Principles of Design: Segment #4

Principles of Design: Segment #4

The last blog I wrote described the elements of design and how they are used in an area by applying different principles.

The five basic principles of design are:

A.) Proportion and scale

B.) Focal point or emphasis

C.) Balance

D.) Unity, rhythm, harmony

E.) Contrast.

I will only talk about the first two principles in this segment.

A.) Proportion and Scale – By choosing furniture and patterns that are in proportion, you can make a large room appear intimate and inviting, or a small room open and spacious. Items that are too large for an area will dominate, and items that are too small will seem lost or ineffective. The proportion of a pattern in a room will affect the overall visual size of the item that the pattern is applied too.



In this series of photos to the left we have a grey sofa backed against a beige wall.  In the  first 2 photos the artwork is too small and bland for the setting.  In photo #4 the artwork is too large for the sofa.  In photo #3 the artwork is a better proportion for the size of the sofa, and the colours are strong then the first 2 photos, so of the 4 photos, #3 is the best.


B.) Focal Point or Emphasis – If a room does not have a focal point, or does not have anything of particular interest (emphasis) it will be boring. If the room has strong architectural elements such as a fireplace, crown molding, columns, or ornate wood trim on the windows, than this may supply enough emphasis. These elements may present but may need to be emphasized further. If the room lacks architectural interest, than an outstanding piece of furniture or a collection of well-displayed accessories may do the trick.



The primciples of interior designfirst two photos show the same size wall with media stands and artwork.

The photo on the left has a media stand that is a little big for the wall.

The 2 pieces of artwork are an appropriate size for the wall, but the lack of contrast with the color of the wall which means that the artwork does not POP on the wall.

The white frame and matting shows up more than the artwork. The accessories are far too small for the size of the cabinet. In the second photo the media stand is slightly smaller, the artwork an appropriate size for the cabinet and the wall, and the lamp and accessories show up well. They also tie into the colours in the artwork.