Interior Design Course: Space, Colour and Balance

Thanks for joining me for module number 3 of my interior design course.

This time, I’ve learnt all about space, colour and balance as it’s all about design elements which is key in helping me discover, not only my own style and likes and dislikes, but also about understanding how to work with the space that I have. As I’d like the course to help boost my confidence I believe it definitely highlights areas that I already know and elements that I already utilise without realising that I do so. I therefore hope that you find the below as interesting and fulfilling as I do.

Things to Consider for the Space of your Interior

A room is a part of a whole so you need an element that unifies them to create a seamless and joined-up look. Think about the physicality of the rooms, such as the space, volume and natural light that it achieves as well as the use of the area as well, for example if it’s a living room make sure that you make room for a sofa.

Here are some ideas for making small rooms look bigger and big rooms look more cosy.

Making a Small Room look Larger:

  • Giving areas a specific function
  • Multi-purpose furniture
  • Placing furniture in centre of the room so that it has space on all sides
  • Using the walls height by adding shelves
  • Rooms that have low ceilings will benefit from low furniture (small legs)
  • Monochromatic colouring where you use cold and warm shades of a particular colour so that the eye can roam the room, thus making it seem larger

Designing Large Rooms:

  • More than one focus point, especially if open plan
  • Create a space within a space by using furniture to section of areas
  • Use tall plants to fill the space
  • Use a lot of furniture
  • Use warm, deep colours
  • Add rugs or carpet and couple it with comfortable furniture
  • Add tactile textures
  • Use the space on the walls to it’s maximum ability

Choosing Colour for your Rooms

Colours have emotions attached to them. Examples were given of vibrant, stimulating interiors and also cosy and luxurious designs. For the same reason why most of us know pink as for baby girls and blue as for baby boys, there are colours that can help you inject a particular emotion. I personally love teal or aqua because they’re lovely hues that help me relax and feel tranquil whilst vibrant yellow and green makes me energised. Then there’s red that’s oftentimes associated with passion and black that reflects a moody, perhaps gothic, nature.

Not only was it about colours but about shades too where you can mix different types of the same colour to create something very charming. Have you heard of monochromatic colouring? Well that’s all about deliberately using different shades of the same colour to help the eye roam the room. It’s an effective way to make a room look larger!

What does the interior colour say about your personality?

The colours section in the interior design course very much reminded me of a Julia Kendell talk I once saw at the Ideal Home Show years ago which was all about personality and behaviour that’s determined by the colours that you use in the interior decorating. She said that there are four main groups of interior style personalities; expressive; amiable; analytical; and driver.

  • Expressive: Bold, impact-full and concentrated on detail – achieved with reflective gold, deep blue and statement patterns.
  • Amiable: Sociable, inoffensive and harmonious – neutral shades such as fawn brown and warm red are a great way to appeal to most people.
  • Analytical: Formal, organised and energetic – use vibrant colours as accents, such as orange.
  • Driver: Ordered, which may seem impersonal, and always using the latest gadgets – an example of a colour scheme for this could be monochrome so black and white colour blocking would work well in this particular interior style.

Types of Balance

There are three main types of balance in a room, symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. To create the first imagine putting a mirror in the middle of a room, where one side reflects the other. This can be a lot of fun and very rewarding in my opinion, especially if you like everything to be ‘just right’. Asymmetrical is in a way the opposite. It’s all about putting different things together but they must also fit at the same time. Something currently trending which is assymetrical is putting together a wall full of frames that are all different shapes and sizes. Then the third is radial and this is where you create an area by surrounding it with furniture for example, such as a round dining table with chairs. There are other balance types, such as repeating an colour accent within the space or contrasting colour blocks to create an interesting finish, but they all can make or break a home if not done well.

I know I’m going to be practicing all that I’ve learnt so far. Will you?

Read More

Module 4: Texture, Pattern & Scale

Module 5: Furniture & Flooring

Read Previous

Module 1: Interior Design Background & Origin

Module 2: Great Designers

Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.


  • April 24, 2017


    Great post this! The advice about making a smaller room look large is very true when you are stuck in a pokey flat!

  • April 24, 2017


    This is such an interesting read. I love to think of interior design in terms of personality and balance so thank you for the tips!

  • April 24, 2017

    five little doves

    I loved this, I am so interested in interior design but so useless at doing it myself! Great to learn a little more about the logic behind it.

  • April 25, 2017


    I just adore that first chair, I could imagine snuggling up in that with a glass of wine in the evening. I am looking forward to removing kids toys and being able to arrange from furniture how I want it again

  • April 25, 2017

    Zena's Suitcase

    There’s lots of great tips there for making small rooms look bigger. We really need to explore what we can do with the height in some of rooms where space isn’t so generous

  • April 25, 2017

    Keely's Nails

    That sounds like a really interesting course. From the look of my house, I think I fall in the analytical category – lots of grey, but with pops of bright red.

  • April 25, 2017


    Great to read your advice. Some things I never really consider. I’m getting frustrated with certain rooms in our house at the moment, and keep wondering what to do with them. I think a few design changes will make all the difference.

  • Interesting. We haven’t done any decorating since moving in almost 2 years ago. We are thinking of having a garage conversion soon so we’ll have a large space to designate and try to balance

  • April 25, 2017

    Ana De- Jesus

    Balance was never something that I took into consideration but it does make sense.I like the idea of enabling balance through the mirror concept x

  • April 25, 2017

    Newcastle Family Life

    I am really starting to get into interior design since we moved, so this was interesting. We are planning lots of renovations over the next few years so these are good tips x

  • April 25, 2017

    Fashion and Style Police

    Wow you are learning a lot. I took a interior course once online but it was nothing as good as this.

  • April 25, 2017


    Sounds like a interesting course, there is so much to learn with interior design. I love the look of this kitchen though!

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