The principles of interior decoration

2020/04/22

By Monique Reprezas

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Enjoying her beautiful home | Image by Roberto Nickson 

When you understand the principles of interior decoration, you will be able to transform spaces. Not only will they look beautiful, but they will look cohesive as well. Once you know the theory of these principles, start experimenting with it and you will find that you will be creating beautiful spaces. 

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The ocean view is the focal point in this room | Image by Roberto Nickson

Let's start with emphasis. Every room needs an anchor, also known as the focal point. This is the point of interest in the room, which is colourful, texturally and visually appealing. A focal point is important because a room will look either boring or scattered if everything has equal importance. An example of focal points would be a fireplace, a large art piece or perhaps a window with a beautiful view. You can get quite creative with this by creating your own focal points for your rooms. 

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Contrast is created by shape, colour and texture in this room | Image by Dan Gold

It is important to create contrast, by positioning elements by their colour, shape, texture, scale or materials. This can be achieved in a number of ways: comparing light to dark colours, small with large elements, texture with non-textured surfaces. Contrast gives life and character to any room. 

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You can see both scale and proportion displayed in the vase and candleholders | Image by Toa Heftiba

Now let's focus on scale and proportion. Scale tends to refer to how an item relates to the size of the room. Proportion refers not only to the size but to the shape as well of an item and how it relates to other things in the room.

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You can see the rhythm flow in this room by looking at the yellow on the cushions, on the table and on the wall art pieces | Image by Kelsey Dody

Rhythm in design is just like music. Rhythm is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast in order to create visual interest. The repetition will create a flow which will move your eye around the room. This is achieved by duplicating colours, patterns and shapes by using them at different intervals. An example of this would be establishing a rhythm by using a colour in pillows, paintings, rugs, etc. This will assist in moving your eye around the room. 

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An image of asymmetrical balance by NeONBRAND

Balance is the distribution of equal visual points. In design, balance creates a feeling of equilibrium. It is about approximating or equalizing the visual weight of objects. Balance is created through shape, colour, pattern and texture. There are three different kinds of balance. The first being Symmetrical balance, where the space is evenly split and both sides mirror one another. The second being asymmetrical balance, where the visual weight of colours, lines, forms and textures are balanced without exact duplication. This type of balance can be more complex and interesting, in comparison to symmetrical balance. Lastly, radial balance is when elements radiate from / around the focal point of the room. 

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Harmony displayed in this image by Sidekix Media

The final principle I would like to highlight is harmony. Harmony is created when all elements work together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of restfulness. Defining an aesthetic style will offer parameters of colour and texture, which will warranty a cohesive atmosphere.


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