Thursday, January 28, 2010

Design Friday: Balance

My feature of the Elements and Principles of Design continues. Today I am covering the principle of Balance. It's easy to understand the concept of objects physically balancing, but perhaps a little more tricky to apply it visually. It's really the same concept though. Balance can be applied in furniture arrangements, mantle accessories, wall decor, etc. It is achieved in a room by arranging components symmetrically, asymmetrically, or radially. (On a side note, I would have loved to have had more time to hunt down more examples to illustrate each idea, but I think these do a good job.)

Symmetrical balance is basically a mirror image. It is easy to achieve and contributes a sense of order, predictability to a room, and has a more formal/refined feel.

Symmetrical Balance. If you divided the room in half, it would mostly be a mirror image of itself. Also, note how the coffee table appears to be small in scale without much mass, despite its actual size. Photo from April 2007 "Architectural Digest".

Asymmetrical balance is using objects of differing size to achieve a balanced scheme. This is a bit trickier to obtain, and takes a lot more practice to achieve. It involves arranging objects of different mass and scale to form a pleasing arrangement. Asymmetrical balance creates a more informal feeling in a room.

Asymmetrical balance. While the furniture is arranged symmetrically, notice the groupings on the mantle are not. They are arranged in a way that the heights and colors of object are balancing, as opposed to being identical sizes, etc. Photo from May 2007 "Architectural Digest".

Radial balance is balance found in objects radiating from a central point.

Radial balance. The furniture is arranged around the coffee table. A dining table would also be a good example of radial balance. Photo from May 2007 "Architectural Digest"

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great example...It is really helpful for my art class!