7 Interior Design Principles to Consider When Renovating

Interior design is to a room what paint is to a canvas; it is a form of art that transforms blank space into something worth looking at. By drawing on essential interior design principles, you can shape the attractiveness and ambience of your living area.

Even if you’re working with an interior designer, it helps to understand these principles so you can play a more active role in creating your dream home. Read on to learn more.

Harmony and Unity

When there is harmony in interior design, all elements in the room complement each other and come together to create a unified message.

Interior designers typically achieve harmony by matching colours, patterns, textures, and object spacing. For example, you may use just one colour across your furniture pieces, which vary in size, shape, and texture.

In other words, everything should fit when you look at the entire room.


Balance is about creating a state of equilibrium by approximating the visual weight of objects. Equalisation can be created through shape, pattern or texture, and colour.

There are three ways to achieve balance:

- Radial symmetry: The room has a central focal point. Other furniture pieces and objects radiate from this point. This can be seen in circular dinner tables or spiral staircases.

- Symmetrical balance: Similarly-sized objects are repeated in a space split evenly into two sides, creating a mirror effect. For example, two chairs may be placed on either side of the dining table.

- Asymmetrical balance: The visual weight of various elements (like colours and textures) is balanced, but there is no exact duplication. For example, a couch can be balanced by two chairs on the opposite side.


Proportion refers to the ratio: objects should correspond to each other so everything looks fitting.

For example, a large dining table in a compact room might seem out of place due to the difference in scale. Hence, it is crucial to consider measurements; the sizes should be relatively similar. 


Rhythm contributes to a sense of completion and visual interest. Your eyes are naturally carried around the room when there is a rhythmic sense.

One common way to create rhythm is repetition; the human brain is drawn to repetition and patterns. Therefore, complementary elements (from lighting to textures and patterns) are beneficial.

You may also use progression, which refers to the arrangement of elements according to their characteristics. For example, you could arrange books based on their colours on a shelf.


Keeping to a single colour or only using variations of a pattern can cause the design to look monotonous. As such, you cannot overlook the importance of contrast.

You can achieve contrast through artwork, decorations, or colours. 


The space will seem haphazard if every item or furniture piece is equally important. Hence, it helps to have a point of interest.

Consider your possessions—are there any that you would like to highlight? This could include artwork or a large furniture piece, like a grand piano. However, while you want this item to stand out, it should still fit the overall theme.


In interior design, nothing is too small to pay attention to. All your design ideas should fit into the overall theme while enhancing the visual interest of the space; otherwise, the room may seem unorganised.

Hence, consider little details like cushion covers, cabinet handles, and blanket embroideries.



Interior design helps transform your living space. Understanding and considering the foundational interior design principles will help you define your home to perfectly suit your vision.

If you’re looking for an interior design studio, consider Flo Design. We offer landed property, condo, and HDB interior design in Singapore.

We look forward to designing a home that reflects who you are and that you can be proud of. Feel free to get in touch with us for a home like no other.