5 Most Important Principles of Interior Design

Do you know the 5 important principals which you should considered before starting your interior designing project?

Many may misses it but you can’t afford to ignore them so stay tuned to know about those 5 factors. At the end of this blog you’ll be able to understand and use the basic interior design principles used by every architect and interior designer to create a great design, and who knows maybe you’ll also save some money, or start a new career ! Now let’s begin with the beginning, and understand what interior design is …

What is Interior designing?

“Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment. Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design in addition to traditional decoration. Interior design is a creative practice that analyses programmatic information, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents. In some jurisdictions, interior designers must be licensed to practice.”

Now that you have an idea about interior design, we can move forward and learn something really useful, the principles of interior design. Let’s begin !


The interior designing is all about visual appeal and look and feel. In a short sentence the balance in Interior designing can be described as the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. There are three styles of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

No 1. Symmetrical balance – It is usually found in traditional interiors which are more inspired by natural elements. Symmetrical balance is characterised by the same object repeated in the same positions on either side of a vertical axis. for example you might remember old rooms where each side of a space is an exact mirror of the other. As it is more comfortable to be balanced, the same principle of symmetry can be found in a human body.

 No 2. Asymmetrical balance- It is more in fashion in design, these days as it gives more liberty to design. If done with responsibility asymmetry suggests movement, and leads to more lively interiors. For example, two walls painted in balanced contrast will be asymmetrical but will depict a visual balance.

 No 3. Radial symmetry – It is when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a centre point. A circular flooring pattern or a A spiral staircase is an excellent example of radial balance in any space. 

Your entire design should have some kind of balance which will create an interest and give you a visual pleasure.


When doing interior design, it is necessary to think of the house as a totality a series of spaces linked together by halls and stairways. It is therefore appropriate that a common style and theme runs throughout. This is not to say that all interior design elements should be the same but they should work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition. A way to create this theme or storyline is with the well considered use of colour. Colour schemes in general are a great way to unify a collection of spaces. For example, you might pick three or four colours and use them in varying shades throughout the house. Using a colour matching wheel can be a great place to start.

3.Focal Point

A focal point must be dominant to draw attention and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to look further. It must have a lasting impression but must also be an integral part of the decoration linked through scale, style, colour or theme. A TV unit in the living room is an excellent example of a focal point. While the natural focal point of any bedroom can be the headboard of the bed.

If you don’t have a natural focal point in your space, you can create one by highlighting a particular piece of furniture, artwork, or by simply painting a contrasting colour in one area. However, the balance must be maintained.Interior design’s biggest enemy is boredom. A well-designed room always has, depending on the size of it, one or more focal points. A focal point must be dominant to draw attention and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to look further. A focal point thus must have a lasting impression but must also be an integral part of the decoration linked through scale, style, colour or theme. A fireplace or a flat tv is the first example that most people think of when we talk about a room focal point. Try to maintain balance though, so that the focal point doesn’t hog all of the attention.


Rhythm is defined as continuity, recurrence or organised movement. To achieve these themes in a design, you need to think about repetition, progression & transition. Using these concepts will give you a sense of movement to your space, leading the eye from one design element to another. For example, the breathing pattern or the beat of the heart are living examples of rhythm in a human body. While in interior design a rhythm is all about visual pattern repetition and can be found in a natural pattern in a Veener or a marble.

Rhythm is defined as continuity, recurrence or organised movement.

Repetition – it is the use of the same element more than once throughout a space. You can repeat a pattern, colour, texture, line, or any other element, or even more than one element.

Progression – is taking an element and increasing or decreasing one or more of its qualities. The most obvious implementation of this would be a gradation by size. A cluster of candles of varying sizes on a simple tray creates interest because of the natural progression shown. You can also achieve progression via colour, such as in a monochromatic colour scheme where each element is a slightly different shade of the same hue.

Transition – is a little harder to define. Unlike repetition or progression, transition tends to be a smoother flow, where the eye naturally glides from one area to another. The most common transition is the use of a curved line to gently lead the eye, such as an arched doorway or winding path.

Finally, contrast is fairly straightforward. Putting two elements in opposition to one another, such as black and white pillows on a sofa, is the hallmark of this design principle. Opposition can also be implied by contrasts in form, such as circles and squares used together. Contrast can be quite jarring, and is generally used to enliven a space. Be careful not to undo any hard work you’ve done using the other mechanisms by introducing too much contrast!


Another important element of interior design where it is necessary to take infinite pains is details. Everything from the trimming on the lamp shade, the colour of the piping on the scatter cushion, to the light switches and cupboard handles need attention. Unlike colour people find details boring. As a result it gets neglected and skimmed over or generally left out. As colour expresses the whole spirit and life of a scheme; details are just as an important underpinning of interior design. Details should not be obvious but they should be right, enhancing the overall feel of a room.

Colours – Colours have a definite impact on the atmosphere that you want to create when doing interior design. A more detailed post about how colours affect our moods you can find here.

Scale and Proportion – These two design principles go hand in hand, since both relate to size and shape. Proportion has to do with the ratio of one design element to another, or one element to the whole. Scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another.

Once you consider all these 5 principles of interior design , your final design will be close to what your dream was!

Would you like more help in understanding these 5 most important principals ? Please connect with our team at Architect -Nilesh Sawant and get the advice you need.

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