This week, in the continuing series on The Principles Of Interior Design, let’s take a close look at the principle of design rhythm, repetition and movement.
This is the fourth in a series focused on getting you well on your way to having a successfully decorated home by learning all about the basic Principles Of Interior Design. Click HERE to see the previous parts of the series!
Whether visual or auditory, the principle of rhythm, repetition and movement is defined as a sound or sight that is repeated in an orderly fashion. When this principle is applied to music, think of the repeated beat in a song that created a musical pattern.
When applied to an interior, design rhythm is achieved by the repetitive use of decorative elements. It is the way that order, interest and focus are introduced to a space and helps to lead your eye throughout the room.
The use of repetition is the easiest way to attain rhythm and can be achieved by repeating design elements such as lines, colors, textures and patterns.
A few examples of interior design rhythm, repetition and movement could be:
- the use of the same accent colors
- the same metal finish carried throughout a room or entire home
- the same color or tone of paint used on walls and trim, throughout the entire interior of a home
- the same counters used in kitchen and bathrooms
- the same flooring from room to room
- the same cabinet color in kitchen and bathrooms
- the use of textiles, such as using complimentary area rugs in adjoining rooms
- the same style in furniture and accessories
- the repetition of wood tones
Let’s take a look at a few examples from around my home.
REPETITION OF PAINT COLOR & FLOORING
During the remodel of our home, I decided early on to paint the entire interior of our house the same colors. The walls are Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige and the all of the trim and doors in the house are Sherwin Williams Extra White.
Except for our bedrooms, where we wanted carpeting, and the bathrooms, which are tile, we made sure that the hardwood flooring in the rest of the house is the same type and same stain color. Even where we do have carpeting and tile, it is the same carpet in every room and the same tile was used on the floors of every bathroom.
It’s very common for homes to have different types and colors of hardwood flooring or carpeting from room to room. One way to minimize the difference and create a cohesive rhythm from room to room is to use complimentary area rugs in each of the rooms.
REPETITION OF WOOD TONES
My breakfast room has three large items that are wood – the dining table, the sideboard and the wall shelves. Each one is made from a different type of wood and is stained a different color, but the dark brown tone is the same on all three.
Although they aren’t furniture pieces, the same colors can be seen in the draperies, on the chair legs and on some of the accessories that I use on the table and/or shelves.
In our office and dining room, which open to each other, the furniture is a different color than in our breakfast room, but we still maintain the sense of rhythm and repetition because varying shades of gray are used throughout the rest of our home.
REPETITION OF ACCENT COLORS
As you move from room to room in my home, you’ll notice that one of the most prominent accent colors that I use is varying shades of blue.
Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t add other colors seasonally, such as the spring decorations in the image of my breakfast room above, or at Christmas or during the fall, for example. I’m referring to accent colors for more permanent things such as draperies, artwork and painted furniture pieces.
It’s important to remember that not all instances of repetition will be obvious, but even when they’re subtle, they can create a sense of unity throughout a space or an entire home.
If something about your home is bugging you that you can’t quite put your finger on, take a hard look at whether or not you’ve applied this important principle to your rooms. Without it, your spaces will likely look and feel disjointed, which could be the root of the problem.