Design to make Visual

How I applied the seven rules of inside structure to my individual dwelling

In the world of interior style and design, there are normally seven rules that are widely agreed upon. 

Some designers have more, some significantly less, and some a little bit unique, but most are a variation on these 7. Getting acquainted with these rules is valuable for viewing your house by means of a crucial lens and achieving selections about what you require to change. 

Probably you are at the commencing of a renovation or design journey, with an overpowering collection of inspirational visuals and ideas or maybe a thing about your house is niggling you, but you are not rather absolutely sure what. In all conditions, it is valuable to have a list to perform by means of to help guidance the refinement and enhancement of your style and design ideas.


Proportion and scale are often lessen down on most lists, but this is my checklist so I get to place it at the top rated. Scale signifies that objects ought to be appropriate to the dimension of the area they’re in, and proportion indicates that they should really be well balanced in relation to each and every other. If you have high ceilings, you need to use tall attractive merchandise this kind of as pendant lights, and if you have a dainty armchair, you should put a likewise smaller espresso desk beside it. 

Symmetrical stability in Jennifer’s residing region. Picture: Moya Nolan

This principle is often essential but for me, it gets to be important when thinking about scaled-down areas. That is due to the fact, in small spaces, the scale can become counterintuitive — it is tempting to suppose you should really get small household furniture having said that, this is not the circumstance and in truth, this strategy only would make the place experience scaled-down. When an overstuffed armchair or a huge piece of artwork in a compact home may possibly be overwhelming, it is continue to greater to maximise the scale available and fill the room you have with much less, bigger products in proportion to each individual other.


Harmony is this sort of a fundamental theory that you seldom discover it — only when it’s not present is it apparent, through a obscure feeling of irritation or instability. Harmony can be achieved by means of furniture placement, color distribution, lights, and the arrangement of ornamental objects. Stability is realized in one particular of 3 means — symmetrically, asymmetrically, and radially. 

Asymmetrical balance in the living area at Jennifer Sheahan's home. Pictures: Moya Nolan
Asymmetrical stability in the residing space at Jennifer Sheahan’s dwelling. Photos: Moya Nolan

Symmetrical stability is a more formal strategy, exactly where room is divided into two sides that mirror each individual other, for illustration, two armchairs on either side of a coffee desk. Asymmetrical balance is the most common and the far more everyday — this is exactly where objects on possibly side of an imaginary axis are not the exact, but visually are the very same “weight” — for case in point, two huge armchairs going through a person significant couch. Radial balance is the least frequent — this is where smaller sized objects are organized about a person huge item, for example, chairs all-around a dining desk.


Unity — sometimes named “harmony” — is a much more simple principle, merely that means that there are unifying themes managing throughout the property. 

Rhythm in repeating colour accents. Picture: Moya Nolan
Rhythm in repeating color accents. Image: Moya Nolan

This could be a frequent colour, texture, or layout motif. Obtaining the same flooring or wall paint, for example, results in a unifying canvas for your household that brings a perception of cohesion and pulls the area alongside one another, even if every single room is designed otherwise. Developing and adhering to a good color palette is a fantastic way to bring unity and rhythm to your residence.


Rhythm in patterns is based on the actuality that our human brains appreciate repetition. One particular of the most straightforward strategies to carry rhythm into your design is through the use of accent colours for illustration, in my household, my yellow couch is recurring all over my residing place by applying yellow accent cushions in my dining location, and yellow in the artwork on my walls. 

Rhythm in interior design shown in Jennifer's dining area. Picture: Moya Nolan
Rhythm in inside style and design proven in Jennifer’s eating spot. Photograph: Moya Nolan

Although there is no serious restrict to how substantially you can repeat an accent color, a great minimal to preserve in head is a few. For causes over and above my understanding, our brains appear to appreciate factors that arrive in threes! Rhythm can also be accomplished by repeating (or alternating) sizes, designs, designs, or textures.


Emphasis is obtained by getting one particular merchandise or space provide as the focal issue in a room. This could be a bright yellow sofa, a exceptional hearth, a striking piece of artwork, or a spectacular chandelier. Choosing the focal position of your space will make the rest of your style and design a lot simpler, as you should pick out products that enhance and keep the emphasis on that one focal issue.


Distinction is a pretty impressive basic principle that, when employed suitable, can elevate your design to the subsequent stage. Contrast is most generally considered of in the sort of color — for instance, juxtaposing mild and darkish shades. 

Contrast shown in Jennifer's courtyard. Picture: Moya Nolan
Contrast demonstrated in Jennifer’s courtyard. Picture: Moya Nolan

On the other hand, distinction can also be accomplished by those of you who really like monochrome by working with differing textures, styles, or styles. Believe smooth woollen rugs on polished concrete flooring, elaborate classic candlesticks on a modern-day minimalist mantlepiece, or intricately patterned wall tiles from basic kitchen cabinets. Distinction results in visible stimulation and brings focus to the uniqueness of just about every item.


The troublesome thing about information is that the tiniest issues are inclined to draw our consideration and spoil the impact of a whole space. Finding the details proper can be painstaking, but the ultimate polish is well worth it — never allow some compact facts undo all of your challenging do the job! Critique your room with a critical eye and feel about no matter if everything feels marginally off or out of position. 

Jennifer's open-plan kitchen. Picture: Joe McCallion
Jennifer’s open-prepare kitchen. Picture: Joe McCallion

Make absolutely sure you’ve considered lesser-reviewed items this kind of as skirting, doorway handles, kitchen area taps, and electrical sockets to make confident they suit in just your sought after layout scheme. Believe about whether or not you want unity, rhythm, or distinction in these objects. Look at for finishes this kind of as even paint traces and tidy lighting fixtures. Eventually, contemplate what little aspects can be added to entire your style — for instance, the great plant, throw, or image body.