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Principle 2: Rhythm and Repetition in Interior Design

An Example of Rhythm and Repetition in Interior Design

Correctly using rhythm and repetition in interior design can completely transform a room. When these concepts are executed well, the room stops feeling like scattered furniture and objects and pulls together as a beautiful whole.

The concepts themselves are easy to understand. Repetition refers to the ways in which we repeat a pattern or object within a space. Rhythm is the pace and arrangement of those repeated items. Rhythm is what pulls your eye through a room. It guides your eye from one element to another and adding emphasis to a focal point.

Recently we discussed the design principle of scale and proportion and how to use those elements effectively in interior design. Be sure to check out that post if you missed it. Today, I’d like to share four easy ways to use rhythm and repetition in interior design to give your space some pizazz.

Gradation in Size and Color

Gradation means using changes in size or color to lead the eye through a space. Repeating the same object, such as a series of vases but in increasing or decreasing size, directs our gaze across the group. In the same way, gradations in color direct our eye from light to dark or vice versa. For example, think of a picture of a sunset or wall art with an ombre effect, something with gradual color changes.

Remember that the goal of rhythm and repetition in interior design is to lead your eye through a room. Creating competing directions or paths will make a room look chaotic and unsettling. So, as you arrange your space, think about the path you want your eye to take through the room and align the design elements to support that path.


The classic example of radiation is a circular table with a centerpiece such as a vase of flowers. The focal point of the room is the centerpiece and the table and chairs radiate outward around it.

Another way to use radiation to create rhythm and repetition in interior design is to arrange items around a circular mirror on a wall.

Create a Bold Statement with Contrast

Using contrast creates a bold statement and commands our eyes to a specific object or focal point. For example, a room that’s predominantly decorated in white or beige accented with a dark coffee table.

Another way to use contrast in your decorating is to pair colors that are opposites on the color wheel, like red and green or blue and orange, to create a strong sense of contrast. Be careful not to go overboard with this concept. Used sparingly, contrast creates a powerful effect in a room. However, too much quickly becomes overwhelming.

Use Transition to Gently Lead the Eye

Transition is a more subtle use of rhythm and repetition in interior design. It relies on curved lines like archways or rounded furniture to gently lead our eye around a room. Our eyes naturally follow curved shapes, so using those can be a great way to create a sense of rhythm in a room.

Get Inspired

One of the most challenging parts about interior decorating is knowing how to pull the beloved elements of a room together into one cohesive design. That’s why I’m here to help! Let’s work together to create the perfect room for you. We can work together to design beautiful, comfortable, spaces ready for visits from your friends and family. Call me today to set up a consultation today!