The Fundamental Principles of Interior Design

The feeling you get when you walk into a well-designed room, where you sense how everything feels just right, can be easily achieved by putting your knowledge to use and through experimentation. Simply by applying the fundamental principles of interior design, you can turn any of your projects into a fabulous one.

So, what should you bear in mind?

1. Balance

In design, balance provides a sense of equilibrium. It’s how one can equalise or approximate the visual weight of objects through its shape, colour, and pattern.

There are three kinds of balance:

  • Symmetrical or formal: When it comes to traditional or formal spaces, it requires symmetrical balance. The space is equally 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 is easy to achieve as design elements are repeated on each side. However, if you are not careful, this kind of balance can become boring and monotone.

  • Asymmetrical or Informal: It is the visual weights of lines, colours, forms, and textures that are balanced without exact duplication. It is not as organised or symmetrically balanced and can be more complex and interesting. For instance, a couch can be balanced by placing two chairs on either side.

  • Radial balance is achieved when there is a central focal point with other elements radiating outward or inwards to the central point. For example, a round dining table is surrounded by chairs. This indicates a repetition of form, texture, and colour.

2. Rhythm

Just like music, rhythm is applied in design too. It is about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest.

The objective behind this is to get your eyes moving around the room by using the same colour or shape at different intervals. For example, you can establish a rhythm by using a colour in the pillows, picking it up in a painting, and echoing it again in a rug. These repetitions will help lead your eye through a room.

3. Harmony

Harmony is created when all the elements gel with one another. As rhythm creates excitement; harmony helps in creating a sense of serenity. Even if your forms vary in shape, size and texture, harmony can be easily achieved by using one colour.

4. Emphasis

Architectural spaces often have points of interest such as central furniture or art pieces. A room where everything is given equal attention will make it seem scattered or boring. This can be prevented by enhancing the built-in focal point by placing furniture around to emphasize it. For a room that lacks a built-in point of interest, you can add a few visual accents like a vase or textured sideboard.

5. Proportion and Scale

When it comes to interior design, proportion refers to the balance between elements such as colours, shapes and texture. Scale refers to the comparative size of an object or more in its designated space. For example, a small room is out of proportion if there’s a large occupied corner.

With that said, the ancient Greeks came up with a simple formula known as the Golden Section which helps reduce all proportions. The ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as that of the larger section to the whole.

Look at how the different elements relate to one another and then start applying these principles of design in your home. Being one of the interior design firms in Malaysia, we pair our knowledge with practice and experimentation in applying these principles to creating a beautiful home.

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