With the correct balance principles of design, our living spaces allow us to create various forms or shapes to take on a personality or tell a story. An example in a static medium is a painting where an artist has created the perception of movement with action lines or blurred areas. It also gives you the ability to evaluate and deconstruct other designs; looking at a design from its basic, raw elements can help you understand why a designer made certain decisions in their work.

To transform any space; one can use the basic interior design principles to create a fabulous room. Have you ever walked into a space, where you just know it was well designed? Of course you have, thats proper application of the elements and principles of design. You can sense how everything feels cohesive and put together. It feels just right. You can achieve that effect in your own home with a little knowledge of basic design principles. Pair that knowledge with practice and experimentation and you’re on your way to creating a beautiful home. Balance


What creates a sense of equilibrium? In design balance, is all about the visual weight of an object and its proximity to equalizing it within the space. Balance is created not just through shape, but through color, pattern, and texture as well.

Three different kinds of balance are:

  • Symmetrical or formal: Traditional or formal spaces call for symmetrical balance where the space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other. For example, two chairs on either side of a coffee table can be said to be symmetrically balanced. This kind of balance is easy to achieve as design elements are repeated on each side. If you are not careful, this kind of balance can become monotonous and boring.

  • Asymmetrical or Informal: The visual weights of lines, colors, forms, and textures are balanced without exact duplication. It is not as ordered as symmetrical balance and can be more complex and interesting. For instance, a sofa can be balanced by placing two chairs on the other side.

  • Radial balance is achieved when there is a central focal point with other elements radiating from it or around it. An example would be a round dining table, with chairs arranged around it. There is a lot of repetition of form, texture, and color.


Creating patterns as one would in music; Design is all about repetition and contrast to create visual interest. You can achieve this by using the same color or shape at different intervals. Moving your eye around the room is its purpose. For instance, you can establish a rhythm by using a color in the pillows, picking it up in a painting, and echoing it again in a rug. These repetitions will help carry your eye around the room.


Harmony is created when all the elements act together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of restfulness. For instance, using just one color you can create harmony though your forms which can greatly vary in shape, size, and texture.


Emphasis in a room is where everything gets equal importance will seem either scattered or boring. You need an anchor. Generally architectural spaces often have points of interest such as a fireplaces or a windows with a beautiful view. You can choose to enhance the built-in focal point by arranging furniture around it to emphasize it specifically to drag the eye straight to that area. In a room that lacks such a built-in point of interest, you can create one through groupings of furniture or using an unusual or large piece.

Proportion and Scale

Proportion is the ratio between the size of one part to another, and scale is how the size of one object relates to another or to the space in which it is placed. For instance, a large overstuffed sectional in a small room will be out of scale; but don't get this wrong you can use this concept and play with it in the opposite way; making things more drastic then needed. Some proportional relationships are more pleasing than others. The ancient Greeks came up with the Golden Section, which sought to reduce all proportion to a simple formula: The ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as that of the larger section to the whole. This proportion is present in nature, and artists and architects have used it as well.

Now that you have understood more about the principles of design; you can walk into a room and truly grasp the meaning of every piece within the space has been thoroughly thought out to give you that sense of ease.

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