Emphasis in interior design can be used to draw one’s eyes in a particular direction or to a specific detail. For example, if you are working with a room that has a low ceiling vertical stripes can be introduced so as to make the room seem taller. Vertical stripes will draw the eyes upwards and therefore create vertical emphasis or also known as stress in a design. Alternatively, the use of horizontal stripes would create horizontal stress or emphasis and draw the eyes around the room. Think about wooden mouldings such as picture rails and dado rails which are often introduced into a scheme to break up large wall spaces. These kind of details although often subtle can have a major impact on your design.
Another factor to consider when planning an interior design scheme is that of contrast as without it any scheme would be bland and boring. By consciously choosing contrasting elements such as plain and patterned textures or by combining modern styling with antique furnishings, the details will often complement each other thereby intensifying prominent characteristics of your design. Choosing contrasting details is the same as choosing contrasting colours and they key to success is getting the balance right.
Symmetrical balance in interior design occurs when one side of a scheme is the same as the other side but in reverse. Symmetrical balance is often seen in classical interiors which due to its more formal styling relies heavily on proportion, symmetry and balance. Whilst such a scheme would obviously be well balanced, it can be deemed safe and therefore somewhat boring.
Asymmetrical balance is the opposite of the above. In this type of scheme objects on either side of the room would be different in proportion, size and layout. This type of scheme creates the impression of activity and movement and often comes across as being informal and more individual in style. Since asymmetrical schemes do not follow strict guidelines they offer more flexibility but by doing so make it harder to achieve visual balance.
Radial balance occurs when a scheme is arranged around a central point or focus but is less common in interior design. Such schemes often focus on setting on a round table or floral arrangements. Radial balance suggests movement through the circular arrangements and symmetry is used t achieve overall balance. This type of scheme is more individual and can therefore cross any number of interior styles.
There are many elements to consider when planning a scheme and it can be easy to get things wrong which is why people employ interior designers. It is important to take the time therefore to plan a scheme carefully so that you can visualise the end result and achieve balance in your design.