Whether you’re blessed with an intuitive eye for interiors or have a keen understanding of aesthetic excellence, it’s likely that certain core precepts underscore your artistic vision. Understanding these fundamental principles will help you to hone your craft, creating harmonious and elegant interiors that seamlessly blend form and function.
This subtle design principle actually forms the starting point for any interior. Alignment not only pertains to the relationship between pieces of décor in a room, but also the natural formation of the room itself; fittings, windows, doors and dimensions should all come into consideration. The rule of thumb is to identify a natural focal point, such as a large window or mantelpiece, and design around it, selecting furniture that complements the room’s spacial dimensions. Taking photographs from different angles will help you to determine which arrangement is the most effective.
The interplay between contrasting colours, textures, shapes and sizes is essential to creating an engaging visual landscape. Instead of basing your decor around a single block colour, carefully select two or three contrasting colours: one dominant tone, one secondary tone and an additional accent colour. Adhering to a 60-30-10 ratio ensures that your three shades will set off one another beautifully without becoming too loud.
A similar concept to contrast, balance is all about developing a measured aesthetic that doesn’t lend excessive weight to one single element. The rule of thirds is especially useful for obtaining this look: Arrange three vases of varying sizes as a centrepiece on your dining table and stem some fresh wildflowers so that they burst out of the vases at cascading heights. To create unity, ensure each bouquet complements the overall colour scheme and the vases share the same shape and design.
Treat each room as its own independent project, but consider using recurring elements to create continuity throughout the home. The simplest way to achieve this is by employing subtle motifs. This could be done through flooring design, such as rustic wooden slats softened by intricately patterned rugs, or through coordinated lighting fixtures or period fittings. There’s no overriding rule; follow your instinct and personal taste to identify which design traits you wish to consistently highlight.
Spacial considerations have come to the fore in recent years, with architects and interior designers increasingly emphasising minimalism and negative space. This principle can be harnessed to great effect in post-industrial buildings such as converted warehouses and barns, which naturally offer a sense of expansiveness. Resist the urge to fill the space in its entirety, purge any clutter and ensure that each visible piece can be justified both practically and aesthetically.
Much like the mathematical golden ratio, there are ideal relationships between objects in interior design. Aim to follow core ground rules to avoid the appearance of over-crowding or imbalance. For instance, a coffee table in a living room should be approximately 15″ from the nearest sofa, whilst art should be hung at eye level around 60″ from the floor, with ample room allocated between each painting or print.
If you’re seeking a pristine investment property in which to implement your design ideas, or a family home with world-class design, the experts at Engel & Völkers are perfectly placed to assist.