10 Principles of Interior Design to Learn before Renovating

Last updated on August 22nd, 2022

It’s always exciting to make plans to renovate your house. Making it more beautiful and comfortable is a special project that requires careful planning.

A good starting point is to keep the bigger picture in mind, and then focus on the smaller parts. For example, your focus could be to fill your home with natural light and air. This can be broken down into how to achieve this in various rooms in the best way.

Before you start, there are certain interior design principles that you should keep in mind. These are guidelines that the best interior designers use to create wonderful homes. Read on to discover what these are and how you can make them work for you.

1. Balance

Balance refers to a feeling of equilibrium and stability in your interiors. There are three types of balance you can aim for: symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, or radial balance.

With symmetrical balance, elements like furniture are distributed equally on either side. With asymmetrical balance, the elements are not equal but arranged to create an overall counterpoise. And with radial balance, elements extend outwards from a central point. There is no single preferred method: it all depends on your space and your objectives.

2. Rhythm

When following the principle of rhythm, you should pay attention to how lines, shapes, and colors create patterns. Ideally, these patterns should be pleasing to the eye and create a sense of continuity and organization.

For example, you can contrast color and texture to create visual interest. Or you can use rounded edges and doorways to lead your eye across a space. Often, interior designers use repetition to create a rhythmic and pleasing sense of solidity and cohesion.

3. Harmony

As with music, harmony in interiors is all about elements coming together to create a delightful whole. Look at elements such as color, texture, shape, and form to see how these can combine.

Accents can stand out, but the overall effect should be that of integration. Even when people are going for an eclectic or curated look, there is generally a harmonic blend that gives a room a distinct vibe.

4. Unity

The principle of unity is close to that of harmony, and the two are generally discussed together. Harmony is about the combination of separate elements, while unity is about the overall effect that is achieved.

Before aiming for unity in interiors, it is important to decide what the final result ought to be. A good starting point is to think of the effect of various colors, and then see how to use complementary shades to create the desired and unified result.

5. Emphasis

Many houses have distinguishing characteristics. It could be a special layout, a view, openness to light, or anything else. With the principle of emphasis, such characteristics are emphasized to the best effect. The eye is drawn toward a picture window or a special corner.

At other times, such emphasis is created by adding interior elements. For instance, a fireplace can be the highlight of a cozy living room. Creating such focal points will go a long way in making your interiors notable.

6. Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale are key elements to making an interior look planned and comfortable. They are often used interchangeably. Proportion refers to the shape of an item and how it relates to others. For example, a round table next to other furniture that is triangular may not go together.

Scale refers to the different sizes of items and how they fit together. To get the scale and proportion right, you should consider the size of the space, what sort of furniture you need, and what repetition is possible. Don’t forget to leave enough breathing space!

7. Light

You already know how important light is for any interior. In this case, best practices include utilizing natural light, creating an overall pleasing ambiance, and paying attention to special areas.

Not blocking windows and placing the right furniture at an appropriate distance will heighten the effect of natural light. Diffuse lighting will create the appropriate level of warmth, and detailed lighting will focus the eye on areas such as accent walls or statement pieces.

8. Texture

If you think about it, every object in your house has a texture. It could be rough or smooth, soft or hard, patterned or plain. The best interior designers combine different textures in different areas of the house for perfect results.

Types of upholstery and curtains, or varieties of flooring and wood are some ways to layer textures. Smaller elements, too, add texture: think lampshades, statuettes, or potted plants, for example. Lighting also plays a role in accentuating or downplaying textures.

9. Colour

You must already have an opinion of the sort of colors you want in your home. Many prefer neutrals and pastels. Some like to keep it dramatic with darker hues. Others play with accent walls and other elements. It’s important to decide the overall look you’re aiming for and then choose colors to complement it.

Many designers use what is called the 60-30-10 rule. This is a ratio that assigns weightage to the dominant color, which is on the walls; the secondary color, which is on curtains and upholstery; and accents for other accessories.

10. Details

Details are the small aspects that are so often overlooked, but which can make or break any interior. That is why so many interior designers are obsessed with details.

How thick should the rugs be? What sort of polish will make a wooden surface glow? Should curtains be suspended with brass rings or not? Is there a small storage space in the foyer? Does the bed need a tufted headboard? Hundreds of such decisions come together to ensure that your house is the best it can be.

At HomeLane, our designers have delighted homeowners by putting all of the above principles into practice. The results are interiors that are magical. If you’re thinking of renovating, do get in touch for a free design consultation.