Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Important Interior Design Principles

Interior design is an art just like painting, sculpture, or graphic design. The canvas is the house itself. This is a very immediate art that affects the people who live in the house in direct ways. There are thus some general principles that people undertaking this art should keep in mind. These will help you decorate your house like a professional and understand the underlying reasons for making certain esthetic decisions.
harmony in interior design


Holism and Harmony
The house needs to be thought of as a totality so that all of the rooms and the design elements in those rooms work together. Of course the rooms should not all look the same, but some kind of stylistic or esthetic continuity should be found throughout the house. This may be on the level or color, form, or style. For instance, you might use modern furniture that has a certain look, such as glassy and cool or bright and psychedelic in many different rooms. Or you might choose three of four colors and use them in many rooms. You might also try to incorporate circles and triangular forms into a number of different spaces. In whatever way works for you, try to find a common thread and experiment with the many different ways this can work.

contrast in interior designRhythm
Rhythm has a number of interesting sub principles to it. The most important part of rhythm is repetition. Just as a heartbeat or the beats in music repeat, so do visual elements in interior design when they are used rhythmically. They repeat through space while music repeats in time. Repetition can be done with anything – form, color, line, pattern, even size. If they recur in some way through the room’s space, there is a rhythm going on.

Another principle here is progression. Progression is an alteration of the recurring elements as they repeat. Some examples here might be varying color, shape, or size to some degree for each occurrence of the design element.

Contrast is another rhythm principle. Contrasting colors (such as red and green) or forms (a square and circle for instance) can be placed next to each other to enliven a space and keep it from becoming too expected and predictable. This is a point in the rhythmic progression where a jump occurs to a contrasting quality. It should be used sparingly or the look of the design can become too incongruous.

Balance
Balance refers to the even distribution of design elements in a room. Balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial. Symmetrical balance occurs when objects are placed in the same positions on both sides of a room. This may look somewhat dated and used to be more popular than it is today, though it still could potentially be used to good effect.

balance in interior designAsymmetrical balance is a looser sort of balance in which objects, be they modern furniture, novel floor coverings like a sheepskin rug, or a lamp, are related to each other in some sort of complementary fashion. Part of this is simple distribution – they should be more or less evenly distributed throughout the room so that there aren’t large gaps except for walking spaces and so on. But other than this it is a hard quality to define, though someone generally recognizes it when they see it.

Finally, radial symmetry refers to an arrangement in a circular way around a center point of some sort. This center point might be, for instance, a bed in a bedroom, or a coffee table in a living room.

Focal Point
Speaking of central points, that is another interior design principle. This is simply something that provides focus and interest to the room – the featured item as it were. This might be something like a fire place or a central table, but it could also be a piece of artwork or the sheepskin rug mentioned above. There need not be only one focal point in a room. In fact there will often be a number of focal points in a room.

This principle works with the balance principle and the rhythmic principle. There may, for instance, be a rhythmic progression of some kind leading up to a focal point of some sort. And there should be a balanced placement of focal points in the room so that one does not call too much attention to a certain area of the room.

These principles can be applied to good effect as you go about your interior decoration project. These are not the only important principles, but they are some of the more important ones in doing effective interior design. Experiment with them and see how they work for the d├ęcor in your house or apartment.

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