an absolute necessity for me, whereas before, if I didn’t find a deal it wasn’t a huge loss. Luckily, I kick a major kick out of finding bargains.
- It’s made “in person” shopping nearly obsolete. I love to shop in stores and be able to feel and measure things before I bring them home. But one problem—stores in my price range like Target and Home Goods don’t carry 105″ curtains, carry very few 9′ x 12′ rugs, etc. That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve turned into such an online shopper for the bigger items. Luckily, things usually work out. And plus, those stores are still great for accessories, blankets, baskets, etc.
Tracking with me? Good. Here are the 5 surprising home decor items that, thanks to the bigger house, also demand heftier square footage.
Big rooms mean big rugs. I’ve learned that, no matter how hard I squint my eyes or wiggle around furniture, I’m almost always going to need an 8′ x 10′ rug or larger in all of my spaces. The rug in the living room is 9′ x 12′ and it really could go a smidge bigger even. I tend to follow this rug size guide when it comes to my spaces, which basically means all furniture (at least the front two legs) should very much be on the rug if not completely on top of. (Pssst…. the rug shown above is this one from Wayfair.)
Oh yes, even pillow size matters in a big room. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve learned that in rooms with 9 and 10-foot ceilings, or even in spaces with open floor plans, the smallest I can go is 20″ square. I learned my lesson in the nursery just recently. I tried to get away with a 18-incher to save some money and womp, womp. Too small!
OUTDOOR WELCOME MATS
I know this feels like a random one, but hang in there. A big house begs for a big welcome mat outside the front door. Most welcome mats sold at stores are 30″ x 18″. They’re too small! I’m firmly stuck in the 4′ x 2′ welcome mat space, which limits my choices at the stores. Which is probably why I keep buying the same oversized mat from Target over and over again (this one is #4). Haha!
Tall and chunky is the name of the game for lamps in a bigger space. The sweet spot for me in this new house has been at least 24″ tall and 15″ wide. Yep, I’m the nut at Home Goods with my tape measurer trying to find ones that fit these specs, because most of the time, the standard lamp size is quite a bit smaller. Here’s a perfect example of lamps from Land of Nod (from the old house) in our current bedroom. They look so tiny!
While in the old house, they looked just fine…
This is also the secret behind why all of the lamps who’ve traveled over from the old house are now stacked up on books and other accessories—they just need a little height boost. 🙂
WALL DECOR AND MIRRORS
Bigger walls require bigger things to hang on the walls! I feel like my choices when it comes to what I can hang on the walls is now giant and extra giant—ha! Mirrors for example. In the old house, I could get away with a simple, sweet little mirror.
In the new house, I’ve had to go huge, like this mirror in our entryway makeover.
And even beyond mirrors, this is where the DIY gene really kicks in, because I’m always wanting to cover a large amount of space with not a lot of dough. I love this wall of frames in our entryway for that reason—covers a long wall but only cost us around $90 to create.
How have you adjusted your decor from house to house? My goal will always be to “make things work” (after all, our old house wall full of stuff we loved), but in a lot of cases, it required a new (and bigger) purchase.
Also… it’s been fun to see how my style has changed from house to house. Our current living room is soooo traditional at the moment. I actually like our old one better! It’s just a matter of getting the right furniture and accessories in there, which will come in the next year or so. I’ve got lots of other things to tackle first!