Seven Principles of Interior Design

A well-designed room incorporates the seven principles of interior design so they all work together to create a dramatic, beautiful room that pleases the eye, yet is functional for those who live in it. Even for those who cannot afford the services of a professional interior designer, if the seven principles are applied while decorating, the end result should be a lovely room.

  1. Unity/Harmony

    • The ultimate goal in the interior design of any room is that all the components of the room create a harmonious whole.

    Balance

    • Balance is achieved when the room's visual "weight" is distributed around the room as evenly as possible. For example, bright-colored items hanging on the walls will look "heavier" than those that blend into the wall color.

    Focal Point

    • Every room should have one element that naturally draws the eye when you enter. This can be an architectural detail, such as a fireplace, or a work of art or other distinctive piece, or even lighting.

    Rhythm

    • A room with good rhythm first draws the eye to the focal point, then attracts the eye to other components throughout the room, creating a flow of visual movement.

    Scale/Proportion

    • The room must be decorated with furniture and accents that are the right scale for the room's size and shape, and in proportion to each other and to the people using the room.

    Color and Details

    • Color can add vibrancy, and create either a somber mood or a light, airy one. Selecting the right details can enhance the look you are trying to create, or it can detract from it.

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