Most people like to think that they have some interior design know-how when they are creating the look of their homes. However, a lot of these same people are winging it without any in-depth knowledge of the area. If you would like to understand a little more about interior design and the principles that guide it, you have come to the right place. So, let’s get on with talking about five of the main ones.

Unity and Harmony

Rather than seeing your home as a series of separate rooms, you should instead look at it as a whole entity. As such, a common style and theme should run throughout the place. That doesn’t mean that everything should look samey and boring, but instead, the individual components should complement each other. A consistent colour scheme is a great way to create this effect. You may choose different shades of three or four colours to run throughout your home.

Focal Point

Depending on the size of the room, it should have one or more focal points. The main idea is that this will draw the attention first, before encouraging the viewer to take in the rest of the space. A fireplace is always a good option or perhaps an interesting piece of artwork. If there is no natural focal point, you could highlight a particular piece of furniture or paint one area in a contrasting colour. Take a look at some options on Focal points can be different in each room of the house.


Just like balancing a set of scales, you should be aiming to create a sense of visual balance in your home. The three main types of balance are symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. Symmetrical balance is the one found in traditional interiors which generally consists of the same objects repeated on either side of a vertical axis. Asymmetrical balance occurs when dissimilar objects are placed in a room to have equal visual weight. Finally, radial symmetry is achieved when the elements of a design are positioned around a centre point.


Rhythm is obviously most associated with music, but it is also a core element of interior design. First of all, you can use repetition of a pattern, colour or texture. Progression is also associated with rhythm and essentially refers to the increasing or decreasing of the quality of a design element. Also, you can experiment with contrast which is a hallmark of interior design. Using totally opposite colours is the most obvious example of this.


Details are the smaller elements that underpin the design of your home. Think about the trimmings on a lampshade or the handles of a cupboard. Once you have gotten the main design of the room the way you want it, the details are what will make the space uniquely yours.

Interior design is an artform that you could spend years studying, but this guide just gives you some of the basic principles to get you started.