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The 7 Principles of Interior Design

When we experience something that is well designed it feels pleasing to all our senses. I‘ve designed interiors, film/tv sets, gardens and even a few pieces of furniture and to accomplish good design I try to follow these basic principles to achieve a well balanced result.

Balance: this means size and placement distribution of furniture and objects within a space, Pieces should not overwhelm each other and be spaced to create a symmetrical balance. Color and texture can also be used to achieve balance.

Emphasis: a good design should have a focal point, something that grabs our attention, a central piece of furniture, a garden fountain, a feature wall, a dramatic light fixture are all great ways to have emphasis in your design scheme.

Contrast: If everything in a space was the same color and texture it would be quite dull. Using contrasting colors and textures creates a more vibrant space: light walls and darker floors, countertops that contrast cabinets, upholstery that contrasts a carpet are all ways to use contrast for impact in a successful design.


Rhythm: spaces also have rhythm, not just music. Good rhythm is a combination of balance and contrast which makes the space seem to come alive when our eyes move across it. Ways to increase rhythm are: repetition, continuing a pattern throughout a space, transition: letting the design flow seamlessly from one area to another like an opening connecting rooms or a path through a garden and lastly gradation: the progression of light colors to darker tones creates rhythm.

Scale and Proportion: These are both crucial to good design, know standard wall heights, or the ratio of table to chair height, size and placement. The layout of a room, set or garden has so much to do with these principles to create a good flow it deals with the practicality and functionality of usage within a space.


Details: the details can really make a space come alive. These details include decorative objects, vases, houseplants/trees, pillows, bedding, tablescapes. Choosing details that go well with each other and connect on a visceral level enhances any space or design.


Harmony and Unity: This is the end result when following the 6 previous principles. Unity is achieved when similar objects flow well together like rows of cabinets and built ins, counters, a row of the same type of plant or tree in a garden. Harmony is achieved when all the different objects, colors, textures, details all combine to create a visually pleasing design that seems effortless.













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