Finding Balance

There are six design principles but in this blog post I will focus on Balance. In interior decorating, balance refers to the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. Balance in a room can be divided into three components: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radical. Lets talk about each briefly.

Symmetrical gives a calm, orderly, structured feel. It's commonly used in classic and traditional interior styles. Each side of a room is the exact mirror of the other; the same items appear in the same position on either side or a vertical axis. It has a formal feel. It is also the easiest principle used to achieve balance in a room. You can use a variety of methods to create symmetry...the placement of furniture, color of fixtures, architectural features, lamps.

Asymmetrical balance feels less manipulated but can be more difficult to achieve. Based on the number of elements you're working with...lines, textures, colors and forms that are not duplicated in the space. You have to ascertain how much visual weight each carries and distribute them to achieve balance that feels comfortable. The items and elements must work together to create a harmonious relationship but the end result will be a more dynamic interaction than a symmetrical arrangement. It will be more visually exciting.

Asymmetrical balance is more common than symmetry in modern interior design and achieves balance by using different objects that carry equal visual weight or visual focus. It gives more freedom for expression, interest and a feeling of movement, experimentation and openness as opposed to the static feeling of a perfectly symmetric room.

Radical symmetry is achieved by arranging elements of a design around a central focal point; such as an island in a kitchen, a dining table, a centrally placed staircase or a dominant lighting figure. While there is one main focal point, there can also be less obvious points of attention. With interiors, equilibrium is achieved by distributing objects and accessories according to all the aspects that determine the visual weight, such as...size, overall shape, texture and surface. Experience as well as talent is required to take on a radical design.

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