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Achieving the right balance

Advice on interior design is available everywhere—from TV shows and websites to books, magazines and apps.

We love seeing people become engaged in design and educated on the wide range of possibilities. But we hope you’ll proceed with caution.

It’s not that style errors are a matter of life and death. It’s just that it’s easy to choose designs that aren’t necessarily reflective of your own personality and character. And since you’re typically stuck with your interior design decisions for years, styles that don’t quite fit can tend to grate on you.

Interiors that give one person comfort may unleash chaos in someone else. This goes beyond favorite colors or hot trends, right to the heart of interior design, where you find questions of composition, balance, repetition, space and more.

Achieving the right balance

The goal is to find that unique combination of design elements that gives you comfort, support and balance.

In one home, that perfect balance was struck through the use of symmetry. A pair of comfortable swivel chairs sit beneath matching indigo patterned paintings. Matching bookcases below the paintings contain similar, but not identical, arrangements of books, vases and bowls. Woods and bronzes help warm up the simple white bookcase shelving.

Two matching poufs in front of the replace provide additional seating. The sofa is accented with a pair of pillows with a blue pattern that echoes the artwork.

The effect of the symmetry is to achieve order and simplicity, which I promote at every opportunity. After all, your home interiors should be the setting or the backdrop of your life—not center stage.

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