The fundamentals of interior design will never change as they are what brings the elements together into a cohesive, definable, and aesthetically pleasing visual medium.
Some people do have that innate talent for transforming a room into a jaw-dropping interior space. Bringing in mixes and matches of great finds from thrift stores and even from bargain home depot shops, these talented people can bring together the elements into a stunning and tasteful interior.
Although there’s no magic when it comes to interior design, instead, it’s how one makes use of these basic principles. Much like professional designers, where following these fundamentals are paramount in creating aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces.
Harmony. Creating harmony doesn’t mean designing without variety. There should be a balance between the two to create a vibrant and cohesive interior design.
“Harmony creates a feeling of wholeness. It is usually achieved when the parts complement each other in a way where they have something in common.” – Francis D. K. Ching, author of Interior Design Illustrated.
A worth-mentioning type of harmony in interior design is Colour Harmony. A room’s colour or hue is probably the first thing we notice in a room and is a universal language that can convey a myriad of emotions and meanings.
As an essential and fundamental principle and element of interior design, it can affect the overall look of a room. As bright and neutral colours bounce off light, they can make a room seem larger while dark hues, on the other hand, can make a room cosier and smaller.
Creating a balance of elements in interior design means there is a harmonious coming-together of elements, such as shape, colour, pattern, and texture. With a unified and with just the right qualities and amount of each basic element you should be able to create a visually comfortable and pleasing overall look.
Ways to create balance:
- Symmetrical Balance. Usually has a focal point. It is where assigning a central point where elements are used similarly to each side. This is demonstrated in one-point perspectives in painting and visual graphics.
- Asymmetrical Balance. Unlike symmetrical, the form, colour, and other basic elements may not be duplicated, but instead, use different elements but still have the same perceived weight or intensity. This still achieves balance from the centre point.
Scale. This fundamental in interior design is sometimes ignored and overlooked, which can affect the overall design. Scale is how the basic elements relate to one another and the users in terms of size and scale. For instance, a ceiling-high window can look overwhelming as a backdrop for a loveseat with no other adjacent elements. To create an effective and proportional scale, always design for the users.
Take note: scale differs from proportion, which refers to the size of the parts of an object in relation to the parts of the same object.
Rhythm. Like music, a moving interior design can be created through the basic elements of rhythm. This can be achieved through the repetition of colour, patterns, and forms. This creates continuity and flow of design elements through the space.
For instance, for a Savanah-themed interior, you can use leaf-patterned wallpaper with green shades. Taking a cue from this pattern, you can choose to have similar leaf prints on your thrown rugs or even on your sofa covers. Add sculptural vases with avocado green hues on reddish wood oak centre tables and embellish the ceiling with black chrome plates and drop pendants to finish the look.
Contrast. This principle is probably the most commonly used, if not overly emphasized in many interior designs. That’s because the juxtaposition of elements has always provided excitement in designing interiors. In an interior designer’s book, contrast is an effective way to emphasize a focal point or how showcase, say, sculptural furniture. Repetition and similarity can be blunt and, with contrast, it can make elements pop.