Why We Need Harmony and Unity in Interior Design

In order to feel comfortable in a space, harmony is key. Without this you feel uncomfortable and feel like you are missing something that prevents you from feeling truly relaxed.

Herman Rosa AtelierPhotography by Jürg Zimmermann

Herman Rosa Atelier Photography by Jürg Zimmermann

What is harmony and unity?

Although harmony and unity may seem similar, they both play defiant roles in the way we experience interior design.

Harmony

Is a sense that all elements of design fit together. For example, laying on the sofa with a book and blanket, whilst knowing that your space is in perfect order. Also, they could fit the same aesthetic, mood, theme or style. The key point to take away from this is that each clear piece seems to belong together in some way. It’s doesn’t even have to be identical.

Equilibrium’s ‘Abstract Mood’ is a gorgeous green shade - Photography: Annette O’Brien | Styling: Ruth Welsby

Equilibrium’s ‘Abstract Mood’ is a gorgeous green shade - Photography: Annette O’Brien | Styling: Ruth Welsby

Unity

Is the repetition of a particular element throughout the design. That could be the materials, colours or the shapes you chose to create within the design and will help pull a look together.

A white metal-framed staircase connects the two floors of this Parisian apartment, which local studio Les Ateliers Tristan & Sagitta has overhauled to make room for the clients' two young children. Photography is by Giaime Meloni.

A white metal-framed staircase connects the two floors of this Parisian apartment, which local studio Les Ateliers Tristan & Sagitta has overhauled to make room for the clients' two young children. Photography is by Giaime Meloni.

 

By following these principles, you can create a sense of cohesion within the space you are designing. When designing think about how could you incorporate them? Not only in individual rooms but throughout a whole house.

The Importance of Cohesion

Cohesion is a key component to design as it makes a room easier to digest. You don’t want to have that feeling of walking into a room and it being too much to look at! The reason for that feeling is due to the lack of cohesion.

EKO MERIDIENNE Delcourt Collection Design: Christophe Delcourt

EKO MERIDIENNE Delcourt Collection Design: Christophe Delcourt

Our eyes are constantly taking in information, and our brains try to simplify everything down to the simplest recognizable pattern. When you walk into a new room for the first time, you instantly recognise what the room is used for e.g. bathroom or bedroom compared to focusing on the aesthetic details right away. You need to get the feel of a room first before focusing on individual elements.

Grand Relations by Liljencrantz Design

Grand Relations by Liljencrantz Design

That’s why by using unity and harmony together you can create a cohesion which will help the initial pattern to be picked up easier. As our brains categorise repeated details and similarities a lot faster than they would if the design elements didn’t fit. This leads to you subconsciously becoming a lot calmer when you are in a space.

Achieve the perfect balance of harmony and unity in your interiors by following these steps below:

  • When creating a composition with furnishing features, consider using the golden ratio (shapes with proportion of 1 to 1.618). by adopting the golden ratio, you can create organic and natural looking composition’s that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Photos by Roland Halbe

Photos by Roland Halbe

Chapel / Craftworks © Edmund Sumner

Chapel / Craftworks © Edmund Sumner
  • Focal points are a great way of guiding the eye away from a less attractive features within the room and towards element’s that give the room character and interest.

USE GREENERY TO COMPLEMENT THE COLORFUL FOLIAGE OUTSIDE In a 19th-century San Francisco landmark home designed by Ken Fulk, the kitchen features barstools by Lucca Studio, a chandelier by Vilhelm Lauritzen and a kitchen island by Bulthaup.

USE GREENERY TO COMPLEMENT THE COLOURFUL FOLIAGE OUTSIDE In a 19th-century San Francisco landmark home designed by Ken Fulk, the kitchen features barstools by Lucca Studio, a chandelier by Vilhelm Lauritzen and a kitchen island by Bulthaup.

Focal Points

  • Create an overall balance within the space through using the visual weight of each element in each room e.g. colour, size, pattern and shape.

© HegeInFrance

© HegeInFrance

Rose Uniacke, London-based Interior Designer

Rose Uniacke, London-based Interior Designer
  • Avoid unnecessary clutter in your living spaces by clearing clutter. This will make the space seem bigger as this will create an illusion for the eye where there will be less to focus on. It will also make it easier to find things in the space and there will be less struggle for your attention when showing off your prized possession e.g. photographs, art or pottery.

Aesthetic Interior Minimal Design - Manilva.co

Aesthetic Interior Minimal Design - Manilva.co

Photo: Courtesy of ZWEI Design

Photo: Courtesy of ZWEI Design
  • Consider using symmetrical compositions as they are associated with elegance and harmony. By always following the rules of symmetry, in particular when planning the position of the key elements in a room. Using lots of symmetry in a room can create a very formal atmosphere. Although you could loosen up the styling by using groups of different objects on either side of the space, this will make the space feel more relaxed, but still have a hint of formal.
Chinese villa bathroom, Bangkok's New Siam Hotel
Chinese villa bathroom, Bangkok's New Siam Hotel

 

Dimension Lab Showroom / ARTEFACT © Inwoo Yeo
Dimension Lab Showroom / ARTEFACT © Inwoo Yeo

  • You can create themed connections across a space through the use of materials, colour, pattern and texture. This will create harmony and unity within the space.

Andrii Shurpenkov Interior Photographer

Andrii Shurpenkov Interior Photographer

Joan Lao Design Studio, a family of creative interior designers has renovated a 17th-century farmhouse near Barcelona into a one of a kind living space where they can live, work, relax and commune with nature.

Joan Lao Design Studio, a family of creative interior designers has renovated a 17th-century farmhouse near Barcelona into a one of a kind living space where they can live, work, relax and commune with nature.
  • Try using repeating elements along the surfaces around a room in order to keep the energy lines moving within a space.

Woodland Wallpaper - Botanical Botanica Collection - Cole & Son

Woodland Wallpaper - Botanical Botanica Collection - Cole & Son

deco martini wallpaper from divine savages

deco martini wallpaper from divine savages
  • Introduce accent lighting to highlight displays that don’t receive natural light.

Las Diest

Las Diest 

 Splinter Society have designed the modern interior renovation of a house in Melbourne, Australia. Photography by Jack Lovel

 Splinter Society have designed the modern interior renovation of a house in Melbourne, Australia. Photography by Jack Lovel
  • You can alter perceived proportions of a room through adjusting the level of skirting boards, picture rails and dados. Dado’s need to be the third of the height of the room. Skirting boards need to be a quarter of the space from floor to dado.

By aprilandmay

By April and May

By Little Green

Walls in Loft White 222 Absolute Matt Emulsion, £37 for 2.5ltr; skirting (from top to bottom) in Urbane Grey 225 and Lamp Black 228 both Intelligent Eggshell, £53 for 2.5ltr; flooring in Shallows 223 Floor Paint, £59 for 2.5ltr, all from the Grey Collection, Little Greene

    Follow the steps above in order to achieve unity and harmony within your interior.

    If you want to learn more on how to incorporate Biophilia and how to implement Biophilic elements into your design. Book on to our Awestruck Biophilic workshop series. Book your 1 to 1 today with us today where you will leave with one moodboard and an understanding of how to implant Biophilic Design into your interior.

    Awestruck Biophilic Workshops

    Email us at harleen@harleenmclean.com