Interior Design Basics

Posted by Alison Johnson on

Are you thinking of starting a new interior design project to help transform your home or office? Then you will want to read on to find out the basic steps that you need to take.

Interior design tends to be grouped into five specific areas that all work together to create a successful design. Once you have these foundations in place, you will have a home that feels complete and is a true representation of your individual style.


Balance is all about creating a sense of equilibrium, created through shape, colour, patterns and textures. It is achieved by arranging items in a way that their visual weights are equal and in balance.

Balance - Interior Design Basics | Crackpots

There are three types of balance: symmetrical (the same objects in the same positions but either side of a vertical axis), asymmetrical (placing of different objects that have equal visual weight), and radial symmetry (all elements of a design arranged around a central focal point).


You may not associate rhythm with interior design, however you can create rhythm using patterns of repetition and contrast - using wallpaper or varied colour schemes for example. Abstract colour schemes are one of the interior design trends for 2020 so you could consider including this within your new project.

The idea behind rhythm is to move your eye around the room. By including the same colour scheme in your soft furnishings, and applying this to a rug or even a tissue box cover, your eye will naturally follow the colour around the room. It is all about repeating the colours.

Rhythm - Feather Tissue Box Cover | Crackpots


Harmony is created when similar elements blend together, so you need to carefully think about how one piece of furniture is going to mix with another. By creating an interior design mood board before you commence your interior design project, you will clearly be able to identify any accessories or furniture that just don’t go together.


By placing opposites next to each other, you can easily create contrast in your home. This doesn’t have to be the standard black vs white though. Think outside the box - hard and soft textures, small and large items, the possibilities are endless.

One thing to be careful of with contrast is to not overdo it, otherwise it can cause a jumbled effect. Linking back to balance and harmony, you should ensure contrast looks unified and has a purpose in the room you are redesigning.

Contrast - Interior Design Basics | Crackpots

Scale and Proportion

Scale refers to the size of the objects that you place in your room. Proportion is often confused with scale, and it means how the size of the individual items compare to the bigger picture. Both of these are important when selecting furniture, as you don’t want a large bulky sofa next in a small room as it will look completely out of place.

Consider the house as one

As with any interior design project, there are many factors that you need to consider when putting new ideas together. Remember to think of your home as an overall picture though, rather than compartmentalising it into separate rooms. 

You should include common themes and styles throughout, that blend together as you walk from one room to another. Interior design can have a large impact on our everyday lives, so it is important that you take the time to work out exactly how you want your home to look.

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