Interiors

Repetition and Rhythm in Interior Design

Successful design keeps the eye interested, allowing us to take in every part of a room’s design. Rhythm is a key design principle that encourages our eyes to move around a room in an organized way. When used well, it brings an underlying unity and sense of variety to our spaces. Rhythm plays a large role in how we perceive the space, both in terms of functionality and whether or not it seems aesthetically pleasing. When designing a space, emphasis can be achieved in several ways. Repetition creates emphasis by calling attention to the repeated element through force in numbers.

The eye wants stimulation and variety, but this needs to be balanced with the repetition of other elements.

Homogenous forms, made up of parts that fit together to make a whole, are as rare as a cloudless blue sky.  Most objects are not composed of the same or similar nature.  Look around.  For the most part, where you look you see dissimilarities.  The oak is different from the maple tree, but they are both trees.  You see seams in carpeting, grouting between tiles, cracks between wood floorboards, mortar between bricks, spaced between wood bookcases and a plaster wall; they all vie for attention.  Keep in mind that the eye wants stimulation and variety, but this needs to be balanced with the repetition of other elements.

Repeating a continuous pattern throughout the space to create a sense of stability

Rhythm

Rhythm in design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest. You can achieve this by using the same color or shape at different intervals. Its purpose is to move your eye around the room. Because we live in a highly colorful world, the shapes that make up whole structures and compositions should be as simple as possible.  Complexity should not be the goal; the visual world is complex enough.  Repeating shapes wherever possible is soothing to the eye, brain, and nervous system.

You can establish a rhythm by using a color in the pillows, picking it up in a painting, and echoing it again in a rug. These repetitions will help carry your eye around the room.

For instance, you can establish a rhythm by using a color in the pillows, picking it up in a painting, and echoing it again in a rug. These repetitions will help carry your eye around the room.  Rhythm also refers to pattern and line. With spatial designs, you can use pattern in the textiles, wallpaper or carpeting or depict line through molding, paneling, flooring, as well as the shape of the furniture.

When you decorate a room, symmetry and repetition bring harmony through balance

In architecture and design, and even when planning a dinner party, planting a garden, buying clothes, or decorating your bedroom, the more similarity, the more repetitious shapes and colors, the greater the impact. Chairs can be slightly different if you are a collector of antiques, but they should have compatibility in shape, color, and style. One fabric should dominate a room.  One color should be predominant. When there is too much going on, it is similar to weeds overgrowing a garden, choking the simple beauty of the flowers. Like perception, this is one of the interior design components that you have to feel out rather than relying on precise measurements. As you put the room together, try incorporating rhythm as you see fit. Then, take a step back. If the space feels cohesive and if your eyes move around it easily, leave your design as is. On the other hand, if something feels off, keep making slight adjustments until you feel satisfied.

Use pattern in the textiles, wallpaper or carpeting or depict line through molding, paneling, flooring, as well as the shape of the furniture.