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Interior design is a highly intricate art form with thousands of years of history. No matter if you are looking to become a professional interior designer, or just want to expand your knowledge, the best place to start your journey will be the 5 principles of interior design. After gaining a sophisticated knowledge of these elements, you will be better at appreciating architecture and with enough practice, be able to design beautiful interior spaces yourself.
Like drawing a person, the size and proportion of each object in your scene matters. A big head and a small body make a caricature. Similarly, when you put a gigantic couch into a small room, it will not only make the room look smaller, but make it harder for the residents to move around.
Finding the perfect balance between different objects with different sizes is an essential skill if you want to utilise space efficiently in your interior design. Measure each element in your house and design in scale. Position furniture and other interior design elements together according to their size and proportion to each other. Create contrast (eg. Big vs Small) or harmony (eg. Small and Small) to tell your story.
Human beings naturally prefer balance and symmetry over chaos; a preference that is accurately depicted as a quintessential element of interior design. The proper use of symmetry and asymmetry can bring harmony or suspense into your room. It can make your guest feel comfortable and calm, or interested and intrigued.
Symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, and radial balance are three essential elements in interior design. While symmetrical balance is the beauty of mirroring objects, asymmetrical balance is less identical on either side of the centre-line. Two small objects on the left side, for example, might balance out one object on the right. Experienced interior designers will also utilise radial balance, which spreads from a central focal point to expand and balance through the surrounding space.
Like with music, patterns and repetition are also important elements of interior design. This could mean using the same colour and shape in different furniture, and separating them with intervals in between. A green pillow, followed by a green floor mat and green curtains can move your eyes into three different areas across the room. Like for musicians, rhythm is a great way for interior designers to instil life into the space.
In a room where everything is equally important, nothing is important. Focal points are an important element of interior design because it allows the space to have a sense of hierarchy and for the design to have a theme. An interior design without a focal point will often leave the viewer confused as to where to put their eyes. It will come off as unfocused and unmemorable, and make it difficult for the room to have a visual identity.
In most interior designs, the focal point will be something that immediate grabs attention, such as a window with a sea view, or a fireplace. The designer will then position other elements around it to enhance or emphasise its beauty. For rooms that do not have built-in focal point, it is possible to create one by grouping furniture together, or decorating the room with an unusual or large piece, such as a bed or a couch.
Interior design consists of many elements that operate drastically different from each other within the same space. Like mixing a cocktail, if one ingredient is too strong, the drink will end up being too sweet, too sour, or too bitter to drink. Rhythm and focal points can add excitement to your interior design, but when overdone, can lead to restlessness and exhaustion. The key is to find a perfect balance; not too much, not too little, but just enough.
Keep these 5 principles of interior design in mind and use them to analyse designs you find online, or try to create something of your own. You can also use them to help you articulate ideas, and communicate better with your interior designer during your next renovation.
If you need interior design ideas for your home, office, or business, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our experienced team of interior designers can help actualise your dream home or office with a personalised design.