The Rules of Interior Design–How To Be Comfortable & Stylish At Home

If you’re like us, you love bending the rules, but some rules are there for your greatest good.

When it comes to interior design, a few good rules can go a long way towards creating a comfortable and stylish home.

Let’s explore how interior design rules can help you ramp up the creative style in your home and a few ways you can apply them correctly.

What Is Interior Design?

Interior design is the art of creating an aesthetically pleasing space. As humans, we like to look at things that look nice. Something is soothing about a white sandy beach and crystal blue water, and nature, for the most part, is aesthetically pleasing.

But our homes, unfortunately, can start to look like a warehouse for horrible design choices of our past. Call it busyness, call it disorganization, or whatever you want, but many of us seriously struggle with creating an attractive interior.

Even so, it’s worth your effort.

Ancient cultures including the Romans, Egyptians, and Druids among many others used geometry to create a design that evoked specific emotions.

Today, too, interior designers dedicate themselves to studying angles, lighting, and colors to create a space that soothes the soul.

The good news is, you don’t have to be an interior designer to create a healthier and more attractive home without losing functionality.

You can apply the same principles they use to create a home you love!

The Core Foundations of Home Interior Design

Every art has a specific set of principles.

These principles serve as the foundation for every project.

The following is a brief overview of the foundations that can guide the way for your interior design projects.

Pick Your Theme

Every design needs a theme.

Your home should be unified by this theme.

So, for example, if you love rustic design elements, they should exist throughout your home.

Or maybe you prefer formal interiors to informal ones, whatever style you like should be the key element in your overall design.

Keep in mind, you are 100% allowed to refine your theme in each of your home’s rooms without stifling your design.

A few of our favorite interior design themes include:

  • Bohemian—Vintage everything, global textiles and furniture, and comfortable seating paired with ultra-glam elements.
  • Mid-Century Modern—Representation of the 1950s and 1960s interior design elements.
  • Contemporary—A fluid interpretation of modern design elements that can include both curving and straight-line elements.
  • French Country—Characterized by warm earth tones and natural elements including brick and stone.

Now that you have your theme all picked out, it’s time to go to the next step.


Ah, balance.

It keeps the world turning.

It also is an important principle in distributing the visual weight of your room. This can be done symmetrically—think Japanese Zen garden—or asymmetrically.

Whatever you choose to create balance, you have to isolate a focal point for your room.

For a kitchen, it could be a gorgeous waterfall island, or for your living room, it could be a fireplace.

Color, texture, and scale are the critical elements that dictate your focal point.

Contrasting these elements is the key to striking an aesthetically pleasing balance. Variety, too, can help add interest in your room.

Spice up your design by using rhythm to draw the eye towards a specific point.


Next up is color.

We all have our favorites, but your color palette is critical to nailing any design.

There’s nothing wrong with having different colors in each room, but it’s important to keep in mind how that harmonizes with the rest of your home.

Also, think about how your design elements will fit within those colors.

You can find different color palettes for the particular style of your choice on Pinterest. You might also want to read up on color theory to dive deeper into the world of design and color.

Another interior design element that builds on your color theme, is pattern.


Pattern is a more advanced component to design.

While the patterns you select don’t have to match, they should coordinate with one another.

How do you do this?

One way is by analyzing the color, size, and scale of your pattern of choice.

For novice designers, it’s a good idea to keep your pattern simple and straightforward. Too many elements and you could through off the balance of your design.


Texture is one of the most exciting elements in a design, as it goes beyond the visual realms and takes you into the way design feels!

Think of a fluffy pillow or a textured wall, these elements tie the color, pattern, and balance of your room together to create an immersive experience where you not only see the design but feel it with your senses.


Proportion is similar to balance, but its role is to tie in all of your elements, color, shape, and texture.

For beginner designers, proportion is often determined by whether or not you like the way your room feels.

If you don’t, try playing with the sizes and layout of your design elements to create something that ‘feels’ right to you.

How to Apply Interior Design Rules In Your Home

You might be thinking, these principles are great, but how do I apply them in MY home?

Well, there are a few things to keep in mind when decorating your home or looking for home goods in general.

For example, if you’re buying an area rug, think about the size and shop for one that scales well with your room. You also can consider the texture and color elements to see if those would clash with your current theme.

You also want to consider your color palette.

As we discussed, your color palette should match your overall style. For boho, you might go with start white liens or beige colors. For contemporary, you might select gray or bluish-gray décor.

Build on these principles to create a home that makes you feel like yourself while retaining the style you love!

Why Comfort Matters

Interior design principles are important in creating a space that pleases the eye.

However, functionality and comfort are equally important if you’re planning on living in your home.

Strike a balance between these design principles and your preference for comfort, and you’ll have a space you are pleased with.

Looking for a new piece to match your Boho, contemporary, or modern interior design? Browse our selection of home décor to find the perfect new addition to your space!