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Elements of Design 101

Armed with the knowledge of just a few basic design principles, you can transform your space into a fabulous looking design. Everyone, regardless of your design experience, knows what it feels like when you walk into a well-designed room. Everything feels cohesive and put together. It feels just right.

Here are 5 elements to keep in mind when planning your perfect space.

Almond Tarsus Living Room


In design, balance creates a feeling of equilibrium. It is all about equalizing or approximating the visual weight of objects. Balance is created through shape, color, pattern, and texture.  There are three types of balance:

  • Symmetrical or Formal: More traditional spaces are where you will usually find symmetrical balance, but this isn’t a rule. This is where the space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other.
  • Asymmetrical or Informal: The visual weights of lines, colors, forms, and textures are balanced without exact duplication.
  • Radial: This is achieved when there is a central focal point with other elements radiating from it or around it. An example would be a round dining table, with chairs arranged around it. There is a lot of repetition of form, texture, and color.


As in music, rhythm in design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest. You can achieve rhythm by using the same color or shape at different intervals to shift the focus across the room. For instance, you can establish a rhythm by using a color or shape in one spot and then picking it up other elements in the room.


A room has a great sense of harmony when all the elements act together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of calm. For instance, you can create harmony by using just one color where forms vary greatly in shape, size, and texture when everything fits in the same color scheme.


A room where everything gets equal importance will seem either scattered or boring. To give a room visual interest, you will need an anchor. Architectural spaces often have focal points with architectural installments like a grand fireplace or a window with a beautiful view, but you can also build in a focal point with an accent wall with wood planks in a bedroom or a vignette of patterned tile in a bathroom or kitchen

Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale go hand in hand since both relate to size and shape. Proportion has to do with the ratio of one design element to another while scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another.

You’ll see proportion and scale used most often in instances where patterned or geometric tile are used, or where random-width wood planks are seen. Here, designs may be seemingly random, but the proportion and scale of each piece has already been carefully considered.

Want to learn more about design? Take some tips from our design experts Athena and Erin in the video all about Design 101.

Design 101

If you’re ready to think like a designer and get the scoop on the newest ways you can design your home, you can schedule a free design appointment at your local Floor & Decor. You can also get more news on trends and more inspiration in our Inspiration Center.