When decorating any personal space, it’s important for your own taste to play a central part, while letting the mood you want to create guide your choice of décor design elements.
Colour and form, style and texture... all these can be combined to achieve the character and atmosphere you’re after. That being said, in order to design a room that will be both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, start by considering some of the universal principles that apply to all well-designed rooms. With this in mind, here are a few decorating tricks that will help you achieve balance and unity in your décor.
Which of the room’s spaces should you fi ll? Which should you leave open? The art of selecting which areas to leave empty is the foundation
of good design, yet it is one of the hardest things to do well. A good start is to take all the furniture and accessories out of the room. Then bring them back in, one at a time (but fi rst, make sure that everything still has a purpose, both in the room and in your life). Treat each item like it’s brand new, and fi nd a new spot for it.
Another way to avoid clutter is to edit the room’s accessories with each new season. This brings a new energy to a space, so that it never feels stagnant. A very eff ective trick to help you bring structure and good composition to the room is to create groupings of similar objects, like vases, candles or a collection of pictures. If you were to disperse these pieces throughout the room, they would create a feeling of clutter and lose visual impact.
Asymmetry and rhythm
A room with too much symmetry (such as perfectly matched sets of chairs, table lamps, bookcases or mirrors) can become visually boring. To heighten interest, use a little asymmetry when positioning décor elements. That doesn’t mean just haphazardly placing furniture and accessories in the room. It’s more about the art of creating harmony and cadence in a more imaginative way.
For instance, one big ceramic piece on a night table to one side of the bed can balance three smaller objects on the other side. But for asymmetry to work well, you need at least one element —colour, texture or shape— to connect with the other objects in the arrangement. Also, keep in mind that your decorating scheme should have a certain rhythm. When your eye travels around the room, it naturally settles on various focal points—that’s the rhythm. If the elements of a room are too symmetrical, too mathematically arranged, the rhythm will be flat. If a room is too cluttered or chaotic, the rhythm will be disconcerting. The ideal is to create a room with a harmonious flow, accented by a touch of the unexpected.