TOP 6 Interior Design Principles for Home Decor - Deepstash
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Six basic principles of good design

Six basic principles of good design

A good design is not only about aesthetic aspects and putting beautiful things in the space. It's about how each element works together in the space.

To create a great space, designers apply six basic principles:

  1. Proportion
  2. Harmony
  3. Balance
  4. Rhythm
  5. Emphasis
  6. Contrast

You can change any space to look and feel great when you understand these principles.


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Emphasis anchors the design and adds interest

Emphasis anchors the design and adds interest

Emphasis is also known as "focal point". A focal point should be something interesting to look at. It should be colourful or texturally and visually appealing.

Imagine a huge vibrant painting above the fireplace or a wall in bold paint colour or covered with wallpaper to draw attention to your living room. A room where everything gets equal importance will seem scattered or boring.  You need that anchor to break the monotony of the space.


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Contrast gives life and character to a room

Contrast gives life and character to a room

Put elements in opposition to each other by their colour, shape, texture, material or scale.

This design principle can be achieved in different ways:

  • Pairing light with dark colours
  • Small elements with large elements
  • Textured with non-textured surfaces

High contrast can be achieved through the colour and texture of pillows, light colour from the walls with a dark colour of the furniture, or transparent objects with solid ones. 


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Rhythm creates flow

Rhythm creates flow

Rhythm in design is about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest and flow, which moves the viewer's eyes around the space.

The design is tied together by duplicating elements, colours, shapes or patterns. For example, you can establish a rhythm by using a colour in the pillows,  picking it up in a painting, and again in a rug. 


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Balance creates a feeling of stability

Balance creates a feeling of stability

Balance is about equalizing the visual weight of objects. Balance creates a feeling of equilibrium, stability and unity.

  • Traditional or formal spaces need symmetrical balance. The space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other.
  • In asymmetrical balance, the visual weights of lines, colours, forms, and textures are balanced without exact duplication. 


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Scale and Proportion

Scale and Proportion

  • Scale relates to the size of objects within a space.
  • Proportion is about the relationship between two elements. It's how the object relates to the overall context.

An example of a wrong proportion is if you have a large sofa and place a small side table next to it. 


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Harmony is created when all the elements act together to create a unified composition. They may fit the same theme, aesthetic style or mood.  Each piece seems to belong together in some way, even if it is not identical to anything else.

To create unity and harmony in your space, define an aesthetic style. This way, you have parameters of colours, textures, and shapes to create a cohesive atmosphere.


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When you know the basic interior design principles, you can transform any space to look and feel special.


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