The Blog ofMeredith Sterling

10 Key Principles of Interior Design


Interior design is more than just picking a few throw pillows and adding an accent chair. Creating the right style, mood and ambiance is a thoughtful mixing of design elements to form the desired look. Natural stone, reclaimed wood, soft fabrics and subtle colors are all design tools which blend in just the right way to build the style of the home. 

There are 10 key principles used in the field of Interior Design. 

  1. Vision– The vision must be established at the very start. Will this home be a sleek, modern home with industrial elements or perhaps more traditional? Every detail should reflect the vision. 
  2. Unity– This is the main principle of design and every design feature must harmonize with the vision. Everything placed in the space should have a design purpose and complement the room. 
  3. Space– How much space is available and what function does it serve? For instance, a living room must be beautiful but available for the family to enjoy. 
  4. Light– A kitchen might be light and bright while a master bathroom could be subtle and relaxing. 
  5. Balance– This principle is used to ensure the space has a balance of elements which create a visual balance to the eye. 
  6. Movement– Movement is achieved through texture. Lines in the design elements can move the eye through the room. 
  7. Color– Nothing can be more important than color. Each hue offers a different sense of well-being. A blue or green room is relaxing while red creates excitement and energy. 
  8. Emphasis– A special pieceof furniture or bright wall can add interest to the space. 
  9. Contrast– Typically used with color, form or light, contrasting objects or forms can create a virtual division within a space for different functions.
  10. Finishes and Fixtures – Designers use the smaller finishes to add detail and cohesion