Do you think everything should be symmetrical?
Are you worried that if it isn’t symmetrical, it might not look balanced?
I want to share with you a photography principle that is going to help you get more comfortable with asymmetrical arrangements. It will help you break out of the predictable, expected, sometimes boring ways of arranging your home decor.
The Rule of Thirds is a photography guideline that’s meant to improve the composition of an image. The idea is, you take the frame and divide it into thirds vertically and horizontally creating a grid. You might have seen a grid like this on the back of your camera. It’s meant as a guide to help you compose your image because having your subject on one of the lines creates a strong composition. The strongest composition is having your subject placed at the intersection of two of the lines.
For decorating, I like to think about the Rule of Thirds when it comes to creating asymmetrical arrangements and particularly when thinking about wall décor. I think a lot of people feel bound to center all of their wall décor and make everything symmetrical. I want you to get more comfortable trying some asymmetrical arrangements, and I promise they’re still going to be balanced.
In this “before” example, the framed family photo is our statement piece, or our “subject” in photography terms, in the center of the arrangement. When we have it centered like this, to keep the entire arrangement symmetrical we need a lot of décor.
This example follows many of the other Home Styling 101 tips, like the Rule of Three and creating Visual Triangles. To create a balanced, symmetrical arrangement on each side of the family photo it double the décor.
Instead, if we used the Rule of Thirds, we could move the family photo off to one side and then use décor on the other side to fill up the empty space. Take a look at the “after.”
This is what an asymmetrical arrangement would look like following the Rule of Thirds. Instead of having the family photo in the center, it’s one-third of the way in from the end of the furniture piece. On the other side, the large décor pieces balance out the framed photo.
You’ll also notice that overall the arrangement creates one large asymmetrical visual triangle. This is just one example of how you can use the Rule of Thirds to try some asymmetrical arrangements.
In the Rule of Thirds video demo, I’ll also show you how you can use the Rule of Thirds to:
- Create more interesting wall decor arrangements
- Solve tricky situations where a symmetrical arrangement won’t work, because the room isn’t symmetrical
- Break up large surface areas, like the top of a long dresser, buffet, or console table, so you can style more easily in zones
I want you to give the Rule of Thirds a shot in your home. Instead of centering everything, try some asymmetrical arrangements and see how you like them. Click here to see how it’s done.