In order to understand design and how it relates to your homes interior there are some basic design principles put into practice to create a finished space that is pleasing to the eye. These principles include unity, balance, focal point, rhythm, scale & proportion, details and last but not least color. They are all are useful in implementing great interior design and it is relativity easy to incorporate these principles in your own home. Yes, thats right...you can do it!
Unity is a great place for you to to begin. I like to describe it as the “harmony” we create between rooms and how they compliment one another. Unity is usually achieved through a common style or theme for your design. It is important for each home to flow and rooms should compliment one another. This can be achieved through color, furniture style and other common elements from room to room like flooring and trim for example.
Balance, is oh so important as it relates to interior design; it is the distribution of visual weight around the room and there are three types of balance. Symmetrical balance is practiced by using identical pieces to balance a room, an example of this would be a traditional sitting room with two identical sofas set facing one another creating a very formal feel. Asymmetrical balance is used a lot in the designs of today. I personally gravitate to rooms with this type of design because they are very casual and
livable. It is accomplished by using dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight. So a great example of this would be a large sofa place across from two large comfy chairs spaced to balance the room. Radial symmetry is the final type of balance I would like to explain, it is achieved by placing identical objects around a center focal point. My favorite example of this is four armless slipper chairs around a low circular coffee table to create a lovely conversation area for enjoying coffee with friends. Why not consider adding an area like this to your own home?
Focal point: we all know what this is, right? Most living rooms have a natural focal point like a fireplace but no matter what it is, it should be large and command everyone's attention. Some rooms will have more than one focal and can be difficult to design.
Each room needs this element so if you don't have a natural focal point consider adding a large mirror or even a hutch. You could even create a focal point very easily through simply enhancing one wall with color and placing a buffet or say a desk in front of it.
Another important design principle is Rhythm: in design is not an audible sound as you may be inclined to think but instead it is a visual pattern used throughout each room. One way to create rhythm is through repetition, this can easily be achieved by
incorporating various textures, patterns, and colors into your design. Putting bright throw pillows in a single color around the room is a great way to introduce rhythm.
Contrast can also be used to establish some seriously popin' rhythm. Try using some black and white in your design but be careful because contrast can be very jarring and over stimulate some people but used sparingly it can really take the room to the next level! Transition is the another great way to enlist rhythm in your design. It is basically the way your eye travels around the room, for example by painting repetitive horizontal 16” stripes around a room your eye will definitely have something to follow as it scans the room. Progression is the final way to achieve the desired rhythm to your room. Some ways to use progression is to use decorative boxes or baskets in varying sizes in your room arrangement. Also, you could consider using the same grey color in different shades throughout the home to create rhythm with a easy natural progression.
Scale and proportion will relate to your decorative items size and shape and how they relate to one another in the room. Have you ever noticed a huge elevated oversized bed in a room with tiny dressers and side tables? The room feel off kilter, not right! This type of bed should instead be flanked with substantial side tables and large scale lamps to fit the proper proportion of the room as a whole.
One of my favorite design principles is no doubt in the Details! Oh yea, I love the details. These are the finishing touches (trim, fringe, cording, nail heads, & decorative accents) that really add to a room and its overall design appeal. Details should enhance
your entire design, rooms with amazing details truly do stand out and feel totally finished. I could talk about this all day but I don't want to bore you with the details.
Color glorious color, it can make or brake your room. Color is such an important detail because they have a way to affect the rooms overall atmosphere and really set the mood and tone of the room. Colors are very personal, certain colors can evoke a pleasant memory from your child hood or remind you of your relaxing tropical beach vacation you never want to forget and they can carry so much power. I encourage everyone to really research color before you choose it and pick the right color to set the proper mood for the room. I love bright vibrant color but over time and through lots of years of experience I have come to realize neutrals are very flexible and easy to work around. So now, in all of my furniture selections I always go neutral, but true to my personality, I like to add one vibrant color to give my rooms a sense of fun expression and whimsy with out being too overbearing. I also like change, probably more than anyone, and with neutrals change is endless and inexpensive, which my husband can appreciate!
So, by now I am sure you all have a better understanding of these design principles and my hope is that you can now put them to use and incorporate them your own home. I have no doubt if you follow these simple principles you too will be able to to design
your own space that is pleasing to your family and friends and it will be a perfect example of great design.
Katherine Turner specializes in budget friendly home design, room arrangements, staging, and utilizing items you already have! We will help you transform your home by offering tips, tricks, and simple suggestions to bring your home to life!