Transforming any interior space to look great is not rocket science—it only requires knowledge of basic interior design principles. Walking into a well-designed room gives you an instant feeling of gratification and well-being. The interior space seems cohesive and well put together, and just feels comfortable.
Achieving that effect in your own home is the goal of this article. Learning a few basic design principles—along with some experimenting and practice–is the way to achieve the goal of a beautiful home. Some of these basic design principles are proportion and scale, balance, rhythm, harmony, and emphasis. We will cover these subjects in this article. No matter if you’re sprucing up your bedroom or considering a garage conversion, the rules remain the same.
Choosing furniture that fits the size of the room in a pleasing proportion is a way to create a feeling of aesthetic effect of natural proportion. On the other hand, putting a huge table in a small room will create a displeasing effect of crowding and tightness. We can think of proportion as the relationship between the size of one part of the space and another.
The ancient Greeks observed in nature a proportion which they reduced to a mathematical formula, which they called the Golden Ratio, or Golden Section, which is still used by architects today. It works like this: for example, a rectangle that adheres to the Golden Section will have a length about 1.6 times greater than its width. The Golden Section is very aesthetically pleasing and is used by artists, photographers, and many other areas.
Emphasis basically means adding a point of interest to the room, which serves as a focal point for the space. This could be a fireplace, a large picture window, or other point of interest, which acts as an anchor around which to arrange furniture.
In order to create a feeling of psychological equilibrium in your interior space, the designer must take into account the visual weight of various objects, and arrange them in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.
Creating visual interest in an interior space involves both repetition and contrast. Repeating a shape or a color, will tend to lead the viewer’s eye around the room. At the same time, contrast can be used in a similar way—in the same way that repeating and contrasting rhythms in music catch the listener’s ear.
To create harmony, all the space’s elements—including color, texture, and pattern—must act together to create a unified theme.