Our eyes see a room as a whole long before our brains allow us to focus on the individual design elements and therefore make a decision about the overall feel of the room. Is it comfortable, beautiful, would we want to return? Or for some unexplained reason, do we feel unsettled, and off-balance? All these thoughts are taken in immediately upon entering. An easy way to be sure that all the different elements in your room create a holistic feeling of beauty and order, is to create balance.
What is balance?
Balance is easily achieved by creating symmetry. Symmetry, simply put is folding the room, or a section of the room in half, and it would mirror itself. It’s the placement of items, accessories and/or furnishings exactly in the same place on opposite sides of a central focal point.
How does it work?
Our brain perceives symmetrical spaces as highly aesthetically pleasing. Imagine a bedroom with two different reading lamps on the nightstands, as opposed to matching ones. How one single bar stool at a bar is far less pleasing to the eye (and brain) than two matching ones, or even three stools evenly spaced.
Is it easy to create?
We don’t typically purchase two different styles of night tables, an uneven amount, or style of dining chairs. So, rest assured, you more than likely have the items, furnishings, etc. you need to create symmetry already. What could be causing your design to feel off-balance is placement. First find something that works as your center line, (for example your bed or a portrait above a fireplace mantel), then play with it placing identical objects on either side.
Careful, though. The only precaution in implementing symmetrical design is to not go overboard. Too much predictability results in a room that feels dull… and well, predictable. In order to keep your room interesting, remember the best symmetrical composition always includes asymmetry as well.