Applied Design: The Art of Asymmetry

The large window in center of the Room of the Week is symmetrical in its design.  However, the symmetry stops there.  The rest of the room is balanced asymmetrically – the bookcase with the crib, the glider with the stack of poufs.  Instead of balancing both sides of the room symmetrically using completely matching furniture and accessories (which would be hard to do in a nursery, unless it was for twins!), the room is balanced by using a variety of objects placed just so.

Creating asymmetry in design is so much harder than symmetry.  There are no rules to follow and it just takes some practice to set-up something that is pleasing to the eye.  So I thought it would be helpful to start with something smaller than an entire room, say a vignette on the mantle on a fireplace.  Chances are you have a fireplace mantle, or a piece of furniture with a similarly long line, that you can use to practice on.  Here are a few of my favorite examples, and a few tricks they teach us.

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ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE

Grab a variety of objects and get practicing.

I’ll be working on my fireplace mantle this weekend to get it ready for spring!

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