Basics of interior design

Principles of interior design

Understanding the basic principles that create an interior design, any space can be turned into a fabulous environment. You probably know what it’s like to be in a well-designed room. When you literally feel how everything is connected to each other, complements each other and work together for our pleasure. And if you look at each piece of furniture separately, you can not help noticing that it is “just right”. Do you want to achieve this effect in your own home? Then read the following principles of interior design.

Balance in interior design

In design, balance creates a sense of balance. This is about aligning or approximating the visual weight of various objects. In this case, the balance is created not only through their shape but also through color, pattern, and texture.

What is the visual weight? Take, for example, two identical vases in white and black will they look the same on the same background? There are many ways to make an object look heavier or lighter than it actually is. Here are the main ones:

– dark tones, bright, rich colors, and warm hues give items more weight than do light tones, cool hues, and muted colors;
– heavy or unusual patterns and shapes also have more visual weight, as they attract more attention;
– transparent bodies and reflective surfaces always look lighter;
texture surfaces visually weigh more than smooth surfaces.

There are three different types of balance in the interior:

symmetrical or formal-a balance that must be observed when creating traditional or formal spaces. To do this, the room is evenly divided into two sides that reflect each other. However, the difference between the parties in some small details is welcome. If you choose not to take risks and make both sides exactly the same, then your room can become monotonous and boring.


asymmetric or informal a balance in which all lines, colors, shapes, and textures are balanced without exact duplication. The creation of such a balance is more complicated but also more interesting. For example, a sofa on one side of a room can be balanced by placing a piano on the other side.


radial-the balance that is achieved by using the Central object and all other elements located around it. An example here is a round dining table with chairs around it and cupboards for dishes placed against the walls on either side of the room.

Rhythm in interior design

Rhythm in interior design

As in music, rhythm interior design creates repetitive motifs and contrasts to increase visual interest. You can achieve this by alternating the same colors, shapes, and patterns at certain intervals (distances). The purpose of this is to make the eyes move around the room.

Harmony interior design

Harmony interior design

Harmony in interior design is created when all its elements interact together to carry a single message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony brings a sense of calm. For example, you can create harmony using only one color in the design, even if all objects differ greatly in shape, size, and texture.

Emphasis in interior design

The emphasis in interior design is the creation of a focal point. A focal point should be an area that is visually important enough to draw and hold attention. Examples of dramatic, demanding or interesting focal points can be found or created in many different ways.

A focal point can be created by placing a beautiful piece of furniture with an interesting grouping of art in a foyer or at the end of a hallway.
A focal point creates a point of emphasis in the room, serving to anchor it. When you don’t have an architectural feature for emphasis, there are times. Select a piece of furniture that can act as the focal point if that is the case.
Your eyes immediately scan the space and rest on elements that attract attention when you walk into a room.
Emphasis is the design principle that deals with the dominance of the area of interests, or focal points. If you want to achieve an effective, engaging design, you should aim to have a coexistence of subordinate and dominant elements to draw the eye around the interior.

How to create Emphasis:

EMPHASIS VIA elements of interior design

Contrast using the elements of interior design is one of the simplest and most interesting ways to create emphasis. You can also introduce a new texture, smaller scale items, or direction using lines around your focal point to really make it stand out.
Imagine walking into a room with a white ceiling, white walls, white floorboards and, in the middle, a white square table with four white rectangular chairs. Pretty boring, don’t you think?
Now imagine making a few simple changes to the room:
you paint the chairs in bright red, move table, and chairs to the left side of the room, and hang a red pendant above the table;
you take a white wooden sideboard, the texture of the wood showing through the paint, and place it in the right part of the room, with a red vase on top of it;
you hang on the wall a series of pictures with white frames of similar size but different shape, arranging them in a line that starts from the area where the table is, then run towards the sideboard and finishes exactly above it;
you place a white, curvy easy chair with a red circular coffee table and a table lamp by the wall opposite the sideboard.

EMPHASIS VIA PLACEMENT

Sometimes, an area or feature of your home will be a focal point simply because of its location or its architecture, for instance, the wall at the end of a hallway. Don’t try to fight these natural focal points. Instead, enhance them with some of these other techniques for creating emphasis.

Now when you enter the room and your eyes scan the space, they first go to the dining table red chairs on the left, then follow the line created by the picture frames towards the sideboard, stop at the red vase, take in the rough texture of the sideboard, then travel again towards the rounded chair and red coffee table. Much more interesting, isn’t it?

The ability to look at a room, and choose which type of emphasis to use hallmark of a good designer. The room and furniture you have to design decide which type of emphasis to use.

Some rooms have a built-in focal point, a place where your eye goes as soon as you walk in. A fireplace or a wall of windows with a stunning view is almost always natural focal points.

A room that has no dominant element is tedious and bland, like the white room of the example. Once you introduce a focal point (the dining area) and a few visual accents (red vase, textured sideboard, round armchair with red table) you create an effective design and engage the eyes in an interesting tour of the interior.

This type of emphasis is most commonly seen with designers that are also passionate about antiques. The very act of purchasing antiques is assigning a higher value to things that are from a certain period in time, or of a certain style. Creating a design around a focal element is a little different than an architectural focus, but with the right element, it can be more powerful.

Proportions and scale interior design


Proportion is the ratio between the dimensions of two objects, and scale in interior design is how the size of one object relates to another or to the space in which it is placed. For example, a large sectional upholstered furniture in a small room will look out of place, taking up most of it, and leaving space only for a small coffee table and dresser.

Why is that? Some proportional relationships between objects or an object and space are more pleasant than others. The ancient Greeks came up with a Golden rule that reduces all proportions to one simple formula: the ratio of a smaller object to a larger one must be the same as the ratio of a larger object to space as a whole. This proportion is also present in nature, from which all artists and architects borrow it.

Combine this knowledge with practice and experiments, and you will surely find your way to creating a beautiful space.

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