|Image by dawnella66 via Flickr|
This room is well balanced in its decor.
Balance in home design and décor isn't just about placing like items opposite of each other, or making sure every wall hanging is juxtaposed to another. Creating balance is about making sure the visual accessories in a room compliment and are visually evenly weighted to all of their counterparts. Why is balance so important? The human eye is trained to make distinctions in all it surveys.
This is a great navigational tool if you are lost but in a home, too many distinctive oddities confuse the brain instead, since the occupant of the room is not trying to figure out how to navigate the area, they simply want to enjoy the view. Balance allows the eye to gracefully scan the room and not stop and refocus continually. This promotes relaxation and calm. The next question is, how to create balance using different items that are not of the same color, texture or shape.
Visual weight of a object being used in décor needs to be countered to make a room feel balanced. Otherwise you have a room that feels askew and this leaves the occupant often feeling a little askew as well. To make sure that the balance is right in a room you must survey the decorative items and furnishings. Ask yourself these questions:
Which items does your eye travel to immediately when you enter a room?
The items that your eyes are drawn to are more than likely the visual weight champions of the room. Large furniture, dark items have more visual presence.
Is there equal distribution of these items in the room?
Single large pieces in a room that have no counterpart to balance them out will make the room feel off balance. When people sense a room is off balance, they tend to avoid relaxing in the room altogether. An off balance room creates off balance feelings. Maybe not in the most extreme sense of the word, but you will definitely notice it.
Are the counterparts placed diagonally or opposite of their heavy partners?
Balance is of course creating a counter weight in the room. A large dark sofa will throw the balance off in a room if the other equally heavy piece is placed incorrectly, or in juxtaposition with the sofa. What you want to do is to place the counterpart in an opposite part of the room.
Balance can also be created by placing tall items diagonally to each other as well. For instance, a fireplace with a tall vase on one side flanking a piece of artwork, need not balanced with another similar tall vase on the other side, you can place a taller vase on the opposite side down on the hearth and still get the sense of balance from this.
Other ways to help with the balance in a room is with color, a heavy dark piece of furniture can be off set by a darker wall color opposite of the piece, so don't be afraid to try color as an option it can really make a difference. Dark framed pictures and wall décor also carry a great deal of weight visually in spite many times of their size so always try to employ a little dark in the room. Dark accents while visually weighty often “sit a design down” in a room. A room that is without a few dark accents can feel somewhat transitional and temporary. However in some cases this may be just what the owner wants, especially in bedrooms, beach themed rooms or zen inspired décor.