Most Important Interior Design Principles


Interior Design is more than just arranging items and furnishings in a space to give it a smart look. It is a way of giving the meaning to a place; a sense of purpose to a small portion of land which would reflect the style of the owner; and in short giving the name of the place its actual meaning. Irrespective of the era, the interior design has always been an important and crucial part of designing spaces of all kinds and sizes. Be it a big palace full of antiques with no strings attached to the wallets of the owners or be it a small parlour used for official work; interior design has a key role to play; almost everywhere.

As the times advanced and the palaces were replaced by more comfortable, airy and ‘near-to-nature’ homes, the ways and means of the interior designing also got modified. The antiques and heavy ornamentation got replaced by natural and simple artefacts and technology made the complexities obsolete. The technology made the work of the designers easier and better; but still, the basic designing principles still remain same.

The following post shall be exploring all the crucial interior designing principles that determine how the designer is going to proceed with any space and can just not be ignored by any designer.

Size and Balance

  • These are the two most important principles while designing a new space. The ‘rightly sized articles placed at rightly balanced positions’ is what makes the whole place perfect.

The ‘Balance’ Part

  • This is easily said than done. There are endless numbers of possibilities when it comes to balancing the things in right proportions.
  • There are three approaches to balance itself; namely – asymmetrical, symmetrical and radial. Let us learn about them one by one.
  • Asymmetrical Balance: Being more casual and less of an improvisation; this balance is a major feature in the contemporary interiors. The dissimilar objects that have an equal visual attraction are used to create the balance in the space. It creates more lively spaces and is mastered with difficulty and expertise.
  • Symmetrical Balance: A characteristic of the traditional interior designing; it involves the repetitive arrangement of similar objects on either side of an imaginative vertical axis. One can easily identify it in the old houses where every room used to resemble one another and the overall design remained symmetrical.
  • Radial Balance: The designer considers a centre point while designing a place in Radial Balance. All the other articles are placed around the central point. This is not a popular choice though.

The ‘Size’ Part

  • Having covered the Balance Part of the most important interior design principle; let us move onto the Size part.
  • The articles to be placed in a space are chosen after careful consideration of the size of both the space to be designed and of the object to be placed.
  • A very common example can be the size of the Television screen to be placed in a hall and in a room. Another example that can be used is that of the cabinet sizes alongside the bed and in the storage space such as closet etc.


  • Colours are very important while designing any space of any kind and any size.
  • Earlier, the interior designers used a very vibrant and really colourful palette while designing any place; such as gold, bold shades such as blue, red, purple, and even shades from the yellow family. But the contemporary colour palette majorly consists of neutral shades that keep the home near to natural colours.
  • The combinations are also done in such a manner that the overall theme of the space is not disturbed and highly bright and striking colour combinations such as red and yellow etc are no longer in use.
  • Another trend that is covered under this principle is the ‘SELF – COMBINATION’ in which 3 to 4 different gradient shades of a single colour are used in a room.


  • The repetitive use of an artefact, a pattern, a colour, texture or any other element while designing a space is yet another principle of interior design.
  • The main aim of this principle is to keep the whole place connected. All the rooms are connected well enough to give an overall look of a home.
  • The repetition of some colours; such as neutral shades in the connecting portions of a house such as lobbies and galleries etc give a feel of ‘solidarity’ to the whole house.


  • Transitions are a tricky part when it comes to interior designing.
  • This implies that the arrangement of the things should be in such a way that the eye of the viewer moves smoothly from one part of the space to the other.
  • For example the maintenance of the continuum in a space by using arches or winding paths; are simple examples of transition.


  • Progression is another one of the crucial interior designing principles that includes arrangements, textures or colourings to move in an increasing or decreasing fashion.
  • For example the colouring of a wall in 3 to 4 different gradients of a single colour is a progression from dark to light or vice versa.
  • Applying the same to the articles, we have the arrangement of candles of different sizes in an increasing manner.


  • Rhythm comprises of the using of one or more of the above mentioned three principles; i.e. progression, transition and repetition to represent a continuous movement.
  • Generally the organized repetition of articles, patterns, textures and colours are employed to maintain the overall rhythm of the place.


  • Putting two different elements adjacently or in association is termed as contrast.
  • Black cushions on a white sofa and dark coloured furniture against neutral backdrop, etc are a few examples of the contrasts one can easily spot in daily life.
  • Another example is the usage of different shapes such as squares and circles. The shapes can be considered in any manner; for example door patterns, furnishings and ceiling designs etc.

Just as the ways to approach a space for interior designing are unlimited; so is the number of things to be considered while doing so. However, the most important ones have been mentioned above that have been used since ages and are still being used and will always be.