A SENSE OF BALANCE
Over the years I have discovered that design is in the eye of the beholder. A minimalist is as sensitive to a space as one who layers textures and patterns. Regardless of the varying “styles”, one variable holds true, space must have balance. We are naturally drawn to and strive for balance in several aspects of our lives. We have a sense of well being when we have a balanced diet, a balance of work and relaxation, a balance of struggle and strength.
When I would work with a client who was dissatisfied with a room, many times the solution was not in changing furniture, colors or accessories. The space needed balancing. Imagine looking at the room atop a scale. Is the heavy furniture gathered on the left side of the room? Is the lamplight illuminating the right side of the room while the left remains in the dark?
The most dependable method of balancing the room is with symmetry. What is present on the left is mirrored on the right. A substantial, singular feature located at center wall provides the ideal
touchstone or point of reference. This may possibly be a fireplace, a window or a statement piece of furniture.
I must admit, I believe I may be a bit obsessed with balance. I want the front of the house balanced ( perhaps that was the driving force behind our choice to build a Georgian Colonial), the landscape and hardscape balanced, the kitchen counters and cupboards balanced etc., etc., etc.
Now let me illustrate what I mean by imbalance. The photograph below is that of a beautiful room with excellent color selection and magnificent European Antiques. However, note the imbalance. The room is heavily weighted to the right. The chest and mounting to the right of the fireplace is visually much heavier than the chair and sconce to the left. By exchanging the chest for the chair, the balance begins to take effect.
Formal gardens are balanced beautifully. The elements are obviously lovely creations of Mother Nature, but the placement, scale and size are provided by a human’s desire for balance.
Be it the French Manor, the Georgian Colonial or the Southern Plantation…balance is the architectural concern.
Whether you are fond of clean and sparing or full and formal, the above photographs both illustrate balance.
Balance the checkbook, balance the budget, balance your time…. Symmetry in life is difficult, symmetry in design is simple. We have limited control with the former and definite control with the latter. If you are troubled by a space in your home, something simple such as the fireplace mantel, start with balancing of the accessories. Imagine that scale…it will guide you. One step at a time in the pursuit of symmetry. One step at a time in pursuit of life balance. One step, every day because…
EVERY DAY MATTERS