Principles of design: Balance & Contrast
In my previous blog I started to explain the Principles of Design, and how they apply to Interior Design.
The Principles are Proportion and Scale
- Focal Point or Emphasis
- Unity, Rhythm & Harmony
Today I am going to talk about Balance and Contrast.
BALANCE in a room appeals to our sense of order and harmony. If the furnishings or patterns in a room are heavily clustered in one end, the room will feel lopsided. There is symmetrical balance, which feels more formal, and is easy to achieve. First you choose an imaginary center-line for whatever it is that you are arranging. Then, identical items are placed at equal distance from the imaginary line.
In these photos the center of the fireplace is the imaginary center-line. The sofas, chairs, end tables, and lamps all “mirror” each other.
In these photos the wall art is also arranged symmetrically, and in the second photo the furniture is too.
In an asymmetrical arrangement, items are placed to visually match in weight, even if the objects are not exactly the same.
In this photo the 2 chairs and the table in between, balance the visual weight of the sofa on the opposite side of the coffee table.
In these photos the artwork is hung in an asymmetrical arrangement.
CONTRAST can occur in shape, colour or texture. Contrast prevents monotony.
These photos demonstrates contrast with colour. The first photo is emphasizing the wall behind the sofa. The second photo is emphasizing the ceiling and indirectly the light fixture by using the contrast colour on the dark framing on the light coloured ceiling. The third photo is using colour and texture, to emphasis the beams on the ceiling. Because of the angle of this photo, the contrast colour is actually emphasizing the width of the room by creating a strong horizontal line.
In photo number #1 the moldings on the wall are being emphasized by the contrast of colour with the walls. In photo #2 the moldings “disappear” into the walls because of the lack of contrast.