How I utilized the 7 ideas of interior style and design to my very own property

In the globe of interior structure, there are frequently 7 principles that are extensively agreed on. Some designers have much more, some a lot less, and some slightly different, but most are a variation on these 7. Getting familiar with these ideas is handy for viewing your dwelling by means of a important lens and achieving conclusions about what you want to improve. 

Most likely you are at the commencing of a renovation or style and design journey, with an mind-boggling collection of inspirational illustrations or photos and tips or possibly some thing about your property is niggling you, but you’re not rather guaranteed what. In all circumstances, it is valuable to have a checklist to perform through to enable guidance the refinement and improvement of your structure plans.


Proportion and scale are normally lessen down on most lists, but this is my list so I get to put it at the top. Scale indicates that objects really should be appropriate to the dimension of the place they are in, and proportion implies that they need to be well balanced in relation to every other. If you have superior ceilings, you should use tall decorative objects these kinds of as pendant lights, and if you have a dainty armchair, you ought to position a likewise compact espresso table beside it. 

Symmetrical stability in Jennifer’s residing region. Photo: Moya Nolan

This principle is constantly important but for me, it results in being important when contemplating scaled-down spaces. That is mainly because, in small spaces, the scale can turn into counterintuitive — it is tempting to think you must get tiny household furniture having said that, this is not the circumstance and in truth, this strategy only makes the place come to feel more compact. Though an overstuffed armchair or a large piece of artwork in a little place might be frustrating, it is still superior to maximise the scale available and fill the area you have with much less, larger goods in proportion to each and every other.


Equilibrium is such a basic theory that you almost never recognize it — only when it is not existing is it evident, by way of a obscure feeling of pain or instability. Stability can be accomplished by way of household furniture placement, color distribution, lights, and the arrangement of decorative objects. Stability is accomplished in just one of three strategies — symmetrically, asymmetrically, and radially. 

Asymmetrical balance in the living area at Jennifer Sheahan's home. Pictures: Moya Nolan
Asymmetrical equilibrium in the dwelling spot at Jennifer Sheahan’s household. Images: Moya Nolan

Symmetrical stability is a far more formal technique, wherever room is divided into two sides that mirror each individual other, for instance, two armchairs on either facet of a espresso table. Asymmetrical balance is the most popular and the extra everyday — this is the place objects on either facet of an imaginary axis are not the same, but visually are the similar “weight” — for example, two significant armchairs dealing with just one large sofa. Radial balance is the least frequent — this is exactly where smaller objects are organized all-around a person massive object, for illustration, chairs around a dining desk.


Unity — sometimes known as “harmony” — is a additional easy principle, basically that means that there are unifying themes managing all through the home. 

Rhythm in repeating colour accents. Picture: Moya Nolan
Rhythm in repeating colour accents. Photo: Moya Nolan

This could be a widespread colour, texture, or design motif. Getting the exact same flooring or wall paint, for illustration, produces a unifying canvas for your property that brings a feeling of cohesion and pulls the place alongside one another, even if each and every place is designed in different ways. Developing and adhering to a superior color palette is a excellent way to convey unity and rhythm to your dwelling.


Rhythm in designs is based mostly on the actuality that our human brains like repetition. Just one of the least complicated strategies to bring rhythm into your style and design is as a result of the use of accent colors for example, in my household, my yellow sofa is repeated during my living region by making use of yellow accent cushions in my eating space, and yellow in the artwork on my partitions. 

Rhythm in interior design shown in Jennifer's dining area. Picture: Moya Nolan
Rhythm in inside style and design demonstrated in Jennifer’s dining space. Photograph: Moya Nolan

Although there is no actual restrict to how considerably you can repeat an accent color, a excellent minimal to retain in brain is a few. For motives over and above my awareness, our brains feel to like things that appear in threes! Rhythm can also be achieved by repeating (or alternating) dimensions, shapes, styles, or textures.


Emphasis is attained by getting one item or location serve as the focal place in a area. This could be a dazzling yellow sofa, a distinctive hearth, a placing piece of artwork, or a spectacular chandelier. Deciding the focal level of your home will make the rest of your structure a great deal a lot easier, as you ought to choose goods that enhance and continue to keep the emphasis on that just one focal issue.


Contrast is a extremely effective theory that, when utilized proper, can elevate your design to the following level. Distinction is most normally thought of in the type of colour — for occasion, juxtaposing light and dark shades. 

Contrast shown in Jennifer's courtyard. Picture: Moya Nolan
Contrast revealed in Jennifer’s courtyard. Photo: Moya Nolan

Having said that, distinction can also be attained by these of you who like monochrome by using differing textures, models, or patterns. Feel smooth woollen rugs on polished concrete floors, elaborate vintage candlesticks on a fashionable minimalist mantlepiece, or intricately patterned wall tiles against plain kitchen area cupboards. Distinction makes visible stimulation and delivers consideration to the uniqueness of each individual item.


The irritating issue about information is that the tiniest issues tend to draw our focus and ruin the impact of a complete area. Getting the particulars appropriate can be painstaking, but the last polish is value it — do not allow some smaller facts undo all of your challenging operate! Assessment your room with a crucial eye and assume about irrespective of whether everything feels marginally off or out of area. 

Jennifer's open-plan kitchen. Picture: Joe McCallion
Jennifer’s open-strategy kitchen. Photograph: Joe McCallion

Make certain you’ve regarded as lesser-talked about goods such as skirting, doorway handles, kitchen taps, and electrical sockets to make positive they in good shape in your wanted structure plan. Assume about whether or not you want unity, rhythm, or contrast in these goods. Check for finishes these types of as even paint strains and tidy lights fixtures. Eventually, consider what modest particulars can be added to finish your structure — for instance, the perfect plant, toss, or photo body.

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