When it comes to your home, it’s understandable that you want it to look it’s very best, but getting there isn’t always a clear path. Whether you’re simply redecorating or planning a full-on remodel, it can be difficult to know where to start if you’re not a professional. But fortunately, there are certain interior design principles you can use as your guide to turning your living space into your ideal haven.
Interior Design Principle #1: Mood
Before you even begin purchasing items or making any changes, you need to decide on the mood you want to evoke within your space. Depending on the room, you may want it to feel relaxing and peaceful, ideal for the bedroom or bathroom, or comfortable yet trendy for your living room.
Whether you’ve taken inspiration from Pinterest or found a beautiful rug that you want to base the room around, having a starting point is important because this will help you cultivate that mood with the right pieces, colors, and textures.
Interior Design Principle #2: Function
Each aspect of your decor plays a role in the design and determining every item’s function, above and beyond its aesthetic appeal is important. For example, you may be in love with a hanging light, but it might not provide ample lighting for space. In this instance, you’ll need to decide whether to complement it with another light or use it in another space where it will function better.
The same thing goes with furniture. If you’re decorating a small space with light and airy modern furniture, you don’t want to incorporate a heavy, oversized wood piece. Similarly, if you’re going to be entertaining frequently, you don’t want your coffee or dining table to be cheaply made. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality piece of furniture that will withstand the frequent use. If you’re looking for high-quality furniture for your most frequently used spaces, you should consider:
- Lexington Furniture
- Restoration Hardware
- Ethan Allen
Interior Design Principle #3: Balance
When applying the principle of balance to your interior design, it is pretty much what it sounds like—creating a sense of equilibrium with your decor. While you might automatically gravitate toward symmetrical balance, where items and spacing are mirrored, there are also the concepts of asymmetrical and radial balance.
Asymmetrical balance does not rely on mirroring but instead achieving balance through the visual weight that is complimentary. Radial balance is based on decor elements radiating outward from a focal point and implementing repetition to achieve that balance.
Balance can be achieved through many different design aspects from colors and spacing to lines, patterns, or textures.
Interior Design Principle #4: Rhythm
The rhythm of your space is how the elements of your decor draw the eye around the room. Achieving the right rhythm in interior design is all about creating visual interest through repetition. Similarly to balance, rhythm and repetition can be achieved through specific design qualities like patterns, color, and shape, that might seem insignificant but have a major impact on the look and feel of the space.
For example, one way to achieve a good rhythm in your space is to pull one element like a unique color or pattern and work it into different aspects of your decor to tie everything together without making it overwhelming.
Interior Design Principle #5: Scale
When you’re designing your space, you need to keep in mind the principle of scale. The scale is the relationship between the size of one or more objects, or a certain object and the space it occupies.
Without formal training, it can be difficult to apply the principle of scale to your living space, but these tips should help you get it right:
- Use the golden ratio (1:618) which will help you achieve an aesthetically pleasing layout
- Smaller spaces should have smaller, more delicate furnishings
- Consider the height of the ceilings when choosing furniture
- Large spaces can tolerate larger prints
- Leave ample white space in the room, otherwise, your decor can be overwhelming
- Create contrast, meaning you don’t want everything to be level (mix and match the heights of furnishings)
Remember, the scale doesn’t just apply to the layout of the room, but to each element of your decor—from your indoor plants to wall decor, and everything in between.
When you apply these five principles to your interior design, you’ll see how much easier it makes achieving your ideal living space.