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What is Balance in Interior Design?

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Balance in interior design is the arrangement of elements so that none stands out more than the others — Learn how to achieve balance in Interior Design.
Symmetrical Interior

What is balance in interior design? Balance in interior design is the arrangement of elements so that none stands out more than the others. Achieving balance adds a sense of calm, relaxation, and unity to your design.

You can create balance in interior design in three ways:

  • Symmetrical balance in interior design
  • Asymmetrical balance in interior design
  • Radial balance in interior design

Let’s talk about each of them in more detail.

Symmetrical Balance in Interior Design

Bedroom Designed by Leaf Studios
Bedroom Design by Leaf Studios | Kuwait

Symmetry is when two sides of a design look the same. Symmetrical balance can be mirror symmetry or translational symmetry.

Mirror Symmetry

In mirror symmetry, each side looks exactly the opposite of the other, like butterfly wings.

Interior designers use symmetry to give a sense of stability, calm, and dignity. 

💡 Design insight: Be careful when you apply mirror symmetry to your design because some people see it as dull and unimaginative.

Where should you Use Mirror Symmetry?

Mirror symmetry works best in bedrooms because it creates a sense of stability and calm, which is just what you need in a bedroom.

At my design studio (Leaf Studios), we tend to achieve mirror symmetry in a bedroom by putting the same bedside tables and lamps on both sides of the bed.

Translational Symmetry

Translational symmetry happens when you repeat the same design elements at a certain distance.

You can see translational symmetry in patterns like wallpaper, chessboard floors, and tiled walls and floors.

How to Create Symmetry in a Room:

Follow this step-by-step guide to create symmetry:

Remember that symmetry balance happens when you repeat design elements (transitional) or mirror them along a central axis (mirror).

  • Find the room’s focal point. The focal point of a room is what draws the most attention. 

💡 Design Insight: Most rooms have a natural focal point, such as a wide wall or a big window. 
If the room you are designing doesn’t have a natural focal point, you can make one yourself. For instance, you could build a fireplace and use it as your focal point.

  • Make an invisible axis that goes through the center of your focal point.
  • Arrange the same design elements on both sides of the invisible axis to look like mirror images of each other.

Asymmetrical Balance in Interior Design

Living Room in Asymmetrical Balance

Unlike symmetrical balance, we don’t use the same design elements on both sides. Instead, we balance the visual weight of each side.

In other words, a design has asymmetrical balance when the two sides are different but have the same amount of visual weight. 

💡 Design insight: because asymmetry is inherently unbalanced, it can be hard to find balance in an asymmetrical design, but if you do it right, the result can be stunning.

How to Create Asymmetrical Balance in Interior Design:

Follow this step-by-step guide to create asymmetrical balance:

  • Find the room’s focal point.
  • Make an invisible axis that goes through the center of your focal point.
  • Place different design elements around the central axis in a way that makes them look balanced and in harmony, like two chairs on opposite sides of a sofa.

Where should you Use Asymmetrical Balance?

Asymmetrical balance works best in living rooms because it adds visual interest while keeping the room balanced. Interior designers usually use two chairs in front of a sofa or a group of pictures hung at different heights to create a living room with asymmetrical balance.

Radial balance in Interior Design

Dining Room in Radial Balance

Radial balance is a pattern that stays the same when you turn it around its center, like a star or the repeated pattern on a circular rug. 

How to Create Radial Balance in Interior Design

You can create radial balance by placing identical objects around a circle’s center. Follow this step-by-step guide to achieve it:

  • Find the center of your radial balance.
  • Repeat the same design elements around the circle’s center so that if you cut it in half anywhere, both sides would look the same.

Where should I Use Radial Balance?

Radial balance is hard to get right, so you can’t use it in as many rooms as symmetry and asymmetry balance. However, designers strive for “radial 

balance” when using circular furniture. 

Radial balance works best in a dining room with a round table.

3 Tips for Creating a Better Balance in your Design:

Adding balance to your design is a great idea. Here are some tips to go one step further with balance in interior design.

1️⃣ Mix Symmetry and Asymmetry.

Mixing symmetry and asymmetry can make a design more interesting and exciting. Start with symmetry as a base, but add asymmetry to keep things interesting.

2️⃣ Apply to Balance to your Color Scheme as well

In addition to creating balance with furniture, create balance with colors. Check out this step-by-step guide to learn how to create color schemes that work well together.

Balance In Colors

3️⃣ Learn about the 7 Design Principles in Interior Design.

The most important design principle is balance, but you should also learn more about the others: unity, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, scale and proportion, and details.

If you learn more about them, you will be able to create balance even better!

Picture of Bahaa Aydi

Bahaa Aydi

I'm Bahaa, a Licensed architect specialized in Interior design & Archviz • Sharing my design days with you to help you design better space