Philosophies Of Interior Design


Before we talk about some of the principles that guide interior designers in their work, let’s start by talking about what interior design is in the first place.

Interior designing is about shaping a space to fit the needs and desires of the people living in the space. It is not the same as interior decoration which focuses on just the appearance aspect of designing a space. Interior design modifies the look of the space as well as taking the architectural aspect of the space into account. That is why some states require interior designers to have certification.

Anyone who is an expert in designing interiors; like this interior designer from Vancouver or does it for a living is an interior designer. The job mainly entails evaluating the area, taking into account structural concerns, styles, and vision to form a detailed plan to renovate or construct the space.

With this basic information, let’s move on to some philosophies that interior designers use all the time.


The first principle is creating harmony within the space. To make the house seem like one unit, it is necessary to have the same concept throughout the whole house. This is not to be confused with having the same design in each room. Instead, the design of one room should be able to go with the design of another and so on. They should complement each other to give a sense of unity throughout the whole house.

One way designers do this is through the use of colors. They carefully pick complementing colors and use them in various shades throughout the house. Using colors is not as easy as it sounds but for starters, you can try using a color matching wheel to guide your selection.

Visual balance

The next principle is the visual balance in a room. There are three types of balance; radial, asymmetrical, and symmetrical balance.

Radial balance is when there is a point in the center of the design elements. One example of radial balance is seen in spiral staircases. This is not a common feature used in design but if used correctly, it can elevate the look of the entire space.


Asymmetrical balance is when different objects with similar visual weight are used. It produces a more casual look that designers are striving towards these days. Asymmetrical balance is also what makes a room lively. That said, it is no easy task to achieve asymmetrical balance. One would need to deliberately use one’s repertoire of knowledge and skills.

The last type of balance would be the symmetrical balance. This is a conventional designing style as seen in most old bedrooms where the same objects are placed on each side of the room. The goal with symmetrical balance is to create one side of the room to be the mirror image of the other. Humans are naturally comfortable with familiarity and symmetry so having symmetrical balance can fill a room with relaxing vibes.

Point of focus

One of the first things interior designers need to know is how to make a room interesting with focal points. Depending on the size of the room, there should be minimally one focal point. These points of focus are what make a room visually exciting. It must be eye-catching, memorable, and make people want to explore more of the room. That said, it should complement the style or the rest of the room, perhaps having the same color. One common focal point is a mounted television in a living room. There are also other methods that play with colors like an accent wall or an outstanding piece of furniture. Designers must have control, however, so that the focal point is not overwhelming for the space.

Visual pattern

The repetition of visual patterns, or rhythm, creates a sense of continuity or repeated occurrence in your space which leads to movement as your eyes shift from one thing to another. Repetition, progression, transition, and contrast are the ingredients for creating a well-designed rhythm in your room.

Repetition involves using the same design element multiple times throughout the room. For instance, you can pick a color and have certain furniture or decorations in that color. Repetition can be done with multiple elements.

The next mechanism is progression which involves changing one aspect of a design element. For example, a designer might have three of the same containers in different sizes displayed on a countertop so that it adds visual interest. Another common manifestation of progression is in colors where different hues of the same color are incorporated into the design elements.

Perhaps the most abstract is transition. The goal is to create a seamless experience as the viewer moves across the room. Sometimes this can be achieved with a curved corridor or a bend walkway that guides the eyes smoothly from one place to another.

Last but not least, the contrast, which is pretty self-explanatory. It is easy to implement. Some designers might put a black pillow against a white sofa or have triangular elements next to circular objects. This is a technique that gives more life to your space but too much of it can counteract the intended effect of other rhythms.


The final philosophy that most designers subscribe to is the focus on the fine details. You can nail the major elements in your space but if attention is not given to the fine details like cabinet handles, light hues, positioning of decor elements, and finishing of the bedding, you might as well have not designed it. People often overlook the details because it is not as exciting as the big things but a well-designed room is one that looks finished with loose ends tied.

Scale and color are just as important. Scale is the size of an object compared to another. A scale that is unsuitable will throw the whole look of the room off. Color can change the mood and atmosphere of any space; darker colors create a more moody atmosphere while light colors make the room feel airier.

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