January 8, 2022

At the end of this article you’ll be able to recognize and use the basic interior design principles used by every interior designer to create a grand design, and who knows maybe you’ll also save some money, or start a new career! Now let’s begin with the beginning and understand what interior design is …

Interior design is shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume and surface treatment. Unlike interior decoration, interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design besides traditional decoration.

An interior designer is a person who is a professional in interior design or one who designs interiors as part of their job. Interior design is a creative practice that analyzes programmatic information, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents. In some jurisdictions, interior designers should have a license to practice.


In a brief sentence for those who just scan this article, we can describe balance as the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. There are three styles of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

We usually find symmetrical balance in traditional interiors. Symmetrical balance is characterized by the same objects repeated in the same positions on either side of a vertical axis. For example, you might remember old rooms where on each side of a room is an exact mirror of the other. This symmetry also reflects the human form, so we are innately comfortable in a balanced setting.

Asymmetrical balance is more appropriate in design these days. We achieve balance with some dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or eye attraction. Asymmetrical balance is more casual and less contrived in feeling, but more difficult to achieve. Asymmetry suggests movement and leads to more lively interiors.

Radial symmetry is when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a center point. A spiral staircase is also an excellent example of a radial balance. Though rarely employed in interiors, it can provide an interesting counterpoint if used appropriately.


If we would speak about music, we would describe rhythm as the beat of the pulse of the music. In interior design, rhythm is all about visual pattern repetition. We define rhythm as continuity, recurrence, or organized movement. To achieve these themes in a design, you need to think about repetition, progression, transition, and contrast. Using these mechanisms will impart a sense of movement to your space, leading the eye from one design element to another.

Repetition is the use of the same element more than once throughout a space. You can repeat a pattern, color, texture, line, or any other element, or even over one element.

Progression is taking an element and increasing or decreasing one or more of its qualities. The most obvious implementation of this would be a gradation by size. A cluster of candles of varying sizes on a simple tray creates interest because of the natural progression shown. You can also achieve progression via color, such as in a monochromatic color scheme where each element is a slightly different shade of the same hue.

Transition is a little harder to define. Unlike repetition or progression, transition tends to be a smoother flow, where the eye naturally glides from one area to another. The most common transition is the use of a curved line to gently lead the eye, such as an arched doorway or winding path.

Finally, the contrast is fairly straightforward. Putting two elements in opposition to one another, such as black and white pillows on a sofa, is the hallmark of this design principle. Opposition can also be implied by contrasts in form, such as circles and squares used together. Contrast can be quite jarring and is used to enliven a space. Be careful not to undo any hard work you’ve done using the other mechanisms by introducing too much contrast!


The interior design’s biggest enemy is boredom. A well-designed room always has, depending on the size of it, one or more focal points. A focal point must be dominant to draw attention and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to look further. A focal point thus must have a lasting impression but must also be an integral part of the decoration linked through scale, style, color, or theme. A fireplace or a flat tv is the first example that most people think of when we talk about a room focal point.

If you don’t have a natural focal point in your space, such as a fireplace, for example, you can create one by highlighting a particular piece of furniture, artwork, or by painting a contrasting color in one area. Try to maintain balance, though, so that the focal point doesn’t hog all the attention.


When doing interior design it is necessary to think of the house as a totality; a series of spaces linked by halls and stairways. It is therefore appropriate that a common style and theme runs throughout. Not that all interior design elements should be the same, but they should work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition. A way to create this theme or storyline is with the well-considered use of color. Color schemes are a great way to unify a collection of spaces. For example, you might pick three or four colors and use them in varying shades throughout the house. Using a color matching wheel can be a great place to start.


Another important element of interior design where it is necessary to take infinite pains is detailing. Everything from the trimming on the lampshade, the color of the piping on the scatter cushion, to the light switches, and cupboard handles need attention. Unlike color, people find details boring. As a result, it gets neglected and skimmed over or left out. As color expresses the whole spirit and life of a scheme; details are just as an important underpinning of interior design. Details should not be obvious but they should be right, enhancing the overall feel of a room.

Scale and Proportion–These two design principles go hand in hand since both relate to size and shape. The proportion has to do with the ratio of one design element to another, or one element to the whole. Scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another.

Color–Colors have a definite impact on the atmosphere that you want to create when doing interior design.

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