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Design elements and principles are the building blocks of all design disciplines.  They are what design decisions are based on.  In interior design, balance is one of the most important of these.  This design principle is often the difference between a room feeling pulled together or disheveled.

Balance is the distribution of visual weight.  When weight is spread evenly over an area, it appears balanced.  If all the furniture in a room was placed against one side of a room, it would appear very unbalanced.  Upon entering the room, you might feel unsettled by its unusual nature; balanced designs create a calming order to a space.

There are two types of balance, symmetrical and asymmetrical.  A symmetrical composition is like a mirror-image.  Since everything must strictly be identical in opposite placement, symmetry is sometimes called formal balance.


This photo shows a symmetrically balanced composition, created with the sofa, accent pillows, artwork, end tables, and lamps.  As you can see if you drew a line down the middle of the sofa, you would have a mirror image of identically placed items.

Asymmetrical balance is a composition with parts having similar visual weight without mirroring.  Asymmetry tends to be more interesting, dynamic, and casual, yielding the title of informal balance.

To create balance in your home, furniture should be well-distributed without rigid mirroring.  It is also extremely important to balance color and value throughout a space.  If you have dark colors on one side of a room and light on the other, the space will feel unpleasant.  Just as if you are using an accent color, be sure to carry it around the room so the eye will connect the color in an appealing, balanced way.


You can see in this photo how orange is used as an accent color and carried through the room in multiple locations to create asymmetrical balance.


Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain


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