Basic Design Principles To Help You Start Decorating Your Home

Some people have a natural knack and eye for design. However, this isn’t the case out there. Not everyone is cut out to be an interior designer or a decorator. Some of us, who are less talented in this realm of design and décor, may be intimidated by the thought of even starting. Some of us may be brave enough to start the process of building or finding our dream homes (perhaps you’re just starting the development on a parcel of land for sale in perak that you’ve recently acquired), but are not focusing on the final output of the whole effort.

Whatever your situation, decorating your home does not have to be complicated. When in doubt, it’s easiest to start at the bare foundations. Home décor principles are not exempt from the basic rules and principles of design. So, start your efforts by learning about some basic design principles (as we’ve listed below) to help you on your way to completing your dream home.

The rule of symmetry

It’s often said that good things come in pairs (or the best things comes in twos). That’s just an analogy for the rule of symmetry (or formal balance). Symmetry in design imparts a formal balance to your space and is perfect for those who prefer an atmosphere of order, calm and formality in their space.

This design principle is quite easy to accomplish, because you are simply arranging your furniture and your space so that each side of the room matches the other. The goal is to balance each side of the room along an imaginary axis that dissects the middle of the room. You can use identical (or even just similar) pieces of furniture on each side. This design principle works well for regularly shaped rooms that can be radially or bilaterally symmetrical.

Symmetry and balance go hand in hand, so do remember not to just keep the number of even pieces in mind, but also the character of the piece. For example, don’t use a dark and bulky sofa on one side and a soft dainty one on the other. Don’t just match in evenness of number, but also evenness of the visuals. It goes without saying that this can be extended to the balance of light and dark pieces and colors as well.

The rule of asymmetry

The principle of asymmetry (or informal balance), is for you if you prefer informality, creativity and a bit of energy and excitement in your space. Not all spaces are built perfectly. Thus, not all spaces can conform to the rule of symmetry.

The rule of asymmetry works well if your space is imperfectly shaped or if it has architectural features that are off-center. For example, an off-center fireplace or window – which can often be a challenge to decorate for and place furniture in – is a perfect canvas for asymmetrical decorating.

While you still have to keep in mind the necessity of visual balance when arranging your furniture, you are less constrained in terms of the shapes, sizes and colors (and most importantly the rule of even numbers) compared to a symmetrical design principle. You’re free to create balance with unlike furnishings and accessories, which is in our opinion, more fun than the rigidity of symmetrical decorating.

Groupings in odd numbers

In photography, there is the rule of thirds. Incorporating this design principle into interior design is another transitional approach that results in the rule of odd numbers. The basic idea is that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable and effective than groupings in even-numbers. For example, you can group a collection of pottery in groups of three or put up a mixture of 7 photos up on your walls in a line. 

Create a focal point for each room

A focal point is the area in any space where your eyes will automatically focus on once you get a bearing of your surroundings. Start by choosing an element or feature in the room that you want to emphasize the most. This could naturally be the element that stands out most in your space: it could be a large mantle, a window with a marvelous view, or perhaps even grand centerpiece. If your room doesn’t have any standout elements, you can artificially impose one.

However, remember to select your focal point wisely, as all eyes will naturally be drawn to it once entering the immediate space. Once you have chosen a focal point for your space, move outward and decorate your space by ensuring everything else complements that focal point. This helps you create a guide of sorts for yourself. If you get stuck of consumed as to what to do with a certain piece of furniture or décor, always go back to the focal point.

Know the basic rules of measurement

Many of us don’t really measure when we put together pieces of furniture or décor in our spaces. It is usually just a case of eyeballing it. You might be thinking: it’s just a couple of centimeters off, what’s the worst that could go wrong, right? Well, plenty of things are bound to go awry if you don’t have some basic rules of measurement in mind.

Certain arrangements of furniture need to adhere strictly to proportions, otherwise your space may start looking unbalanced. For example, you should always keep your coffee tables at least 15-inches away from the edge of your sofa. Likewise, a piece of art you hang above your sofa or console should not be more than two-thirds of the width of the furniture in question. The somewhat-basic rules of measurement help ensure that everything is at the right distance when you are decorating.

Consider using negative space

In this day and age of excessive consumption, we’re tempted to keep filling up every available space in our homes to get rid of that “empty” look. However, sometimes, you need to consider letting some space remain empty. This is what is termed negative space. Just because a space is empty doesn’t mean that its void of purpose. Rather, negative space can serve to highlight things even more and is as important as the object or subject itself.

You may have a gorgeous piece of artwork that you treasure. Instead of burying it in a gallery wall, hang it front and center and leave the rest of the wall blank. This method of having empty or blank space around your subject helps emphasize it even more, making it pop out and become the point of focus. Negative space also helps provide some breathing space, keeping things looking clean and from becoming too overwhelming.

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  1. Wow terima kasih di atas perkongsian tips. Sangat berguna untuk eiza.

  2. wah.. mcm belajar kelas design dulu2 la... tapi betulla sgt nih.. nilah prinsip asas

  3. Syoknya dapat design rumah cantik², ilmu ni pun banyak membantu.

  4. konsep rules of third tu kalau kena gaya memang cantik deko.
    sama mcm dlm photografi.

  5. bagus , panduan yang ringkas ...

  6. Bestnya kalau pandai mendeco ruangan dalam rumah.. Anyway.. This is a very good article.. Thank you..

  7. Tak sabar nak duduk rumah sendiri. Macam-macam idea deco dah dapat ni.

  8. thnk you sharing papa..tengah cari bajet nak mendeko rumah..

  9. asymmetry is my principle when come to design anything. I love the asymmetry "feel" when the final design is materialize in front of me.

  10. Bagus perkongsian PakYa ni...