Whether we’re approaching an arrangement—furniture, table, or otherwise—in the shop or in a client’s home, we always err on the side of symmetry. And by “side,” we suppose we mean smack dab in the middle, since being on one side isn’t very symmetrical at all. Surely, you’ve heard of the scientific research that holds that the more symmetrical a human face is the more attractive the general population finds that person. Here's looking at you, Angelina Jolie. The same is generally true for your home, and it applies in so many places—from shrub placement to lamp placement, from pillows to artwork, seating to lighting.
To please your eyes and your guests’ and to make a space feel organized, pay attention to symmetry in all rooms, but in certain spots especially. And maybe it goes without saying, but if every thing was a cookie-cutter mirror image, a space could quickly become a little … creepy. Just like we embrace the imperfections of the human face--that one eyebrow that arches a little higher than the other--it's important not to rob your home of its character. Adjust, rearrange, experiment with scale and proportion, and if a room seems "off," try a little symmetry. Plus, it gives you reason to follow your mom's old adage that if you really like something, you should buy two of it!
Here are five places where symmetry in the home can be most impactful:
1. The front exterior of your house. Even if your home's exterior isn't actually symmetrical, the neatness of symmetry can be alluded to with lights that flank the front entrance or topiaries potted in oversized containers alongside the front door. Shrubs planted along the front of the house or down the front walk can also accomplish this. (Here are some more ideas for creating a traffic-stopping exterior.)
2. In the bedroom. We ordinarily see symmetry in the bedroom in the form of twin bedside tables and twin lamps. But some of the most pleasing examples of sleepy-time symmetry are in rooms that hold a pair of twin beds. Bedrooms are perhaps the best place to keep things nice and even, as a sense of orderliness can lend itself to a better night's sleep.
3. With lighting fixtures. Have an off-center ceiling fan or chandelier and your whole room will feel off kilter. Don't ignore the placement of your lights. If a visit from the electrician isn't in your budget, use a chain and swag hook to rehang a chandelier exactly where you need it to hang.
4. On the console table. An entry table, console table, bar, or banquet is the perfect place to put your home decor balancing act into practice.
5. In front of a mantel. There's something about a fireplace that begs to be a focal point. Of course, sometimes there are clunky design problems to work around--such as, the dreaded corner fireplace--but in general things will look most orderly when centered and divided by the line created by your mantel.
For more home styling tips, view our post on the Bynum Design blog about Easy Ideas for a Beautiful and Interesting Table Top.