7 Basic Principles of Interior Design

Interior design is everything that can help make a space beautiful, from planning to create beautiful functional spaces. It combines aesthetic art with science to define how a space will look and appeal to the senses and must fit the needs, cultures, and lifestyles of those that stay in that space. When it comes to interiors, there are seven basic interior design principles that always apply and can help make any room captivating.

We know how a well-designed room should feel when we walk into it—cohesive, put-together & perfectly aligned. By understanding a few basic design principles, you can create that same ambiance in your home, no matter your style or the kind of space you want to renovate. These seven principles of interior designing will help you create a beautiful and functional space.

1. Balance

Making a space look cohesive by evenly spreading out the elements is what we call balance. This gives a sense of equilibrium to your design by spreading the visual weight evenly throughout the space to create a sense of stability. It can be achieved with many forms, such as shapes, colors, patterns, and even textures. While an unbalanced space may feel jarring, a balanced room is relaxing and harmonious. There are three different types of balance that can be seen in interior design:

a. Symmetrical Balance

It is the most classic approach to design that can be seen in both formal and informal settings. Symmetrical balance is all about creating a mirror image of a scene to make sure that visual weight is evenly spread out around a single focal point! However, this form of balance might look monotonous or unimaginative if it's not done right.

b. Asymmetrical Balance

Asymmetrical balance is all about making interiors look inviting, and evenly balanced despite not having symmetry. The visual weights of lines, colors, forms, and textures are balanced without being exactly the same. Asymmetrical balance is less ordered than symmetrical balance and can be more complex and interesting.

c. Radial Balance

You achieve radial balance when a central focal point with other elements surrounding it or radiates out from it. This is often seen in stairwells, round dining tables, and chandeliers, which all work together to create a cohesive atmosphere. This principle should be used when you want to make a central item stand out.

2. Rhythm

Rhythm in interior design refers to creating a flow or movement within a space to grab attention. This is done by using the same color or shape at different intervals or by placing items like furniture, paintings, and other decorations strategically. Its purpose is to guide your eye around the room. Rhythm also has a significant impact on how others experience your interior, in terms of both aesthetics and practicality.

3. Emphasis

When you want to make something stand out in your space, you're creating emphasis. This can make the emphasized item look more important than the rest of the environment. A room where everything is given equal importance will look either scattered or dull, so you need a focal point to make everything come together. The emphasis can be a large piece of furniture like a grand piano, an art piece like a painting, or a design feature such as an accent wall. It can also be in the form of color, pattern, or texture. You can choose to emphasize the built-in focal point by arranging furniture around it.

4. Harmony

Harmony is when all the elements in a room come together to send a unified message. Just like rhythm can create excitement, harmony makes everything seem relaxing and in order. Things appear to belong together when they are in harmony. Form, shape, texture, and color repetition are the most effective ways to achieve harmony in compositions. When everything fits together flawlessly, the finished product is pleasing, soothing, and comfortable. You could use the same color or patterns in different shades or colors for different elements to achieve harmony in a design.

5. Contrast

Contrast is the arrangement of clashing elements in a space and the variation in the luminance of an object. When designing a room, using contrast is fundamental for producing variety, aesthetic intrigue, and making a statement. You can do this by painting using opposite colors, such as black and white, or by placing different shapes near to one another, like balancing a circular table and a rectangular photo frame. Another great method for generating contrast without overcrowding an area is to use positive and negative space. For example, an indulgent-looking statement armchair (positive space) in the living room would add a touch of luxury, if the area surrounding it (negative space) is left uncluttered.

6. Scale & Proportion

The ratio between the size of one part and another is called proportion, and the size of one object in relation to another object or to the space around it is called scale. The Golden ratio, which was invented by the Greeks, is a proportion that is found in nature and has been used by artists and architects for centuries to create harmony in their designs. The Golden ratio states that the ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as the ratio of the larger section to the whole.

7. Details

Adjusting the tiniest details is what sets a good interior design apart from a great one. Creating a comfortable environment for people to use such spaces is our ultimate goal. The principle of details emphasizes that the small things must not be neglected. In other words, no detail is too small or unimportant to pay attention to. From the fabric of the couches and textures of the tables to what kind of art should be framed on the wall, every little thing contributes something to the overall interior design.


Applying these 7 basic principles of interior design can help you create a beautiful and functional space. Our expert designers at Woodcraft International make sure to keep these principles of home decoration in mind when creating a space you’ll love.

With some of the top interior designers in Delhi NCR and other parts of India, Woodcraft International offers the best interior design solutions, tailored to your specific wants and needs. Book a consultation today and get started on making your dream home a reality!

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