Three R’s for Stylish Interior Decorating

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Three R’s for Stylish Interior Decorating

You’re likely familiar with the three R’s of education: reading, writing, and arithmetic. The subjects are considered the basic foundation for knowledge. Similarly, interior decorating has three R’s as well: rhythm, repetition, and rhetoric. 

These three fundamental skills combine to give your room a foundation of good style. They’re universal no matter what interior design style you prefer and they span time and trends. Improve your interior decorating skills by brushing up on what each ‘R’ means when decorating your home. 

The First Principle of Interior Decorating: Rhythm

Most often we think of rhythm as something we hear or express in movement. It’s important in music or dancing, but it’s also an important aspect to consider for interior decorating. 

Just like rhythm pleases the ear, good rhythm pleases the eye. As you enter a room, what you see can appear to have order–we’ll call it rhythm. Well-arranged furnishings, focal points within the room, and statement pieces can combine to create a visual arrangement that feels balanced and natural. 

On the other hand, if your interior decorating lacks rhythm, then a room is likely to feel disorganized and chaotic. The eye may be drawn up, down, and all around with no flow or resting point. 

The Second Principle of Interior Decorating: Repetition

When learning something new, the saying is that ‘repetition is the mother of retention.’ When it comes to repetition in interior decorating, we’re not concerned with facts and figures. But the use of repetition does help to create a feeling in a room, something that can be felt and retained by you and guests to your home. 

How can you use repetition to decorate your home? Identify the style, pattern, and color palettes you want to use. Repeat these key style elements in your room, across various surfaces. 

Couch with styled pillows that follow theme; interior decorating Brevard; Michael Gainey Signature Designs
Stylish living room with bookshelves on wall; interior decorating Brevard; Michael Gainey Signature Designs

For example, if you’re working with a coastal color palette and want to channel Florida style into your home, use coordinating colors on your walls, large furnishings, and artwork. Choose fixtures, like lamps, accent tables, and hardware with similar angles or features. Pick a pattern or two and repeat it (or a variation) across your rug, throw pillows, or curtains. 

Chances are high that you already have repetition in your home. We gravitate towards looks we love and buy pieces that repeat key elements. Scan your room and see how many points of repetition you can find. Use these elements to grow your collection and enhance the repetition of your room. 

Dining room with angular style; interior decorating Brevard; Michael Gainey Signature Designs

The Third Principle of Interior Design: Rhetoric

Rhetoric is essentially storytelling. By definition, it refers to persuasive speech or writing. But in the application of interior decorating, it means using your space to create a compelling story. 

To use rhetoric in interior decorating, it’s important to know what type of scene or story you want a room to tell. Are you looking for a laidback family room or a more upscale dining space for hosting dinner parties? The purpose of a space is a good place to start when determining the right rhetoric for a room. 

Statement pieces are a key part of interior decorating. These pieces ‘speak’ to your interests, hobbies, and personality, making them essential to the rhetoric of the room. 

Keep in mind that too many competing focal points could have a detrimental effect on your interior decorating. Instead of telling a single story, there may be too many ‘voices’ and your room loses its persuasiveness. Use statement pieces selectively and with purpose. This will give your room a strong message and a clear identity.

A Tutor for Interior Decorating

Just like a tutor can help students learn the three R’s of education, an interior designer is a great resource for becoming more proficient in the three R’s of interior design. Whether you’re looking for interior decorating for one room or your whole house, a professional can provide the guidance you need to graduate at the top of the class!

At Michael Gainey Signature Designs, our designers have decades of experience in identifying the rhythm, repetition, and rhetoric that makes a home stand out from the class. Give our studio a call or stop in to be inspired by our showroom at Jambalaya. 

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Contemporary Living room with rugFormal living room with drapes; window treatments interior decorating; MGSD