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Some people can mix items they come across in thrift stores with clearance bargains and make a interior look like a million bucks. The main thing is not the price of something; it is how they are put together. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautifully designed, stylish home. There are certain principles of design that you can apply. These can help you decorate a room like a pro. To make the most of any space no matter what your budget is, you need to understand these basic principles of design:

Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion
Scale and proportion (By Havenly)

Basically scale refers to how an item relates to the size of a room. An example would be a large overstuffed sofa crammed into a rather small living room. That sofa would will be out of scale for the room. The room requires a smaller sofa. Therefore, you should match the furniture, ornaments and everything you plan to include inthat space in proportion to the size of the room.

Proportion : refers to how one object relates to another object in terms of size. For example, a delicate coffee table would be out of proportion if placed in front of that large overstuffed sofa. Instead you must prepare it with a sofa that has a smaller profile. So, similar to scale or the size of the rom, the furniture should match in size to one another.


Define a space. Walls, floors, ceilings, and cabinetry all these create lines in a room. Each line type has an impact on how you or anyone entering that room perceive space. Let’s discuss some important points to remember about lines:

Vertical lines : can make rooms seem taller. At the same time, these lines have the ability to depict wide spaces to look narrower. In addition to that, vertical lines extend away from our visual plane. Due to these reasons, the length of a line that is applied vertically is often extended lending to the feeling of height in a space.

Lined interior
Lined interior design (By loginnote)

Horizontal lines : do the opposite. They widen narrow spaces and bring the eye level down, while creating a sense of intimacy. They are very contemporary. Lines applied horizontally have the capacity to evoke feelings of stability, grounding, emphasis and direction. Horizontal lines tend to create length and lower the ceiling of a space. At the same time, you can also apply it to direct the viewer to a particular focal point.

interior wall design
Horizontal lines, interior wall design (By thisoldhouse)

Diagonal lines : convey a sense of energy to a space while adding movement, transformation, and freedom. Nonetheless, if applied incorrectly, diagonal lines can raise a sense of confusion and imbalance.

Diagonal lined wall interior
Diagonal lines on wall (By kaylasimonehome)

Curved lines : soften the sharpness of rectangles and squares. These have the ability to make a room more feminine and lively. Curving lines, whether freeform, arcing, circular, or elliptical, often feel natural, organic, playful, and soothing. If you are looking to make a space flow/move, curving lines are a great way to create it.

Each line type has an impact on how you perceive space.

Curvy lined wall paint
Curvy lined wall paint (By marketinoneclick)

Balance in interior

Balance refers to the equilibrium of objects inside a room. You can achieve a great balance through shape, color, pattern and texture. A well-balanced room will make you feel comfortable and relaxing to the eye.

There are 3 types of balance –

  • Symmetrical Balance
  • Asymmetrical Balance
  • Radial Balance

Symmetrical Balance :  occurs when you arrange items or objects the same way on both sides of a real line or an imaginary line. One side mirrors the other. For example, a tall cabinet with a chair and sconce placed on each side of it. The chairs and sconces must be identical or at least the same weight and size.     

Symmetrical balance in interior designing
Symmetrical balance in interior designing (By modsy)

Asymmetrical Balance: creates an equilibrium using objects that have the same visual weight. But these are different is size, shape, color and texture. An example would be placing a group of tall slender candle holders on one side of a shelf and putting a short, wide vase on the other side. You have to keep the scale correct if the grouping you need to keep it balanced. You can try this out with furniture as well.

asymmetry interior design
asymmetry interior design (By nimvo)

Radial Balance : you will achieve this when you arrange objects around one central focal point. An example would be a round dining room table with chairs sitting around it. This can create a very tidy and complete feeling to the room space.

Radial design
Radial Design (By Houzz)

Harmony in interior designs

Harmony interior (By Archi-living)

Results when all the design elements that you are using relate to one another in some way. Hence it is creating a visually pleasing space. One way you can achieve this, is by using one color throughout a space, but in different textures shapes or sizes. You can combine patterns and prints as long as they have the same scale, motif or color palette. They don’t have to match, but just share something similar.

Read here about the top wellbeing interior designs:

Rhythm in interior designs

Rhythm house decoration
Rhythm decoration (By Design Fundamentals)

It is about creating patterns of repetition and contrast which will move the eye around the room. You can achieve this by repeating the same color or shape at different areas in the room. For example, taking one color and picking it up in fabric or upholstery and again in accessories and artwork similar to the room shown in the picture.

Sometimes, it’s easy to observe and see when an item is out of scale or proportion.

In some instances, it’s not so obvious. You can help train your eye by studying photographs of professionally designed rooms. Studying them carefully will give you an idea as to how and why they work and why they are in demand.  Observe how the different elements relate to one another. Then you will be applying these principles of design in your home with a proper understanding.

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