Importance of Rhythm In Designing A Room - Design Concepts: Rhythm

The beautiful dining room completed by Slifer Designs is a great example of how the design concept of rhythm helps make our rooms beautiful.
Design Concepts: Design concepts give us the "why" of decorating, tell us how to select a item of furniture that is scaled properly for the size of a room. Design concepts tell us to achieve balance on opposing walls of a room. If you have a room that looks 'off,' going over the design concepts will probably help you identify and fix the room composition so that you have something truly beautiful.
Rhythm: Every composition has rhythm, or progression, it connects the various elements to the whole and encourages continuity, makes the room less fragmented. A wagon wheel is a good example of this,
the hub, the spokes, and the rim are arranged in a way that makes these relationships obvious. Our eye naturally follows the items of the rhythm or progression. Items that are arranged graduated in size (small to large, or light to dark) or arranged to show transition (young to old, winter to summer) are examples of how we can organize movement assisting our eye to travel around the room. In a room with rhythm, the eye will first be attracted to the focal point (in the wagon wheel example, the focal point would be the hub) and then it will travel around the room from place to place, grouping to grouping, discovering new sensations along the way. Rhythm not only encourages the eye to travel, but rhythm controls it. Proper selection and placement will allow the eye to travel easily and steadily until it returns to the focal point. We want to avoid the eye hitting a visual cul-de-sac or dead-end.
Analyzing Rhythm In The Slifer Designs Dining Room: In the photograph of this dining room, designed by
SliferDesigns, we're drawn immediately to the large wall art - which happens to be the room's focal point. If we say that this art is placed at 12 on a clock, we can analyze how the rhythm works here. Rhythm causes our eye to be drawn in a clockwise direction by the placement of items and groupings. At 3 on a clock, the tall candlesticks pull our eye to the right and then down to 4 where the eye is drawn to the first of the upholstered chairs. The line of the table at 6 pulls our eye to 8 and 9, traveling around the room. We are drawn to the vertical line of the drapes, they allow a nice feel of variety amongst so much progression and the strength of the drapes verticle shape subtly hold us for a second. But at 9, 10 and almost 11 on our clock, the horizontal pattern in the drapes, the horizontal lines of the mountains cape seen in the window, and the horizontal line of the hanging light fixture completes the rhythm of this composition, returning us to 12, at the artwork, our focal point, and around again.
There aren't any 'dead ends' in this room, it has excellent composition; each element has a a relationship to the whole. Good application of the design concepts including rhythm helps assure the creation of beautiful rooms.

This article is one in a series of Design Concepts, to go to the entire list, click here.

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