Contrast in Interior Design: What It Is & Why You Need It

interior design Washington DC Interior design is both an art and a science. So, like artists and scientists, interior designers are guided in their work by some fundamental principles of design that have been proven to work together to create an effective and attractive space. Depending on who you ask and what you read, those fundamental principles might vary a bit. But generally, most interior designers agree that these guiding principles include some variation of balance, emphasis, pattern, proportion, movement, white space, hierarchy, rhythm, repetition, and contrast.

One of the elements that inexperienced designers often struggle the most with is that last one—contrast. Let’s take a closer look how contrast is defined and why it’s important to your space!

What is contrast?

Contrast is when two or more elements with opposing characteristics are placed together in a space. This can be accomplished using many different aspects of design, such as color, shape, size, materials, textures, style, or finish.

Why does contrast matter in interior design?

Contrast is a fundamental element of interior design because it adds visual interest to a space that makes it striking and dynamic. Harmony is important in a design scheme, but with too much of the same, everything will just blend together and leave you with a boring, monotonous space. Contrast brings in that balance you need to bring your design concept to completion. It can also be used to highlight certain room features or other design elements.

How do you create contrast in interior design?

When creating contrast in your space, keep in mind that you want your two opposing elements to compete in a way that emphasizes the other, but still work together to create overall harmony. A few ways you can do this include:

  • Decorate with colors on opposite sides of the color wheel (black and white, purple and yellow, orange and blue)
  • Use different shapes (sharp and soft lines, circles and squares)
  • Implement various textures for contrasting visual weight (smooth marble and linen, wood and faux fur)
  • Mix materials (natural wood and glass, stone and metals)

If you need help mastering contrast in your home, Hudson & Crane has your back. We’ll use all of the fundamental principles of design, along with our extensive design knowledge, experience, and trained eye, to make your space feel like you, but with that extra pop that really makes it memorable.

Contact us today to learn more about our interior design services in Washington D.C.!