Column: Finding balance


Column by Cathy Patrick

Is there a room in your home that doesn’t feel harmonious? This tends to happen when key design elements are not in place. Good design creates a feeling of balance.  It’s one of seven principles used by designers to influence your perception of the space.

One way to achieve balance is through symmetry. As you ponder the various ways to create it, you may feel drawn to one that reflects your personality.

Symmetrical balance

This is ideal if you prefer an orderly look. Symmetry is calming and easy on the eye. It tends to evoke a feeling of stability and formality.

If it’s not done correctly, it could become static and unimaginative. Be sure to use carefully chosen patterns, color and texture to make the room inviting and interesting.

Asymmetrical balance

If you prefer a more informal or dynamic look, this may be right for you. A variety of pieces work together to create unpredictable patterns.

An asymmetrical room allows for more freedom of expression while maintaining cohesion. It evokes feelings of modernism and movement. The trade-off is that it’s harder to achieve. If it’s done well, your room will feel interesting and lively.

Radial balance

Imagine a gorgeous spherical chandelier suspended above a round dining table and chairs. Each element radiates from a common center, which creates a strong point of attraction.

Once you identify your preference, consider the floor plan and architectural elements. This will dictate the type of symmetry that will best suit your room. Even if they contradict, you can still find ways to express your personal style throughout your home.

As you consider furniture arrangement, remember to balance the positive and negative space to allow for the comfortable flow of traffic. This, too, will contribute to the overall sense of balance.


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