Studio Brunstrum

Asymmetry: It’s All About Balance

January 13, 2014

Want to make a room more visually exciting? Keep it a little off-balance.

Want to make a room more visually exciting? Keep it a little off-balance. Too much symmetry is boring: a pair of identical chairs flanking a sofa with identical end tables and lamps. You know what I mean. Blah!  But too much asymmetry is chaotic, it makes my head spin. If every chair in a room is different your eye won’t know where to stop. So ironically, even in asymmetry it’s all about balance!Photo Courtesy of

If your furnishings are very symmetrical, tip the scale with asymmetrical accessories and vice versa.

Lately I’ve been playing with that balance a lot on fireplace mantles.  I might hang two symmetrical pieces of art and then lean two smaller pieces in different sizes and shapes against them, but offset. Other than the two main pieces nothing is symmetrical. I love that textured, layered look, and it certainly attracts attention.

You can do the same thing with bookshelves, especially if they flank your fireplace. It’s much more refreshing if the accessories on both sides are different and mixed up – books on the bottom right on one side, on the middle left on the other side. Large vessel on one side, sculpture on the other.

Remember - every room should have that little spark of the unexpected. Do something out of the ordinary and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Photos Courtesy of Studio Brunstrum unless otherwise indicated.

Susan Brunstrum
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