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Symmetrical balance explained: Why it matters to interior design

by Portside Real Estate 04/15/2022

Symmetrical balance is a crucial part of interior design. The arrangement of furnishings and decorative pieces in a space can have a profound effect on the overall aesthetic, regardless of the style of the room. To help you achieve a symmetrical or asymmetrical balance in your home decorating, here is a simple guide to the basics:

Symmetrical balance tips

Symmetrical balance is simple to achieve by repeating elements on both sides of an “axis” or center line of your space. Some ways to make your design symmetrically balanced include:

  • Use pairs of furnishings like armchairs, love seats, cabinets, wall art, light fixtures or side tables.
  • Repeat colors in the decor on both sides of the room.
  • Use single objects to draw focus to the center of the room. Some good examples might be a large sofa, dining table or coffee table.
  • Arrange furniture to evenly surround an architectural focal point such as a window or fireplace.

Asymmetrical balance tips

Asymmetrical balance might seem difficult to create at first, but once you know the basics, you'll find it a natural and informal way to decorate your space. Some tips for asymmetrical balance include:

  • Avoid matching pairs of furnishings.
  • Try corner sectionals or curved sofas.
  • Place furnishings diagonally, either in corners or towards a focal point.
  • Play with high and low furnishings on opposite sides of the room. For instance, a tall cupboard opposite a low bench, or a tall floor lamp opposite a small table or wall fixture.
  • Tie back one side of your drapes and let the other hang straight down.

Each type of symmetrical balance plays an important part in every room's design. Depending on the size and shape of the space you're working with, one type of balance might be more effective than the other. While remembering these tips can help you plan your layouts, it ultimately comes down to your preference and what you feel works best with your personal design style.