Chapter 10: Unity, Harmony, and Variety!
Unity in Design and how to achieve it by combining harmony and variety in your space is the topic of the day! We’re nearing the end of our Elements and Principles of Design series. And I’ve decided to talk about unity, harmony, and variety at once. The truth is that they are so closely intertwined that it’s almost impossible to talk about them separately.
Harmony in Interior Design
Merriam-Webster defines harmony as an “internal calm: tranquility.” Doesn’t that sound great? Who doesn’t want internal calm and tranquility when they walk into their home? I know I do!
The definition of a harmony as a “pleasing arrangements of parts: congruence” is even more applicable to interior design. Combining the Elements and Principles of Design in such a way that they work together creates harmony. One of the easiest ways to do this is through combining similar, related elements or by repeating elements throughout the space. Check out my post on rhythm for some specific ideas on how to implement this in your space.
Variety in Interior Design
As they say, “Variety is the spice of life.” Well, this is true in interior design as well. Variety brings about visual interest, surprise, and excitement. The best way to implement variety is by creating a harmonious space with related elements and a degree of sameness and then introducing pops of interest in the way of a contrast in the Elements of Design in the room, color, texture, shape and form, line, and space. For instance, an accent of a contrasting color or a pop of a contrasting texture create emphasis in a room.
Unity in Interior Design
Unity in interior design is an overall feeling that brings a room together. It creates oneness. The goal with unity is to create cohesiveness in an individual room as well as throughout your home. When there is unity in a space, it is visually satisfying and everything just appears right. Oftentimes the presence of an overall style, such as industrial, rustic, or mid-century modern, is a reflection of unity in the space. Everything in the space appears as though it belongs together. Visually, the room or the home makes sense.
Thoughtfully combining harmony and variety forms unity. Harmony settles the eye, makes sense of the room for the brain. Meanwhile, the implementation of variety keeps the space from looking dull and boring. Variety brings interest. The successful combination of harmony and variety is what gives a space and a home unity.
Go Forth and Unify!
As with the other Principles of Design, it really takes no extra cost to apply unity, harmony, and variety to your spaces. Combining the Elements of Design using the Principles of Design takes a bit of practice and thought. But it will really elevate your space to the next level and move your house right along to becoming a home.
For more affordable and practical ways to use the Elements and Principles of Design to make your house a home, check out the rest of the Elements and Principles of Design series. And be sure to stay tuned for the last installment, where I will talk about movement!