Important Interior Design Principles For Your Home

Decorating our first home and seeing our design concepts come to life was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I spent hours reading newly bought interior design books and on the Internet, and eventually choose an overall theme then felt right for us. 

I learnt so much in the process and want to share my tips on how you can apply some simple principles to your own home. While some people are intimidated by the idea of interior design, all it really comes down to is basic interior design principles such as unity, balance, focal point, rhythm, and light. It is these basic principles that every interior designer uses to create a great looking space.

But, before you can really understand each principle, you have to have an idea of what interior design actually is. To define it, interior design is the process of shaping the experience of an interior space. This process is achieved through the manipulation of spatial volume and surface treatment. Interior design delves deeper than simple interior decoration as it draws on the aspects of the environment’s psychology and architecture.

In interior design, unity is the theme or “storyline” of your home. When it comes to interior design, it is important to think about the whole house, which is essentially a series of spaces linked together by hallways and corridors. So, it is important that you have a common style or theme that runs throughout. This doesn’t mean that every interior design element needs to be the same, but they should work together and complement each other to strengthen the look and feel of the home.

For this, we choose dark brown wooden floors for all of the ground floor space, including the hallway with white walls throughout to counteract against the dark flooring.

The distribution of visual weight in a room is what is known as balance in interior design, and there are three types of balance: asymmetrical, symmetrical, and radial. Today, asymmetrical balance is quite popular and is achieved using dissimilar objects that have an equal visual weight. Though this may have a more natural feel and seem more casual, it is difficult to achieve. Symmetrical balance is found throughout traditional interior design, with the same objects being repeated throughout the space.

I've tried to demonstrate this on our feature wall/bookcase in the photo above. 

Focal point
When it comes to interior design, you never want to be bored, which makes the focal point necessary. The focal point should be dominant enough to draw attention, hold interest, and make a lasting impression while being an integral part of the room’s design. A good example of a typical focal point is a large flat screen TV or a fireplace.

Our focal point is definitely the feature wall/bookcase in the living room.

The rhythm of interior design essentially refers to visual pattern repetition and continuity. Consider these components: repetition, progression, transition, and contrast, and use them to impart a sense of movement within a space, thus leading the eye from one element of design to another.

Wood has been used a lot throughout our house and transitions into all areas of the ground floor in our home.

Lighting should be selected based on the room’s function as well as for visual appeal. The lighting should be both functional and aesthetic, and you need it to give the space dimension. You can do this by incorporating ambient, task, natural, and accent lighting with fixtures and window treatments like shades and luxury shutters. Shutters allow you to control the amount of natural light that you let into a room and can even be used in the application of the other design principles mentioned above.

We love the shutters we installed in our home, it's great at blocking out light but also opens up to let plenty of light in too.

Hopefully, these basic interior design principles will give you the knowledge you need to get started on designing and decorating your home. However, remember to go beyond these basics and really make your home your own; don’t forget to include pieces that reflect your personal style and taste, not just current trends.


  1. Good points mentioned. Light and balance are the most important for me, nothing worse than being in a room with no natural light or not enough of it and I love your shutters if only I can install them in my apartment. More of these home posts please!

    1. Yes, natural light and spaciousness is so important. Glad you enjoyed it!! =)

  2. Such a great post Lucy, I wish I read this when we first did up our flat way back when! You home is lovely and you can definitely see the sense of unity and style :)

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

    1. Awww thank you Hanh! Learned lots from reading interior books/blogs and just googling everything, I was obsessed. Don't worry, maybe you can change thngs slowly if you plan to live there long term =)

  3. I enjoyed reading this article about the important principles of interior design. It's amazing how a few simple design tricks can make such a big difference in the look and feel of a room. When it comes to bringing color to a space, wall painting is a great option, and the right color can really tie a room together. If you are looking for a professional painting company, I highly recommend contacting these professionals. Their experienced team of painters will help you select the perfect colors and finishes to bring your vision to life.

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