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Top 3 Most Important Interior Design Principles

Moving into a new home, or redesigning an old space is not the easiest of jobs. Although it is wise to hire an interior designer as they are qualified by edification, skill, and experience, understanding the principles of interior design can help you through your journey of creating your new home.

On this blog, we will look at the 3 most important interior design principles that you should know about.

Interior Design – Balance

‘Balance’ is a very important element in interior design. It is all about the visual weight of your space and how to divide it between two sides. In interior design, this means evenly distributing elements in space for visual balance.

There are 3 main types of balance that can be implemented, they include:

Radial Balance

Radial balance is mostly associated with stairs, a round dining table, or a chandelier around which we try to create a circular balanced space. It is a principle used when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a center point. In the case of Radial Balance, items are distributed and arranged around a central point either extending inwards or outwards.

Asymmetrical Balance

This is the most popular type of balance and is mainly used for modern designs. It can be achieved by using some dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or eye attraction and placing them with an imagery focal central point. 

With Asymmetrical Balance, interiors tend to feel less rigid and dynamic because there are various objects that work together creating balance. 

Symmetrical Balance

Symmetrical balance is characterized by the same objects repeated in the same positions on either side of a vertical axis. It is not hard to achieve and is mostly used in traditional designs. Also, it is very common in square-type rooms.  

To achieve Symmetrical Balance, the space is divided into two equal halves going on an imaginary axis through the center. Then the elements of the space are placed on opposite sides of the line repeatedly to mirror each other.

Interior Design – Rhythm

two brown wooden chairs - Rhythm Interior
Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash

When searching for the perfect blend or combination to achieve Balance and overall Harmony, Rhythm, Contrast, and Scale are usually considered.

In interior design, rhythm works in a similar method as it does in music. It is a pattern that is subtle and ties all of your interior design principles together. This is the principle that polishes and shapens up your interiors.

It is utilized to help the eye move around within a space in an organized thought and manner and it plays a huge role in the way people perceive your interior, both in terms of whether or not it is pleasing aesthetically and in terms of functionality.

There are a few techniques that encourage rhythm in your space. They are:

  1. Contrast is created  using opposite sides of the colour wheel or mixing and matching materials. For example, metal and wood.
  2. Transition which allows elements of design such as shapes to move the eyes in a flow that is uninterrupted from one focal spot in the room to another spot. 
  3. Radiation which can be found in sitting areas where there are furniture pieces arranged around a central focal point and allows different elements of design to come together to form a balance of rotation around an object in the center. 
  4. Repetition which can be created with the use of the same textile patterns, architectural features or repeating objects, lights or shapes through your design space.

Interior Design – Scale and Proportion

Scale and Proportion go hand in hand since both relate to size and shape. Proportion refers to the general size relationship between two different objects. When designers refer to proportion, they are trying to describe the way objects relate to each other in a room. It deals with the ratio of one design element to another. An example could be a coffee table compared to the couch.

While Scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another. It refers to one object’s size in relation to another. Specifically, the concept of scale is used when one object’s size is known for certain. Some examples include; wall height, the height of table and chair, the size of a room, etc.

‘Scale and proportion’ is a very important part of the principles of interior design

Golden Ratio

When it comes to scale and proportion, you will most likely hear about the 1.618 golden ratios. 

A simple way to understand this is; designers divide rooms into two halves. One that takes up one-third of the space and the other half taking two-thirds of a space. The smaller section is for secondary use, such as storage or alternative seating. The bigger section contains the main furniture of the room, making it clear what the room’s primary function is.

Understanding these will help you work hand in hand with your interior designer as well as aid you in following through with their process in bringing your space to life.