How to achieve harmony in your interior design

Colors, textures of materials, lighting, furniture, and decor should visually balance and complement each other. It sounds great in words, but what do you need to do for this? We analyze it using specific techniques: try it on to your situation – make the necessary adjustments.

Warm and cold

The average interior is designed entirely in either cold or warm colors. And this is the main mistake of the amateur approach. Indeed, within the framework of a similar color scheme, it is easier to select matching items.

But the designers insist that it is more interesting to play on contrasts: to combine shades from opposite edges of the color wheel: then they mutually reinforce each other, make them brighter and more spectacular.

Bright and neutral 20/80

We’ve heard of “inject color in doses” and “inject color on surfaces that are easy to replace” (bedding, for example). But also the proportion of color and neutral in the interior. It is important to introduce shades into the interior according to the 20/80 principle, where 20% will be bright, and the remaining 80% of the interior will be neutral.

Important! Neutral here does not mean “beige wallpaper in monograms.” We are talking about the achromatic background – black, white, variations of sand, gray (no matter how many there are).

If you feel confident in choosing matching colors for the interior, you can replace the achromatic background with a painted one. But all the same, it will be neutral, without pronounced ornaments and textures.

Tip: In a budget interior, one bright object works great (an armchair in bright upholstery, a chest of drawers covered with rich varnish, or, maybe, a sink in a bold shade). This is a good way to distract attention from the rest of the more humble setting.

Light on the dark and vice versa

You can philosophize about the fact that light and darkness are in the soul of each of us, so why should they not coexist in the interior. Or you can just pay attention to how effective light and dark shades look together. With the help of contrasts, you can set a rhythm to the room, add dynamics and graphics, highlight architectural features.

Joint “living” on the same territory of different shades of the same tone gives the room depth and completeness. But it’s not just the nuances of color that are important. Different textures and light levels allow balancing within the same color. Different materials obviously have different textures: some objects are smooth to the touch, others are rough, and still others are perceptibly rough. On smooth surfaces, the gaze slides without lingering, they more easily reflect light, are able to visually enlarge the space (especially if they are made in light shades). More tactile elements have their advantages: they attract attention, “catch” the eye, add mood to the room.

Important: you do not need to make absolutely everything textured – balance is important. Combine smooth walls and bold decor or textured finishes with laconic furnishings.


Light and heavy

Interior items have different visual weights. In short: furniture on thin legs, with narrow armrests, in smooth monochromatic upholstery, made of transparent or translucent materials, looks much easier than bright, textured, and massive ones.

But only one “lightweight furniture” works in the interior in the same way as “everything beige” – there is no balance, there is nothing to cling to. Therefore, it is important to combine visually light and heavy objects, to help some “lose visual weight”, and others – to make them heavier. Let’s say a lush sofa will balance a coffee table with a glass top on thin legs.

New and old

Some, during the renovation, prefer to get rid of old things and move into the new interior with a completely renewed atmosphere. Others, on the contrary, cherish what they have acquired like the apple of their eye. This, of course, is a matter of personal preference, but in the matter of maintaining a balance, the truth, as usual, is somewhere in between.

After all, old-fashioned things have their own value and charm – it’s not for nothing that flea markets and antique shops are so popular. And nothing prevents you from completely renovating and radically updating the antique item.

Open and closed

You rarely manage to do without cabinets or shelves in a room. Which shelves are better: open or closed? – Open ones can make the room visually lighter and airier (provided that they are not packed to capacity). Closed ones can literally dissolve in the interior, and even collect less dust (but they can look too monolithic). To find different types of cabinets you can go to

But only a combination of elements allows you to take the best of both options: exhibit only the most beautiful pieces of the collection and hide others from sight for the time being.

So, combine!

  1. Warm and cold
  2. Bright and neutral in a ratio of 20/80
  3. Light and dark
  4. Textured and smooth
  5. Visually light and heavy
  6. New and old
  7. Open and closed


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