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The 6 Principles of Design. How to design your space like the pro's

When it comes to interiors there are so many things that can make or break a space. Having an eye for design is a talent for sure. But just like any talent there are things you need to learn. Picasso did not become famous for abstract before he developed a solid foundation in the understanding of art. In order to break the rules you need to know what they are first, and as with art, interior design is much the same.


In design there are 6 principals that we learn they are:


  • Balance

  • Harmony & Unity

  • Rhythm

  • Emphasis & Focus

  • Scale & Proportion

  • Contrast


Knowing how to pull a space together starts with understanding the foundation of design and the foundation comes from understanding these 6 principles.


Lets dive in!


Principle #1

BALANCE














Achieved by distributing weight of objects within a space to achieve the feeling of equilibrium

What effects balance in Interior Design are factors such as:

Size

Shape

Colour

Texture


In Interiors we want to create a visual balance within the space.

Balance can be achieved 3 ways:

Symmetrical

Asymmetrical

Radial


Examples:




Principle #2

HARMONY & UNITY


Harmony can be thought of as when one thing belongs with another.Repetitive elements like colour, texture, shape and form is a way to create harmony within an interior


Unity can be described as many elements within a space coming together. It is when the space “feels” right and everything works together.






Principle #3

RHYTHM

Rhythm is a pattern that ties interior design elements together


It is a way to make a room feel put together

In interiors it can be seen as

Repetition

repeating elements of design

Alternation

alternating 2 or more elements in a regular pattern

Progression

taking an element and decreasing or increasing one of its qualities




Examples:





Principle #4

EMPHASIS & FOCUS



In Interior Design this is where we ask our selves what do we want to highlight within our space. (and what do you want to hide)


In commercial design we may do this through the following:

Highlighting products

Use of signage

Customer service counters



In residential design we may do this through the following:

Highlighting a fireplace

Artwork

Staircase

Accent walls ( Paint)



The use of Colour and Light are some of the easiest ways to achieve this design principal


Principle #5

SCALE & PROPORTION

Scale is the relationship between 2 or more objects. One that has a commonly known size. The best example is using the human form for scale.



Proportion refers to the size of parts in relation to other parts within the same object. This is harder to explain, unlike scale that is easy to visualize. Proportion you could say is where you “have an eye for design”



Creating a space with scale and proportion is a typical design element that a designer wants to achieve, however sometimes things being disproportionate add a really unique and beautiful look as well

The Golden Ration:

A mathematical equation, that is used often. It is seen a lot in nature and people generally find it aesthetically pleasing. For Interiors we can use this in reference to a room layout.

Divide a room into 2 sections. 1 that takes 2/3 and the smaller using the last 3rd. Larger section will contain the rooms main function and the smaller for something like alternative seating.


Principle #6

CONTRAST

Contrast helps to give impact to a space.

It refers to the difference in luminescence or colour of objects in comparison to one another.


Contrast can be designed through:

Colour / Form / Space







Can be done in the following ways:


Light vs. Dark

Bright vs. Dull

Big vs. Small

Ornate vs Plain

Organic vs geometric

Feminine vs masculine