Decorating Your Home by Following the Principles of Design

Decorating a home can be done in two ways – either you hire a professional interior decorator or use your imagination and creativity to create something that you can call your own masterpiece. If you choose do it on your own, it is essential that you follow the elements of design, which are space, shape or form, mass, line, pattern, texture, light and color. These elements of design are components that can be incorporated in following the Principles of Designs.

Space can be architecturally defined by small or large areas or a combination of both.

NEGATIVE space refers to EMPTY SPACE.



A. Emphasis

1. It is the creation of a focal point such as a dramatic view or vista
2. This is showed when certain elements are emphasized more than the others; thus, creating a relationship of dominance and subordination of the design elements
3. Take note of the following when incorporating emphasis in your design.

  • Create focal points and centers of interest through the use of forms, colors, textures and lines
  • Focal points can migrate according to season
  • Bring emphasis into immediate focus via colors
  • Focus on a point of emphasis to bring out form which can be accomplished through furniture arrangement
  • Draw the attention through Texture
  • Pattern is often a focal point
  • Lights similarly can create a focal point
  • Remember that too much emphasis creates chaos and unrest while a room without emphasis creates boredom.
  • The principle of design presented in the above living room is emphasis. As we can see in the picture, there is more than one focal point which leads the viewer’s eyes from the most dominant to the least dominant focal point. The throw pillows are the most dominant focal points that stretch out onto the frame on the wall with the ceiling light as the least dominant central point. The natural and logical progression of the focal points in this living room arrangement creates a perspective view of its design.

    B. Harmony

    1. It refers to the pleasant and orderliness of the design — having a state of agreement or a feeling of rightness.
    2. It is the combination of colors, forms, textures that is fitted together to provide a sense of belonging or oneness.
    3. It is the correct combination and balance of unity and variety.

    Harmony was accomplished in the above living room via textures, colors and forms. The smooth surface on the floor, texture on walls, colors on sofa and chairs increases the sense of belongingness on all surfaces which will be perceived by the people who gets close to it. Improving the sense of variety in the room is the low height of the couch back rest, the textures on the wall and the curtains without eliminating the sense of unity. Even the shade of the desk lamp has the same texture with that of the curtains. Harmony is also attained in the living room with the use of strong colors pitted against each other. Establishing creative harmony is the combination of the colors blue, purple and brown. A great color to use in the living room, purple blends well with blue and brown as shown in this living room. When light passes through the window, it produces a pretty tone on the surface as it catches up with these colors. Likewise, the tufted fabric upholstery of the sofa and the texture on the walls complemented each other well. I want to stress, though, that harmony in this room was fully achieved with the use of appropriate color and light. To conclude, harmony is best attained with having a smooth surface matched with the proper colors and forms.

    C. MASS

    Optical density can be accomplished with more pattern, texture, color, or by grouping. Mass is achieved by putting together pieces of furniture, décor or other items. In order to implement this principle of design, the following must be observed.

  • Importance
  • Impressiveness
  • Function
  • Balance, and
  • Cohesiveness.
  • Clear cut lines define this modern sofa that makes a solid visual effect in the living room. As the main focal point in the room, it emanates a sense of power that can be attributed to its red color and its semi-circular shape. The illumination coming from the ceiling which is reflected on the floor offers an extra feeling of strength. Additionally, the design of this living room emits good coordination of balance, impressiveness and cohesiveness as it directs the viewer’s eyes to the ceiling. As a whole, this living room establishes the principles of harmony and mass through solidity, massiveness and power.


    The principle of design used in this bedroom is the use of patterns that resulted to a prominent arrangement of textures. Let us analyze this one by one.

    First, the wallpaper’s design has a crowded pattern that gives the occupant a feeling of being in a jungle.

    Second, the rug has three color patterns – blue, red and gold separated by horizontal lines, which creates an impression of division of the colors on the floor.

    Third, the use of three different main patterns in this bedroom as seen on the wallpaper, the floor and the bed gives a transition from being crowded (wallpaper) to the simplicity of the bed. The repetition of the design on the bed’s cushion is similarly seen as a focal point in the room.

    The green color in the sofa’s cushions matches the painting on the wall and the plant on the window bay giving the occupant a natural feel.

    Implementing the principles of design in decorating your home is a matter of tastes, too. You may have seen intriguing and out-of-this world home designs. Some may see it as obscure but to the owner, it is simply an exhibition of his individuality.

    One thought on “Decorating Your Home by Following the Principles of Design”

    Leave a Reply