Design Tips: Balance


Namaste! I wish I could say this was me and my beach bod practicing yoga poses in the sand. But alas I am still writing this from freezing cold NJ. I am showing this picture as an example of balance, and would like to relate this to balance in decorating. The reason why balance is so important is that it creates a sense of calm and stability which makes a space more inviting. Overall balance is achieved with multiple layers including scale, materials, color, and visual weight. Without balance the room may just seems a bit "off". 

The easiest way to achieve balance in any room is by adding layers of matching pairs. Each matching pair would automatically address the scale, material, color and visual weight relative to each other. By layering several different pairs (such as pillows, lamps, chairs, and side tables), the room will become more interesting. Pairs not only add balance but also reinforce a strong focal point of a room.  Below are a few examples of rooms using matching pairs, click on the link to read more:

7 matching pairs (source)

2 matching pairs (source)

3 matching pairs (source)

6 matching pairs (source)

7 matching pairs (source)


So while the matching pairs pictured above are easy to work with and create a balanced room that looks intentional, some people may feel that pairs are too "matcy-matchy" and prefer a more eclectic room composition, or asymmetrical balance. In these cases it takes more thought to create balance because you need to consider how different pieces relate to each other and arrange them in a way that looks balanced and intentional. Scale, proportion, color, visual weight and placement in the room become very important to achieve appropriate harmony.

In this photo the fireplace mantle decorations work well since the items on each side are of similar height and visual weight. They are taller in the middle and then gradually decrease in size. And the artwork is certainly a pair without being too coordinated. All of this works together well and reinforces the main focal point: the fireplace. (source)


I love this bedroom by Bunny Williams. There is certainly symmetry and balance in this room, but it is achieved with 2 different end tables of similar height, picture frames on either side with different artwork but similar frames and size, and the lamp and flower on either side fill the same vertical space and unite the artwork with night stands. (source)



Another room by Bunny Williams, again with end tables of similar heights but not matching. There are plenty of other matching pairs in this room that the end tables add some lively variety. (source)


What works about this room is the matching pairs of sconces and pillows, the decorations on either side of the mantle balance each other in height and color, and the furniture is of similar size and style that compliment each other. All of this again reinforces the main focal point of the fireplace. (source


This very eclectic room has a pair of matching chairs and accent pillows (and possibly matching couches). The other things that work are the lamps on either side achieve the same visual height, the flowers and end tables balance each other and there are decorative pillows that are the same size and similar patterns but different colors. It also helps that this room has a limited neutral color palette.  (source


There is a lot going on in this room and there are quite a few matching pairs, but the one thing that stands out to me is the walls - they have a large yellow wall tapestry (or wallpaper) to balance the large yellow drapes on the opposite wall. So balance is not just limited to the furniture and accessories but also applies to accent walls with colors. (source)


I liked this add from Plantation that shows an elegant vignette of accessories. The plant and floor lamp visually balance each other, as well as the orchid and glass bottles on the mantle. Everything is arranged to draw your focus to that beautiful mantle and mirror.  (source)

I hope this post helps you understand how to create balance in your home. Was this post helpful? We'd love to know your thoughts. 

Have a great weekend!!