Big House? Then These Decor Items Should Be Big Too

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:

Rug Switch

Our current home:

Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

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.)


Polyfill vs Feather Pillow Inserts - Go Haus Go
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!


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!

It's Starting to Feel Like Home: Part 3

While in the old house, they looked just fine…

Bamboo Roller Shades

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. 🙂

Fast Track Online Auctions



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.

Entryway Makeover Reveal After

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!



Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • I have a big house with low ceilings and a tiny front porch, so some of these don’t apply to me :)….but giant empty walls are my nemesis. I think I’m all gallery walled out, so knowing where to go next without spending a million dollars is tricky! I love your wall of frames in the foyer 🙂

    • Emily May says:

      I know… it’s tough. I feel you on the gallery wall thing. And I just did one in our bathroom! I’ve been really into one big piece vs. lots of little ones lately. The trick is finding something huge for cheap. Not easy.

  • Lindsay S says:

    I dream of having this problem some day. My husband and I have been married/living together for over 6 years, and our problem is we have is that every place we’ve lived in has gotten progressively smaller! We have a 5×10 storage unit of all the furniture that we’re not using right now because we don’t have the space (going from a 1 bedroom apartment in a complex to a 1 bedroom apartment above a garage to now a studio basement apartment… eek) but my goal is to one day have MORE than one room and once we do, we’ve already got the stuff to fill it!

    Love what you’ve done with all your spaces – and I’m dying over those gold lamps, no matter where you put them!


    • Emily May says:

      Haha… well I wouldn’t say it’s a problem. More of just an interesting situation… LOL! It will be an awesome day when you get the space you have been wanting. You’ll get to see all of your awesome stuff again.

  • Megan says:

    We have moved from a little house to a much bigger house in the last year. I totally agree with everything you mentioned, except I have never thought about the size of my throw pillows. You are SO right. I have a large sectional in my living room and keep adding throw pillows with lots of different colors and textures that I spend way too many hours picking out and coordinating, but I never feel like I’m getting it right. It’s totally because they are too small. I immediately want to go pillow shopping! My husband is going to kill me ;). Thanks for the tip!

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