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Interior Design Principles: Creating Harmony in Your Home

Guys, this is the last of our design principles that we've been covering the last 5 or 6 weeks. This has been a fun but challenging series for me to write because it can easily become kind of dry and boring if it's not your thing. 

I think it's so important to know and understand these principles, though, because once you have a grasp on them, I believe that it can expand your imagination and creativity and give you a foundation to do anything you want to create a beautiful and comfortable home.

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. We're talking about creating harmony in your home. So, let's get to it!


I'm gonna forgo the fancy definition this time around because I don't think it's really needed here. Harmony is basically all of the principles that we've already talked about and any other elements of design combined into a pleasing whole. It's everything combined together that creates that feeling of just rightness that makes you breath a sigh of satisfaction when you step back and take a look at something you've created and everything has fallen into place just perfectly.

How do you create harmony in your rooms and home?

Harmony in your rooms and homes is created through what seems like two opposing elements- unity and variety.

Think of creating harmony in your home like a well matched couple. In some ways they are very similar and almost exactly alike,  but in some ways they are completely different. Their similarities are part of what make them work so well together, but their differences are what make them interesting and help complement or complete the other. If they were both exactly alike, they would be boring and predictable to each other and everyone around them, but if they were crazy different, they probably wouldn't get along at all.

It's the same when designing a room and home. You want to include elements that are similar to each other such as furniture style and colors, but you can also vary these elements as well and mix and match to create an interesting and harmonious room that is uniquely you. 

One small area that you can start practicing this principle in is your bathroom. Instead of using matching floor mats and toilet seat covers and matching curtains and towels, try mixing it up a little bit with different colors and textures like Laura from the Unique Nest did in her bathroom

Interior Design Principles: Creating Harmony in Your Home

Choose a bathmat that contrasts with your shower curtain, and if you're bathroom is big enough you can use a more decorative rug instead of your typical bathmat in front of the sinks or even in front of the tub if you don't mind a fancier rug taking some bathroom wear. Just be sure you put something underneath it to keep it from slipping out from under you. Falling butt naked on the floor is not a fun or pretty experience. Here's some pretty bathrooms with fancy rugs that I've been loving on Pinterest lately. 

You can read or review the rest of this series through the links below. If you'd like me to create a PDF with these principles as an easy reference tool, let me know in the comments below, and I'd be happy to do that for you guys!

Interior Design Principles: Creating Rhythm in Your Home

Rhythm. You know what it is in music. It's the beat, the driving force that keeps the music moving and the under current that pulls it along. But how can rhythm help you when decorating your home and why is it important?

First, let's define it in terms of interior decorating.


A principle of design seen in an interior as a visual flowing pattern or regular recurrence. The path the eye follows.

Interiors: An Introduction

Rhythm is what your eye and mind automatically anticipates seeing.

Why is it important?

  • It leads your eye through a space as well as your whole home
  • It gives a sense of stability and calm
  • It gives a home flow and your rooms a sense of connectedness
  • It satisfies that anticipation that your mind and eye automatically search for

Ways to achieve rhythm in your home

1. Repeat an element of design such as a color throughout the rooms in your home. In our apartment I repeat mustard yellow as an accent color in each of the rooms as a way of connecting the different spaces. If you're hanging a gallery wall you could use all the same color frames or when styling a bookshelf you could group your books by the color of the spines. Repetition could also be as simple as using matching lamps on your end tables.

via:  Casa Vogue

2. Instead of repeating just one element, you could alternate two or more elements. For example, on a gallery wall you could alternate the color of your frames to add a little more interest. Or if you collect colored glassware, you could alternate the colors when you display them in your cabinets or shelves. With your furniture you can alternate hard and soft pieces. In this image, the color of the accent pillows was alternated.

via:  Lonny  

via: Lonny 

3. Use various shades of the same color in a room or through out your house or various sizes of the same shape. For example, maybe you could use light pink pillows on your couch, and use a darker shade of pink for your drapes. Or think of a grouping of vases by your fireplace, all the same shape but in varying sizes. 

4. Create smooth transitions in your home in rooms and between spaces. You could do this by using the same flooring through out your house or moldings around the floors and ceilings. It could also be as simple as a runner placed on your stairs or down a hallway that leads your eye through the space.

5. We've talked a lot about repeating elements, but you also want to have some contrasting elements in your design as well. You can contrast colors such as the accent pillows you use on your bed or couch. You can contrast hard and soft textures in the placement of your furniture, and you can also use contrasting shapes next to each other. Here, the green walls and yellow contrast with each other.

Just like a symphony, there are many parts and elements that make up the perfect blend for your home. Some of those parts will be similar and repeat themselves, and some will be different and contrast with each other, but when pulled all together, they create a satisfying sense of unity and wholeness. And just like a symphony, it takes practice to get the blend of all the different parts just right and in sync with each other.  

What is an element that you use in your home to create a sense of unity through our your space? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!