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Mastering the Art

Interior design is not just about arranging furniture or choosing colours. It is a thoughtful process that combines creativity with functionality to create harmonious living spaces. At the core of interior design lie seven fundamental principles that guide designers in their quest to transform houses into homes. Let's delve into each principle and uncover the secrets to crafting captivating interiors.


Living room

1. Balance

Balance is the foundation of good design; achieving visual equilibrium in a space. There are three ways to achieve balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial/circular.

-        Symmetrical balance involves mirroring elements on either side of a central axis, creating a sense of stability and order.

-        Asymmetrical balance, on the other hand, involves distributing visual weight unevenly, resulting in a more dynamic and engaging composition.

-        Radial or Circular balance is characterised by a circular or radial arrangement of furniture, decor or architectural features around a focal point. The visual weight of elements is evenly distributed around the central axis, creating a cohesive composition.

living room


2. Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale refer to the size and relative relationships between objects within a space. Achieving the right proportion and scale ensures that furniture and decor elements complement each other and fit harmoniously within the room.

-        Scale refers to the size of an object in relation to its surroundings. It involves how the size of an object or piece of furniture fits within the overall dimensions of a room. A well-scaled room ensures that furniture and decor items are appropriately sized for the space they occupy. For example, a large sofa in a small living room can overwhelm the space, while a small rug in a large dining room may appear insignificant.

-        Proportion, on the other hand, relates to the size and relative relationships between different elements within a room. It involves how the size of one object or architectural feature relates to the size of another object or feature in the same space. For example, the height of a ceiling relative to the size of windows or the width of a door relative to the height of a room are considerations of proportion.



Whether it is balancing large-scale furniture with smaller accessories or ensuring that architectural features are in proportion to the overall space, proportion and scale play a crucial role in creating a balanced and visually pleasing environment.


3. Emphasis

Emphasis, also known as focal point, is the element that draws the viewer's attention and serves as the centrepiece of the design. Whether it is a striking piece of artwork, a bold accent wall, a fireplace or a statement furniture piece, the emphasis creates visual interest and adds personality to the space, guiding the viewer's gaze and creating a sense of hierarchy.


4. Rhythm

Rhythm in interior design refers to the visual flow and movement created by repeating elements or patterns. Just as in music, rhythm in design can be achieved through repetition, progression or alternation of elements such as colour, shape or texture. Rhythm adds interest and dynamism to a space, guiding the eye and creating a sense of continuity.


5. Harmony and Unity

Harmony and unity ensure that all elements in a room work together cohesively, creating a sense of completeness and cohesion. This principle involves selecting elements that complement each other in terms of style, colour, texture, and scale, fostering a harmonious and unified atmosphere throughout the space.

-        Harmony involves the use of similar or complementary design elements, such as colours, textures, patterns and styles. In a harmonious interior, all the elements work together without clashing or competing for attention.

-        Unity, on the other hand, refers to the overall sense of oneness or cohesion in a space. It ensures that all the elements within a room relate to each other and contribute to a coherent overall concept or theme.

While harmony focuses on the compatibility of individual elements, unity encompasses the broader concept of how these elements come together to create a unified and harmonious whole.

living room

6. Contrast

Contrast adds depth and visual interest to a space by juxtaposing different elements such as colour, texture or shape. Whether it is pairing light and dark colours, mixing smooth and rough textures, or combining geometric and organic shapes, contrast creates drama and highlights the unique characteristics of each element, adding richness and dimension to the design.

green sofa

7. Emotion

At its core, interior design is about creating spaces that evoke emotion and resonate with the occupants on a personal level. Whether it is a cosy reading nook that invites relaxation, a vibrant kitchen that sparks joy, or a serene bedroom that promotes restful sleep, the ultimate goal of interior design is to enhance the well-being and happiness of those who inhabit the space.




Mastering the principles of interior design empowers designers to transform spaces into immersive environments that captivate the senses and elevate the human experience. By understanding and applying these principles—balance, harmony, rhythm, emphasis, proportion, contrast, and emotion—designers can create spaces that not only look beautiful but also feel inviting, functional, and uniquely tailored to the needs and preferences of their inhabitants.


For further interior design inspiration and practical advice, explore our blog.


Mika Design Studio is an interior design studio on a mission to make a positive and meaningful impact on our clients’ lives; inspire them on the use of creativity and sustainable materials to create authentic interiors that organically evolve with them.

We are based in Royal Leamington Spa (Warwickshire, UK) but also operate online nationwide. We provide Consultation and Home Staging services for properties to sell, Re-design & Styling services for serviced accommodation/buy-to-let properties, and Online Interior Design for single bespoke rooms.

Visit our website to find out more about us.

mika design studio


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