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How Basic Design Principles Can Supercharge Your Home Decorating

With the right elements, you can transform any space from ordinary to exceptional.

Though some have an innate knack for interior design, the rest of us can still create a beautiful home by applying the basic principles of design.

Using this knowledge, along with a little practice and some experimentation, you’ll be well on your way to design delight.

Find the Focal Point

In any room, the focal point is the most emphasised feature, drawing your gaze and providing an anchor. In many spaces, the focal point is inbuilt, either a large window with a beautiful view, or a fireplace, for example. If the room doesn’t have a built-in focus, you can create one by painting one wall a different colour, or using a piece of furniture or artwork.

Everything around the focal point should be chosen to complement the focus. This can be done through the use of colour, or by framing it with smaller decorations or furniture.

Find The Focal Point In Your Room

Keep Your Balance

In design, balance gives a feeling of equilibrium. You can create balance in a room through the use of furniture and decorations, considering shape, colours, patterns and textures as well.

Along with balance, rhythm is an important design element as it adds visual interest. Its purpose is to move your eyes around the room. One way of doing this would be to choose a colour from your focal point, use it in the pillows, include it in a painting, and again in a rug.

As rhythm adds interest, harmony has its place in design to maintain calm. You can create harmony by using a single colour but with varying shapes and textures.

Interior Design Balance

Layers of Light

There are three types of lighting, and using them together can give your room dimension.

  • Ambient: this is also called general lighting. This is the overhead lighting intended to evenly illuminate the room.
  • Task: this is lighting for a specific task. Examples include a reading lamp, or under-cabinet lights in the kitchen.
  • Accent: these lights are to highlight a particular object, such as a painting as a focal point.

When choosing lighting for a room, its best to start with ambient lighting, and then consider whether task and accent lighting could enhance the space.

Know Your Numbers

There are a few specific measurement rules for decorating that make a room look better. While you should never be afraid to break the rules, they are a good starting point:

  • Allow sufficient space between coffee tables and sofas
  • Hanging pictures: centre at eye level
  • Allow a small curtain overlap on each side of the window
  • Make sure your TV distance from your sofa is approximately double the TV diagonal measurement

Rugs have a few basic guidelines. If possible, put all legs of your furniture on it, maintaining at least 30cm of floor surface on all four sides of the rug.

Alternatively, you may choose a smaller rug and place it in front of the furniture. The third option is to place the front two legs of a sofa on the rug, along with the entire coffee table. This creates a feeling of openness.

Use Some Measurement Rules With Your Styling


Remember Negative Space

Sometimes, less is more. It can be tempting to fill every space with a subject, but appreciating negative space as a feature in itself can help to avoid a cluttered look. When considering negative space, remember that what you don’t do to a space is just as important. It’s about looking for spots that look great without other design additions.

With these principles in mind, you can adjust your decorating to suit your own preferences while creating an interesting and harmonious home.

For inspiration on designing and building your ideal home, download our Lubelso Luxury Home Design brochure now and get inspired.


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