Using Asymmetry in Home Design

Many experts tout the need for symmetry in design, whether it’s used in graphic design or home design. However, many spaces do not naturally lend themselves to symmetry, so in these cases, using asymmetry in home design makes more sense.

Why Use Symmetry?

You can’t go wrong if you use symmetry to design your spaces. Symmetry brings balance and harmony to a room and is more pleasing to the eye. It evokes a feeling of calm and order which most of us enjoy in our homes. However, the overuse of symmetry can become boring and predictable.

Why Use Asymmetry?

A recent client moved into a new condo, and she has a wonderful collection of artwork of all different styles, shapes, colours, and sizes. She reminded me that she is not a fan of symmetry, which made decorating her space both challenging and rewarding. In a sense, it was easier to incorporate asymmetry, especially when hanging her artwork. In fact, trying to achieve symmetry with varying frame colours and styles would have been more difficult. It’s almost as if we placed decorative items in a somewhat haphazard way, but somehow, it all worked.

small white cupboard with a lamp off to one side and artwork hanging above slightly off centre
An example of asymmetrical design.

Use Symmetry in the Bedroom

I recommend using symmetry in bedrooms to minimize visual stimulation in these rooms. Place the headboard in the centre of the wall and put nightstands with lamps on each side. Easy peasy. However, avoid centring a piece of artwork over the headboard. Instead, place it on an opposite wall. It is less predictable but still visually pleasing.

Combine Symmetry and Asymmetry in the Living Area

Using symmetrical design in other spaces, such as the living area, can help ground the room. So, if you have the space, use a sofa with matching end tables and lamps to achieve some balance. Then, look for opportunities to incorporate some creative asymmetry into your design. Doing this certainly takes time, practice, and perhaps moving things a few times to get it right. But it is so much fun!

symmetrical living room with sofa centred on wall, end tables with lamps on either side, coffee table centred in front of sofa
Symmetry in the Living Area

Symmetry vs Asymmetry in Kitchen Design

The use of symmetry in kitchen design is also very common. However, if you are trying to design a super-functional space, sometimes asymmetry is necessary. The clever use of design elements can still make the space work in a unique and pleasing way. It just takes more thought and effort.

asymmetry in home design illustrated by kitchen with window not in centre of wall and tall cupboard on one side of window and shorter cupboards on other side
Asymmetry in the Kitchen

All that to say, sometimes throwing the rules out the window and getting creative can be worth the time and effort in creating a comfortable yet interesting space. There is such a thing as asymmetrical balance, so go for it! And feel free to comment and share links to photos of your successful asymmetrical design project.

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