Today I wanted to share with you 5 Basic Design Principles that will keep you sane. Believe it or not, space doesn't feel good if it doesn't follow these keys. You won't know what it is, there will just be something off. So check off these steps below to make sure your home feels good!

1. Variety vs. Repetition - 

When designing a space, you want to create variety or repetition. Variety can be a collection of things that are not alike in some way. For example, a collection of vases that are all different. Or a bunch of frames on the wall that are all different. You want the collection to make sense and be cohesive, but having variety within that collection makes it interesting and is pleasing to the eye.

Repetition, on the other hand, is repeating the same thing over and over; so 3 vases that are exactly the same all in a row on a table. Or 5 picture frames that are exactly the same on your wall. We like things we can expect so having something repeat itself can be a relief to the eye.

The key to this principle is BALANCE. Mixing and matching areas with variety and repetition so you keep things interesting. 

2. Rule of Odds-

We are drawn to things that are unexpected or different, which is why this principle is so important. And it is one of the main principles that creates a noticeably uncomfortable feeling when not followed, even to the design deficient. haha. When placing accessories on a table, flowers in a vase, frames on a wall, or whatever your space may be, you must use the rule of odds. Place things in groups of 3 or 5. Try it. Go over to your couch and put 3 pillows on the couch. Now add one and make it 4. Feels weird right?

3. Mix Materials, Textures, and Sizes-

Again, we like things that are unexpected or different, so keep things interesting by mixing materials, textures, and sizes. This creates contrast and is pleasing to the eye. There are so many materials to choose from... wood, metal, glass, metallic, matte, shiny.... you name it. Also, don't be afraid to mix colors, as long as they compliment each other. (Check back next Wednesday for a special post all about color!)

4. Shape, Rythm, and Balance-

Shape, Rythm, and Balance refer to the way things are placed together. Spacing plays a big role in this. If you have an entry way table and are going to place a large vase on one end, you will need to have something of similar weight on the other end. You can do this in SO many ways. Put a large frame on the wall to balance it out. Or place a collection of differently shaped items on the other end. The items don't have to be the exact size, just make sure the "weight" feels the same. This creates balance. This one really is about playing around with placement until it "feels" right.

A test you can do is called the "blurry-eye" test. You arrange the space the way you want it and then stand back and squint your eyes so that everything is blurry. If it looks like the two ends are the same, then you've done it right!  

5. Break all the Rules-

The last rule is to break all the rules! ha! Like I've said over and over, we like things that are unexpected and different and that create surprise, so do what feels good. 

AND don't think too hard. Don't worry too much about making your pillows perfectly mismatched. Just throw em on. They usually look better that way.

(Pictures taken from one of my new favorite finds: Hink Amsterdam. @hink_amsterdam)