Design & Style, Home & Lifestyle

Furnishing: Balance and Comfort

Kelly Wearstler

Lesson time 10:20 min

Kelly invites you into her living room and talks about her design choices. Learn how to work with balance and symmetry to create a comfortable living room, see your furniture as sculpture, and choose the right sofa.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Play With Balance and Symmetry · Think Comfort · Diversify Materials · Treat Your Furniture as Sculpture · Experience the Room · Mixed-Use Spaces: Think Outside the Box · Choose the Right Sofa · Tips for Making a Small Space Feel Larger


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Right now, we're sitting in the living room of my home. When designing this space, there is a really large window that is about 15 feet floor to ceiling. I wanted to also frame the fireplace. So I had two architectural features that I had to consider. When gathering the furniture, actually, I look at everything as a sculpture. So there is scale to consider. There is materiality to consider, proportion, and color. [MUSIC PLAYING] So this room is a symmetrical room. And it really called for balance and symmetry. But the balance and symmetry doesn't have to mean that all the pieces have to be the exact same weight. The room is balanced by the pair of 14 foot sofas. So if you look at this room, there is balance and there's proportion, but there is also a symmetry. And there's tension. Some of the chairs are quite small, and some of the chairs are quite large. And, the coffee tables. One is square and one is rectangular. They have a different voice. And that's where I always say where opposites attract. They actually have the same weight in the room. The square coffee table is larger and the rectangular table is a little smaller. But if you look at the balance, the balance feels great and they're very similar, but the proportion of these pieces are different. Like, you don't have to wear the same pair of earrings. It can actually be a little boring. So you don't have to have the same pair of chairs across from each other. You don't have to have the same chairs next to each other. You could have two different chairs next to each other. It doesn't matter. It's all about what feels good to you. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's important to have things that are comfortable. You can have things that look cool and are sculptural, but it's also important that when you have friends and family over, that the function is there and it's warm. And when we're at home, we want it to be comfortable. We wanted to be intimate and have a sense of place. When I go out shopping, I always make sure I sit in a chair. And if there is a really amazing chair that I went in the room that isn't the most comfortable, but it does so much to the design, make sure that the other pieces are really comfortable. If somebody was to sit on the floor, there's, like, a great rug. And it just feels warm and like home. [MUSIC PLAYING] So when furnishing a room, it's important to look at materiality. And this is where it comes into play. And so if you look at the two coffee tables-- so, for example, you have an ebonized timber with a bronze top. The other coffee table is ebony, but it also has glass and mirror. And they look totally different from one another, and they work. If you look at the sofas, it has a beautiful, refined, jacquard design. And if you look at the black chair, it's a lacquered wood. There's leather. If you have two rugs in the room, maybe the rugs have different construction pile and the walls are high gloss, then your ceiling mi...

About the Instructor

Eclectic and experiential, Kelly Wearstler’s style helped redefine modern American design and influenced the rise of designer hotels. Now the award-winning designer takes you behind the scenes to demystify interior design. Make any space feel larger, and choose colors, materials, and textures with confidence. Curate collections of art and objects, cultivate your own distinct style, and create spaces that tell a story.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Kelly Wearstler

Award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler teaches you interior design techniques to make any space more beautiful, creative, and inspiring.

Explore the Class
Sign Up