The 7 Principles of Interior Design Every Homeowner Should Know

7 Principles of Interior Design

If you feel like your home is lacking something but you’re not quite sure what it is, great interior design could be the missing je ne sais quoi (a quality that cannot be described or named easily) that it needs. You can learn and develop an eye for aesthetics and a knack for design with the right knowledge, even if they don’t come naturally to you.
The seven principles of interior design are a great place to start. Together, these rules form the foundation of any successful decorating project. Whether you’re renovating or just want to spruce up a room, understanding these concepts will help you create the type of home environment your family needs and deserves.
Let’s get started by taking a closer look at the seven principles of interior design. We’ll explain each principle in-depth and provide tips on how to use them in your own home. Let’s go!


One of the most fundamental principles of interior design—in fact, it’s essential to creating harmony in any room. Balance refers to the arrangement of pieces throughout a space so that it feels visually even and cohesive. This can be achieved with different looks, such as symmetrical or asymmetrical, or with a blend of both.
The aim is to create a visual rhythm that draws your eye around the room. For example, you may hang art on either side of the fireplace, position two armchairs opposite the couch or arrange a mirror and painting diagonally across from each other.
These balanced arrangements will help make your room look intentional and well-thought-out while also providing balance and making sure there’s not too much clutter. There are several approaches to achieving balance in design that you can experiment with, but remember: an effective design will always be balanced.

Proportion & Scale

If you want to create harmony in your home design, it’s important to consider size and scale. Simply put, proportion and scale refer to the relationship between objects, spaces and elements. This helps to create balance, structure, and esthetics.

  • One need to make sure the size of each element is appropriate for the room—it should complement other pieces in the room.
  • You’ll want to combine different pieces that work well together visually, rather than putting everything in odd sizes that don’t match.
  • Creating mathematical harmony with furniture groups can also help create a more cohesive appearance.
  • The most important point is to ensure that all elements are balanced throughout the entire room.


Harmony & Unity

Harmony and unity are all about making sure everything in a space works together. Here are some tips for creating harmony and unity:
-Choose one colour palette and stick to it – this will help create a sense of coherency throughout the space.
-Select furniture pieces that complement each other in style and shape – this will help create a feeling of balance.
-Use accessories, such as artwork, lighting, and rugs, that fit your colour palette to bring the room together.
-Make sure the materials you use throughout your room complement each other – for example, if you have wood floors, choose wooden or metal furniture pieces.
-Incorporate texture – this can be done through fabrics, cushions, carpets or curtains. By using different textures throughout the room, it will add depth and interest.
-Scale is also important when creating harmony and unity – for example if you have a large sofa then make sure the coffee table or side tables are also large enough so they don’t look out of place.

Emphasis & Focal Point

The fourth principle of interior design is Emphasis & Focal Point. What this means is that you need to give your space its own unique look, by creating a focal point or a centrepiece to draw the eye. You’ve probably seen this done in hotels and other luxurious spaces—maybe it was a striking chandelier or an over-sized sofa. It’s an essential part of good interior design, so it pays off to be intentional about what you decide should be your focus piece.

Create Contrast

You can create emphasis and focal points in several ways, such as by creating contrast with the rest of your room. This could be in the form of size, colour, shape or texture. The idea here is to make those specific elements stand out from the rest.

Add Drama

Another way to achieve this sense of emphasis and focal point is with dramatic elements like wallpaper, art, lighting fixtures or bold furniture pieces. These pieces will help add drama and visual interest to your space, while also tying all of your decor together and making it feel more coherent.
By focusing on these four principles of interior design – balance, rhythm, harmony and emphasis & focal point – you’ll be able to create a beautiful home that feels cosy yet still elegant and unique.


Bringing rhythm into your interior design can really tie things together. The principle of rhythm is essentially about creating a flow in a space with elements like colour and texture, so that it all looks cohesive and pleasant to look at. Here are some ways to add rhythm to your space:


You can create rhythm through repetition by repeating elements like shapes, lines, colours or textures throughout the space. Maybe choose a consistent shape for all your furniture, or repeat the same pattern on both your rug and curtains.


Create a visual journey in the room by adding increasing or decreasing sizes of an element within a space. This is done with light fixtures that get larger near the entryway and smaller towards the back of the room.


Alternation is another way to create pattern and movement in a space. You can alternate between two or more different elements when choosing pieces for your interior design; just make sure they complement each other well! For example, incorporating both curved lines and straight lines when styling furniture pieces can bring interest to a room without being overwhelming.

Concept & Functionality

One of the most important parts of interior design is finding the perfect balance between concept and functionality. You want your home to have a beautiful esthetic, but it also needs to be practical.
Here’s how you can do just that:

  • Consider the function of each room and how people will react to its design.
  • Keep furniture and decorations functional, so they don’t take up too much space or cause accessibility issues.
  • Choose furniture and fixtures that are both stylish and useful, such as multifunctional tables or movable furniture pieces.
  • Opt for sustainable materials when possible, such as reclaimed wood or linen curtains—not only are they better for the environment, but they can also add texture and interest to your space.
  • Make sure you create an ergonomic design that makes life easier by focusing on people’s comfort levels in each room.
  • When decorating with accessories, keep them minimal but interesting—you want them to add a splash of personality without being overwhelming or distracting from the overall concept.


Colours, Textures & Patterns

When it comes to creating a space that catches the eye and has character, colors, textures, and patterns can make all the difference. And while they tend to inspire us and add warmth and life to a space, it’s important to use them sparingly. Start by selecting one or two colors for the backdrop of your room. This provides a canvas for you to add texture and patterns, from pillows to wallpapers or fabrics.


Considering that Colours effect the emotions of people, they can be utilized in various ways. To create a clean look, use hues from the same family for the walls and furnishings; try darker shades on floors or furniture in the background for deeper contrast. For more excitement, choose contrasting colours for the walls and furnishings; this creates a dynamic look that will draw attention in all directions.


Adding texture to interior design helps accentuate different elements of your house or room. You can also use texture as a way to add contrast — place rough texture against smooth finishes to create drama or use lighter-textured materials like glass or silk with bolder fabrics like leathers or suede.


Patterns bring a unique style of visual interest into any room. Bold prints are best used as accents on small pieces like pillow covers or curtains while flat patterned wallpaper can be used as an eye-catching backdrop if you don’t want too much of one pattern taking over an entire space. Remember that when it comes to using color, texture, and pattern together in harmony—less is more!

7 Principles of Interior Design


Interior design can seem intimidating and overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and a bit of creativity it can be immensely satisfying. Remember the 7 principles of interior design; balance, rhythm, emphasis, proportion, scale, unity, and harmony. With these in mind, you can transform your space into an inviting and esthetically pleasing environment.
With proper planning, creativity and attention to detail, you can transform your home into a stylish and comfortable refuge. So don’t be afraid – use the 7 principles to bring the best out of your interior design. With some patience, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor and admire the transformation in no time.


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