“Oh I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts’ secrets, Igor,” said Dumbledore amicably. “Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamber pots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.417)[Bold font is mine]
A dictionary says proportioned is
(used especially after an adverb) having parts that relate in size to other parts in the way that is described
Considering the above explanation, I tentatively understand ‘a well (or beautifully) proportioned room’ has nicely balanced lengths of each side, as one large box. Also, I’m thinking ‘beautifully proportioned’ is a kind of compliment.
To be frank, however, I’m feeling a little strange about my understanding. The relation of three side lengths in a room doesn’t matter so much to me, because Japanese rooms are basically made of unified standard of tatami mat or fusuma screen, which automatically make rooms some-extent-proportioned ones. When I speak my mother tongue, I wouldn’t bother to explain how the room is proportioned unless I am an architect or unless the room is a special art. I would praise not the proportion of the room, the container, but the color or material of the accessories mainly (or only).
So, I’m curious about what “a beautifully proportioned room” really means. Here are my questions;
- Does it mean that the room has golden ratio in three sides?
- Does it mean the room is a great artwork which you would like to put in a museum?
- Does it describe (or praise) only a room as a box? (I’d like to know if the concept of a room includes the accessories of the room; furniture, border, curtains, or fireplace. If so, does it refer to only their layout?)