Tips and Guides

5 Basic Design Principles Every Homeowner Should Know

Go back to basics with these tips and tricks

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela

A beautifully decorated space, much like everything else, starts with understanding the basics. While there is nothing wrong with trying out trends and new techniques, it's always best to know the fundamentals of design by heart before exploring new terrain. Not only that, learning the essentials provides you with a straightforward space that serves as a canvas for experimentation without losing its appeal. 

If you want to learn more about key style elements, here are some important notes to remember: 

1. Layer the lighting. 

Remember, lighting is what gives the room dimension and depth. Start with ambient lighting—preferably yellow—which can help set the mood. Follow it with task lighting for specific purposes like reading and finish off with accent lighting which you can use to highlight an expensive piece or an artwork. 

2. Always consider the negative space. 

The negative space is the area that's not taken up by any subject like a blank wall or an empty nook. Resist the urge to fill every space as this will only lead to a cluttered look. Don't forget, less is more—just because a bunch of stuff fits on a console table, doesn't mean each piece needs to go there.

3. Display decorations in odd numbers.

Similar to the rule of thirds in photography, the idea of this concept is to have objects in varying heights or textures in groups of three. According to designer Cecilia Walker (as told to Lifehacker), objects that are arranged in odd numbers are more appealing and memorable. 

4. Balance is everything.

It is no secret that without balance, a space tends to go sideways—looking chaotic. Achieve symmetry through the use of pattern, arrangement of furniture and color. For example, if you have a yellow statement chair in one corner of the room, balance it out with another sunny piece on the opposite end. 

5. Pay attention to the details. 

Small acessories found in well-designed spaces are the frosting on the cake—without it, the room would be incomplete. Whether it's a printed thow pillow or an artwork, make sure that everything you add contributes to the overall look of the room instead of clashing with your initial composition. 

SOURCES: Lifehacker (How to Use Basic Design Principles to Decorate Your Home), Hatch (Principles of Interior Design Part 1: Balance), Launchpad Academy (7 Principles of Interior Design)

More on

4 Quick Fixes To Common Living Area Styling Struggles

4 Simple Solutions To Home Office Styling Struggles

5 Ways to Get Out of a Styling Rut


Latest Stories

5 Creative and Affordable Wrapping Ideas For Christmas

Are you excited for the holiday season, too?

6 Fantastic Small Space Makeovers

How can you deal with cramped cooking corners and tiny bedrooms? Let these transformations teach you a trick or two.

A Filipino Designed This Space-Savvy Modern House in Singapore

It even has its own lap pool!

Would You Try "Death Cleaning?"

We've got everything you need to know about this new Swedish decluttering trend

5 Secrets Of A Functional Kitchen

Are you dreaming of having the most efficient scullery? These tips might just do the trick.

11 Peg-Worthy Celebrity Christmas Trees

From showcasing dainty blooms to using quirky ornaments, these personalities have taken the decorating game to the next level

This Quiapo Day Tour Will Make You Love Old Manila Again

Go on a DIY Quiapo adventure and look beyond the vendors. Say a prayer, have your fortune told, take a peek at a mysterious pagoda, and visit beautiful ancestral houses from a more genteel past.

10 Ways To Make Your Shoes Last Forever

Show your favorite pairs some tender loving care with these tips

A One-Bedroom Unit Transformed into a Two-Bedroom Home

The designers of this 45sqm condo in Manila created a functional space with an urban contemporary appeal that’s perfect for its young occupants

Here's Why You Should Skip Bringing Your Phone To The Bathroom

Trust us, liking that photo on Instagram can wait for a few minutes

7 Planners For An Inspired 2018

Stay organized and keep your goals in sight with these picks

These Christmas Ornaments Will Make You Feel Like Dancing

Celebrate a yearly Christmas ballet tradition with The Nutcracker collection
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!