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Home/Ideas & Advice/How to Create Rhythm in Your Room Through Juxtaposition

We believe you can create rhythm in your room through the design principles of: balance, harmony, emphasis and scale.

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately felt a calmness come over you? This can be in large part the result of a great design. There are certain principles that will simply just allow this feeling to occur as you enter a space. Our design expert Sherrie Swass weighs in on these five elements that are crucial to having this experience. Leader designer, Sherrie educates us on how great design incorporates five key principles: rhythm, balance, harmony, emphasis and scale.

Rhythm—You Can Feel The Beat

Good design has rhythm similar to music. with one note out of tune, the song doesn’t work or flow cohesively. The same goes for great interior design. Establishing rhythm in a room is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to keep visual interest. Professional merchandisers are paid very well for their expertise in establishing rhythm throughout large cosmopolitan areas where department stores have enormous budgets to tantalize the consumer. Rhythm can be created by using similar colors or shapes at different intervals.

The purpose is not to keep your eyes fixed on one particular design element, bur rather moving around the space. The photos on these pages are perfect examples of room settings that have mixed design elements to create a very clean and modern look. The white rounded sofa is accentuated with the silver painted cube tables that are naturally and heavily textured. The textured elements of wood in this case is contrasted with the smooth, white fabric on the sofa.

The windows in the background add a vertical pattern that connects to the sofa legs and tone of the tables. The round circled wall art is an element of surprise to keep the eyes moving. The repetition of circles and visual movement in the room is creating rhythm.

Balance: The Ying & Yang of It

Even though the room features are very eclectic, there is definitely a sense of balance to each. What creates balance in a room? It’s a sense of being equal. It’s about visualizing a weight to the objects. Balance is created through pattern, texture and color. In the two photos, every element is presented in symmetrical balance. In other words, the space is even with the placement of two identical tables. In some cases having two of the same tables could be really boring, but as you can see in these photos, this is not the case. The photo captures a very modern look but the roundness of the elements make the room very room and inviting.

Harmony: It Just Feels Good

Great design at first glance, just feels good. This feeling is what design experts call harmony. Harmony is achieved when all elements act together and give the same message or feeling to the room. Rhythm can created much excitement, however harmony creates a sense of “peace” in the space. This can be created by using a single color and incorporating this color in different shapes, sizes and forms.

Emphasis: Where Your Eye Goes

The fireplace in the photo is a perfect example of a room with emphasis. Too much equal attention without a substantial visual impact can get boring. The fireplace serves as an anchor in this case. It cane also be referred to as a focal point in the room. Notice how the silver fish wall art and trim around the fireplace opening, contrast beautifully with the wood to create emphasis. Again, roundness is used in this setting to create interest and warmth while the furniture is placed strategically in a way to emphasize the fireplace.

Scale: Keep The Weight Proportional

Weight can be seen in a physical sense or visually when entering a room. Whatever the subject, weight needs to be proportional to please the other elements in a room. If you’re using a 66 inch console table in the space, you would not hang a horizontal mirror that is 70 inches over it. The mirror would extend past the length of the table making the design disjointed and un-proportionate.

Both of these rooms shown are great examples of good scale. In most cases, the upholstered furniture is the largest scaled piece in a room. This is why it is so important to pick out the right style, size, fabric, texture and color for your main connecting furnishing piece. If it is not placed and selected correctly in the space, the entire design will be out of scale.

Hope you enjoyed our design tips! Original published in: Lavish Living Magazine
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