• Olga Wildman

Basic Principles of Interior Design


The basic principles we will overview today are used every day by designers all over the world.

They are all necessary and often interdependent on each other.

Basic Principles of Interior Design

- Balance

- Scale

- Proportion

- Rhythm

- Emphasis

When a room fails one or more of these concepts is at fault.

Often we can walk into a room and notice that something feels off. This can be a subconscious reaction or very obvious. If you were to use these basic principles as a template for the room, you would easily uncover the problem.

The Goal of Design

The goal of any interior designer is to create beautiful and inviting interiors that are timeless and look collected.

The careful study and understanding of principles and then appropriately applying them is the goal of the interior designer.


Balance is a fundamental of life that everyone seeks, consciously or subconsciously, whether in your checkbook, relationships or home.

Balance makes us comfortable, gives us stability, reduces stress and gives us peace.

Most important element to achieve when creating or changing the design of a room.

For interiors, balance takes into account the physical and/or psychological weight of an object.

Balance is important in all facets of room design from the physical architecture to the furnishings, materials, and accessories.

Types of Balance

Formal or symmetrical

- Focal point is often in the center

- One side is the mirror image of the other

An example would be two sofas on either side of a fireplace facing one another with a large coffee table in the middle.

Informal or asymmetrical

- Focal point may not be in the middle.

- No mirror effect but the visual weights play a more important role.

Could be as simple as having two completely different chairs sitting across from one sofa in the previous example.


- All elements radiate around, toward or from a focal point.

- Lot of repetition in form and color.

Scale and Proportion

Both relate to the size and shape of an object.

Scale deals with the absolute size or character of an object or space when compared to other objects or spaces.

Proportion is relative, describing the ratio of one part to another.


How objects relate to one another develops rhythm.

This works the same way in a home as it does in a piece of music.

Rhythm creates interest. It can make an area come alive.

Repetition and contrast are key elements to use.

Modern example: a room that is mostly one color (monochromatic) and feels very harmonious and comfortable.

This is achieved by using different textures and materials of this one color.

The mix of textures (contrast) combined with the repetition of color provides rhythm.


© 2023 by Urban Artist. Proudly created with Wix.com