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Creating Symmetry in Living Room Design

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By : Fiona Creech    99 or more times read
Symmetry adds a sense of balance to room designed in any style, whether traditional or contemporary. When a room already has symmetrical features and architecture, it is much easier to create symmetrical design. However, if the architecture of a room is asymmetrical, creating symmetry is more a matter of creating balance and looking at the space with a fresh perspective. Here are some ideas on how to create balance in a living room that may be less than symmetrical.

Create Balance with Furniture Arrangements

If the windows or other features of the living room are not symmetrical, you can add balance and symmetry by arranging furniture so that it is equally balanced throughout the room; the goal is to place a more or less equal number of pieces on each side of the room, so that one side does not appear “heavier” than the other. Also consider the scale and bulk of each piece of furniture: For example, two wing back chairs can balance one loveseat or sofa. Imagine the room on a fulcrum: Would it stay balanced or would it see-saw to one side or the other? Also notice the reaction of people who enter the room: Is their attention directed more to one side than the other or does it seem balanced? If it seems that they notice one side more than the other, you may wish to rearrange the furnishings again.

Organize to Create Balance

Clutter will make a room seem out of balance because the eye automatically travels to elements that make the room seem chaotic. So the first step is to eliminate clutter, unnecessary or unrelated items from the room and then carefully organize what is left. Wasted space also makes a room feel unbalanced; corners and empty spaces are very noticeable if there is not equally open space on the other side of the room or wall. Items like tall plants, statuary and pedestals can help balance empty spaces.

The Axis of the Room

The axis of the room is the horizontal and vertical line that divides the space in equal sections. If a room is asymmetrical “following” this line with furniture arrangement will only draw more attention to the lack of symmetry. As much as possible, avoid placing furniture along the horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines of the room. Bringing furniture toward the center of the room, so that it appears to float in space, and placing furniture in a more random arrangement will make lack of balance less noticeable.

Make it Easy on Yourself

Instead of physically moving furniture around the room until you find an arrangement that you like, make a scaled drawing of the room on graph paper. Be sure to include all permanent features, such as windows, doors, stairway, fireplace and so forth. Next, draw your furniture to scale on another piece of paper; colored paper works well. Now you can tinker with the arrangement on paper until you find the perfect layout. This will save your back and also cause less wear and tear on your flooring or carpet.
Senior staff writer for, Fiona Creech, offers design advice on decorating with large metal wall cross and sunburst metal wall art.

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