Balance is something we are all trying to achieve in our everyday lives. One of the most relatable examples is the ongoing struggle to balance life between work and leisure. Similar to when we are off balance in various aspects of our lives, an unbalanced interior space can be uncomfortable. To achieve balance is a game of distributing the visual presence of objects within the space to create a feeling of equilibrium. Size, colour, shape and texture all play a major part of the visual impact of balance. Larger, darker items of furniture will typically feel heavier in a space. Whereas flooding a room with natural light will counteract that. Symmetry is achieved by arranging items with a focus on a 50/50 balance or to look like a mirror image.
Take this beautiful lounge area. Despite having dark window frames and items of furniture on the far wall, the look is light and airy thanks to the high ceilings and large amount of glazing. The positioning of the furniture helps create the symmetrical balance. The result being a sense of calm and tranquility.
Symmetrical interiors are often viewed as more restful and peaceful than an asymmetrical room as our brains don’t have to work as hard to figure out the use and flow of the space. That’s because it’s familiar. We are used to having balance right in front of us, i.e. when looking in a mirror at ourselves.
So when designing a room, consider what mood you are looking to achieve in the space. Balance is key if you want your room to feel calm and actually symmetry is quite easy to achieve. Here are 3 tips:
The central point in your design, should be the element that your eye is drawn to when entering a room. This can be a fireplace, built in storage unit or simply some detailing, around which you can create the symmetry.
Generally the focul point should be the heaviest item in the room, but this can be balanced by actually framing it. For example, if you have a large fireplace then frame it with similar heavy objects like 2 large matching sofas. If your dining room contains a large dark dining table, couple this with visually lighter chairs.
Try and keep your room in proportion with the space. For example, an ottoman should be two thirds the length of your sofa. Artwork should take up no more than three fifths of your wall.
The same rules apply on a smaller scale if styling a sideboard. The focal point in our image is the white ribbed vase, this is then framed by the 2 Harley Lamp bases with navy shades. The balance is easy to achieve because of the scale and proportion of the items on the slim sideboard.
When all else fails take a step back literally and tweak your pieces until you are happy with the symmetry and achieving a flow that feels right!
If you wish to Shop This Look, see below for the items used to style this image