Decorating Guides

7 Ways to Play Symmetry for a Dynamic Design

October 8, 2020

“Symmetry” — derived from the Greek term which means “to quantify together” — has a couple of meanings. The better-known definition of “symmetry” is really a balance attained through ratio and harmony. Another definition has to do with the mathematical idea of mirror symmetry, where items on each side of a centerline are completely identical.

We are instinctively attracted to symmetry, because character is full of amazing illustrations of symmetrical objects (such as snowflakes). Designers and artists have employed the notions of symmetry and asymmetry (nonsymmetrical designs) during history; conventional design tended to place emphasis on symmetry, while modernist and postmodern designers used asymmetry for a design principle.

Both symmetry and asymmetry maintain a spot in the current design environment. Let’s take a look at how powerful asymmetrical design is achieved by taking symmetry into account.

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

1. Produce a centre axis. Most of this garden’s design consists of asymmetrical elements. A linear span of bud and pavers creates a central axis, intersected with a narrow pool of water. The pavers’ pattern appears symmetrical about that centerline. While all of the elements on each side aren’t mirror images, they work together superbly.

Garden Architecture

2. Ground with symmetry. This contemporary garden design has many asymmetrical elements — the peaks of the greenery on every side of the cement bench are distinct, for example. However, the yellow foliage on every side of the bench creates an awareness of symmetry which helps to ground the design.

Vendome Press

3. Interrupt symmetry to excite. It’s easy to spot the symmetry in this dining area, because the center of the table serves as the centerline for the furniture layout. The china and chairs around and on the table are the same; the purple hyacinth bouquets in vases are equidistant in the table centerline; the snowy birds sit on the buffet; the wall sconces sit at equivalent points in the center of the chandelier.

However, the photo layout on the wall is where we see this pattern of symmetry interrupted — the frames and mats of the vertical bird artworks are unique dimensions, including a fun spin.

MJ Lanphier

4. Add allure. The asymmetry in this room functions as it’s balanced with the symmetry of the frames on the wall.

The necklace shares exactly the same centerline as the table and little vertical framework, flanked by the two larger frames. Everything else inside this frame is asymmetrical. I love these chairs, while a variety of in design and color, work collectively.

Dan Joseph Architects, LLC

5. Find beauty at a lack of harmony. With the sink’s centerline for a reference point, we do not see much girth in this roomnevertheless, it is still a beautiful and calming space. This kitchen is an excellent example of how a well-designed room could be asymmetrical and still achieve stability.

Fiorella Design

6. Tease the eye with similar yet distinct bits. Good lace frequently takes place in the bedroom, with the mattress often serving as the area’s centerline. Using furniture that is similar in overall design and structure but different in small details — such as those bedside tables — allows for equilibrium and personality.

Dreamy Whites

7. Design about one statement piece. These two doors which make the headboard are fun and unique. Notice that they are based on the chandelier in the room, and everything else revolves around those main pieces. Every thing in this room differs, though they do all share a refurbished appearance. Keeping this room easy and uncluttered increases the integrity of the design.

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