‘Julie, I need your help. I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do first!’ Sounded like a call to a crisis hotline, but she didn’t need therapy; what she wanted was help re-designing her master bedroom and bath. Like so many people, Patty was sick and tired of her boring, outdated room. She wanted big changes, but didn’t know how to accomplish that or even what her first steps should be.
If you’re in that spot yourself, don’t despair. You may feel like you need counseling (!), but I’ve got some easy suggestions on how to get started toward creating a room you’ll love, a place that expresses your personality and provides a retreat from the rat race.
Look for inspiration. Go to your favorite grocery or home improvement store and buy several home magazines. Interior designers follow a set of principles which help accomplish homeostasis.
Consider the following interior design principles as essential to a work space environment:
Unity & Harmony
In order for an entire work space to be cohesive, the colors and design choices must resonate throughout all rooms of the space. Typically, a designer will showcase the architectural layout with a choice of two or three colors. These colors will complement one another throughout the entirety of the space.
In terms of interior design, balance refers to the equal supply of visual weight in the work space. This can be best understood by:
Symmetrical balance: When two identical objects are positioned on both sides of a vertical axis, mimicking the human form.
Asymmetrical balance: The placement of dissimilar objects to achieve a less manufactured look and feel. This is often understood as a focal point in a room that the designer purposely uses to attract the eye.
Radial balance: The process of placing all objects in a room around a center point of focus.
A good designer will enforce a focal point in every room. The focal point should ideally be a main attraction of the room, without overshadowing the other elements of design. Everything like scale, color, theme, and style are considered in creating an effective focal point. For example, the President’s main office will establish a focal point via an impressive desk. All surrounding elements will reinforce this space.
The rhythm of design refers to the visual pattern that appears throughout the space through continuous, organized, and recurring movements. Rhythm should lead one’s eye from one place to the next and includes:
Repetition: Reinforcement of a chosen design element throughout the work space.
Progression: The general increase or decrease of a design element throughout the space, best understood by size gradation.
Transition: The element of design that actually leads one’s eyes from place to place. It is typically subtle and hard to define, like the curve of a light fixture.
Contrast: The best way to explain contrast is by example. The placement of black and white table settings is a good one. The stark difference will set off a unique and contrasting design experience.
Details are those elements of design that visitors notice after they concentrate on focal points. These are the elements that bring the design full circle.
Color: Colors are probably the most powerful force on a person’s mood.