Imagine walking into a room whose ambiance is so welcoming, furniture pieces having a perfect blend with colors and lighting of the space radiating, and having a feel of that space being a masterpiece, that’s what applying the principles of interior design does for you.
You should always apply the principles of interior design as a guide when working either with existing furnishings or an empty room.
These principles are based on how you utilize the different elements of design (space, line, form, color, texture) in creating the desired space you want.
The principles of interior design are balance, emphasis, rhythm, proportion and scale, and harmony and unity.
Principle #1: Balance
Balance relates to the visual equilibrium in a room. It conveys a sense of calm and a feeling of completion. A well-balanced room gives careful consideration to the placement of objects according to their visual weight.
The elements of line, form, color and texture all help determine an objects visual weight, which is the amount of space it appears to occupy.
Balance also refers to how and where you place the elements (line, form, color and texture) within a room. To maintain balance, try to distribute the elements throughout the room.
Formal balance, often referred to as symmetrical balance, creates a mirror image effect.
Informal balance uses different objects of the same visual weight to create equilibrium in a room. It is more-subtle and spontaneous and gives a warmer, more casual feeling.
Principle #2: Emphasis
Emphasis is the focal point of the room. The focal point should be obvious as you enter the room; it is the area to which your eye is attracted.
Whatever is featured, as the center of interest such as a fireplace, artwork or a window treatment framing a beautiful view must be sufficiently emphasized so that everything else leads the eye toward the featured area.
You can add emphasis to a natural focal point or create one in a room through effective use of line, form, color and texture.
Principle #3: Rhythm
Rhythm supplies the discipline that controls the eye as is moves around a room.
Rhythm helps the eye to move easily from one object to another and creates a harmony that tells the eye everything in the room belongs to a unified whole.
Rhythm is created through repetition of line, form, color or texture. It can also be created through progression. Progressive rhythm is a gradual increasing or decreasing in size, direction or color.
Principle #4: Proportion and Scale
Size relationships in a room are defined by proportion and scale.
Proportion refers to how the elements within an object relate to the object as a whole. Scale relates to the size of an object when compared with the size of the space in which it is located.
Principle #5: Harmony and Unity
A well-designed room is a unified whole that encompasses all the other elements and principles of design.
Unity assures a sense of order. There is a consistency of sizes and shapes, a harmony of color and pattern.
The ultimate goal of decorating is to create a room with unity and harmony and a sense of rhythm.
Repeating the elements, balancing them throughout the room, and then adding a little variety so that the room has its own sense of personality accomplishes this.
Too much unity can be boring; too much variety can cause a restless feeling. Juggling the elements and principles to get just the right mix is a key to good design.