Rhythm, repetition, and contrast are important interior design concepts every home decorator should know about and use. These concepts are so easy to learn and will help you be a more confident decorator!
Rhythm in interior design is something every home decorator should know about and use. This is an easy principle to learn and use in as you decorate your home. And it is a tried and true interior design concept that will make a big difference in the way you decorate and the way your home will look! Rhythm just might be the secret to your decorating success!
When we talk about rhythm we should also talk about repetition, contrast, and movement. Think of rhythm as the umbrella that repetition, contrast, and movement live under. All these things work together to create beauty in the eye of the beholder.
MY DECORATING MISSION
It is my passion to break down design concepts into easy-to-understand and doable processes you can use in your home. The concept of rhythm is really easy! You are probably using this concept without even knowing it every time you decorate! The goal is to do it purposefully!
What People Are Saying
Thank you so much for this it has opened my eyes and brain. it all makes so much sense the way you broke it down.
Rose, a StoneGable Reader
Rhythm is one of the easier concepts once you know what it is. Let’s see how to use rhythm in our homes!
WHAT IS RHYTHM IN DESIGN
In this series, we often talk about how our eyes connect with our brains and how through them we perceive beauty.
To understand rhythm in interior design and how important it is to create a beautiful home we need to keep our eye/brain connection in mind.
Think about rhythm as our eyes moving throughout a room. Did you know that our brain is always trying to make sense of what it sees and one big way it does that is by something we call rhythm?
Our brains also like to be organized. So we perceive that a room is attractive when our eyes can move from one thing to another in a room and see some patterns and repetition.
Rhythm is all about the organized movement of our eyes around a room. Our brain picks out repeated elements like the same color or the same shape or the same item and finds it organized and pleasing!
So here’s a good working definition of rhythm in interior design…
What Is Rhythm?
Rhythm is the idea of creating an organized movement around the room by repeating elements in a space.
It’s all about that eye/brain connection. Our eyes actually bounce around the room at lightning speed going from one thing to another. And when they can find objects, shapes, and colors, that are alike this rhythm helps them to get around the room seamlessly!
There are several ways we can create rhythm in a room but one of the most obvious and easiest ways is through repetition!
The goal of rhythm is to create a way for our eyes to move around a room seamlessly by repeating and contrasting things in the room.
Why Is Repetition So Important
Yes, repetition is the easiest way to create the organized movement our eyes/mind loves! If we repeat things in a room our eyes, without us often realizing it, will work around the room searching for these repeated things making sense of the room. And we perceive it as positive!
Here are some examples of the progressive rhythm our eyes search out…
Repeating Color In A Room
One of the easiest ways to create beauty in a room is with rhythm of color. Repeating color in a room or throughout your home creates a cohesive look. And what is prettier than a cohesive look!
Creating a color palette for a room and your whole home is a smart thing to do because the repetition of color creates a way for our eyes to travel around our spaces easily! This is known as flowing rhythm.
How To Choose A Color Palette For Your Home is an easy to understand post that will help you create the perfect color palette for your home.
An Example Of Repeating Color In Our Living Room
Again strive to distribute color around the room and not all in one place. In the image above the chair in the background works with the brown book on the coffee table! And on the other side of the room, the trim on the pillows is the same color too!
A Pop Of Color
Did you ever wonder why so many decorators talk about a pop of color? It’s simple. This design concept work!!!!!
Using a pop of color in a room wakes it up and makes it interesting. But even more importantly, using a color that catches our eyes is a great way to create repetition. However, a pop of color should not stand alone!
Remember the Nursery song The Farmer In The Dell? In this song, the farmer takes a bride and the bride takes a child and the child takes a dog and the dog a cat, and the cat a mouse, and a mouse the cheese. And the cheese stands alone!
Do not let a pop of color be the cheese!
A pop of color is only effective if it appears in other places in a room. It can be used in different variations of tints (lighter versions) and shades (darker colors) but it should show up in three spread-out places in a room.
This is such an easy design principle to incorporate in every room in your home! Even in a neutral room. Use tints and shades of a different neutral to add interest and beauty!
An Example Of A Pop Of Color
Eventhough our living room is very neutral it has enough repeated colors to make it interesting. A pop of color often means using the green in plants as a pretty pop! You can see in the images above that I have two ferns and an urn of greens in three places in the living room. They work to keep a viewers eyes moving around the room.
It’s that simple!
Other Thing To Repeat
Color is not the only thing to repeat. Repeat size, shape, metals, textures, lines, patterns, wood tones,
Contrast And Rhythm In Decorating
Let’s now look at another component of rhythm called contrast.
While repeated things in a room help our eyes move about the room, too much of a good thing is bad!
Our eyes love repeated elements but they can be fickle and get tired of the same-old-same-old. So to wake them up and add something new to add a bit of contrast to our room. This causes something called tension and tension is uber exciting!
Try not to place too many of the same like things together in one place.
Repetition is amazingly good but not when the same things are all together in one place.
Spread repeated elements around the room. And throw in a bit of contrast to make your room interesting!
Contrast can be achieved through color, shape, line, pattern, material, and asymmetry.
Think of contrast as mix-and-match.
Examples Of Contrast
A round table with a round lamp on it and a round box and round knobs on the drawer on the table can look a bit ho-hum! Add a bit of contrast by replacing the box with a square one. A little contrast is a good thing!
Repeat elements and then mix in something a bit different. And repeat that difference at least once or better yet three times around the room! Remember there is magic in groups of three.
But don’t go overboard. Yes, our eyes love contrast but too much contrast confuses our eyes and our brain will perceive it as cacophony!
An Example Of Contrast In Our Living Room
Our neutral room uses black to not only give visual weight and depth to our living room but also as a repeated color.
The black accents are dispursed throughtout the room making it easy for our eyes to find them and keep moving around the room to look for more. Black is in the picture frames above the Curlacue Chest and in the mirror above the white buffet. It’s also in the rug and on the painted rush bench turned coffee table as well as the small drink table. And if you look closely it is in the picture above the mantel and the finish on the knobs on the chest.
The trick and secret to repeating color are to disburse it around the room.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There is actually more to the interior design theory of rhythm. But for our home decor purposes knowing about and using repetition, movement and contrast will go a long way to helping us be better decorators.
Rhythm plays an important part in creating beauty. And the good news is most people already use the theory of rhythm when decorating and really don’t realize it. Our eyes are hardwired to see repetition, create movement and to love contrast in small doses.
But if we are aware of this element of interior design we can be a bit more purposeful in what we choose to put together in a room. And this will create a greater sense of harmony and beauty in our homes.
FAQs about cheesecloth
More Priciples Of Design To Know
Interior designers know tricks of the trade that are tried and true and work to create unity and cohesiveness and beauty in a room. We can learn these easy concepts too and use them in our homes!
Decorating your home in your own style does not have to be hard! Learn and use interior design concepts like rhythm and repetition to help you be a confident home decorator!