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No doubt most of us crave a little peace after the hectic holidays. While we still have New Years to look forward to, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about the coming year and ways to create more balance in our lives. To some, balance may be the amount of time we spend with family relative to work, or personal “me” time to the demands of everyday life. Of course if you ask me, I see the need for balance in home design.
Symmetrical design is about harmony and balance. Symmetry is essentially creating mirror images, two of a kind. It doesn’t necessarily mean items must be exact, but pairs of things, balanced, is the hallmark of symmetrical design. The living room above captures this aesthetic perfectly. Matching table lamps, pillows and decorative items on the fireplace mantle creates this balance.
Here is a more sophisticated version of the symmetrical living room. While there are matching gourd-shaped ceramic lamps, pillows and leopard upholstered chairs, the side tables are not exact matches. While one is a chest of drawers and the other more of a writing table, they still “read” as balanced because of the other matching decorative objects.
This Regency-Style room displays harmony and balance in both a living and dining space. In the dining room the two head chairs are upholstered in the same bold fabric, acting as matching book ends within the space, while matching brass lamps and two matching chairs balance the seating area. Symmetry makes it easy on your eyes to focus and take-in the design of a room.
Brass table lamps like these can create a similar feel is used in pairs.
This small space uses thinly designed furniture and floor lamps to create the appearance of more room. Again, matching chairs, pillows and lighting create sophisticated balance in this jewel-box of a room.
This contemporary bedroom is all simplicity and symmetry. It’s pleasing to the eye because of its ease. You could split this room in half and have mirror images. From the lighting fixtures and mirrors to the closets and air vents, everything falls nicely into place.
One might think that because kitchens don’t have pillows, curtains and table lamps that creating symmetry would be difficult. Au contraire mon ami, this kitchen uses matching pendant lights, appliances, accessories and cabinetry to achieve balance.
Like the end table that were not exactly matching in the living room above, a similar trick is used here with the stainless steel appliances. While the double ovens don’t match the microwave and coffee maker they do balance each other because of their finish.
This kitchen displays the same sense of symmetry. Notice the matching ceiling lights, cabinetry and matching barstools? By matching barstools to the oven and stove opposite the island, balance has been achieved from all perspectives. So as you enter the final stretch of 2011 think about how you can reach peace and harmony in life as well as in your home.
Photos courtesy of Desiretoinspire.net.
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.