6 Golden Principles of Design


Repetition: By using a repetition of color and form, you create movement and flow through the space.

Variety: Choosing a variety of textures and shades of color will create an element of fascination and intrigue, so that the eye will want to keep looking around.

Balance: A balance of different elements will create harmony within the space. For example, if you use bold, clashing colors, set them against a calming background of green to harmonize the combination.

Emphasis: The key to emphasis is to keep to a fairly strict use of elements and play them off against each other. This simply means using one element to emphasize another, for example, calm colors such as matt green leaves will highlight interesting stems or bark. Although clashing colors clearly emphasize one another, more subtle hues of the same color will emphasize brighter ones in a less garish way.

Sequence: How do you physically move through the space? Where does this path lead? What’s around that corner? It is about using certain elements to move you toward a focal point.

Scale: You need to consider the context of your space and match the scale of object to that. Putting a tiny alpine plant next to a huge bamboo will make everything look out of scale.

Find the book at Johnson’s

Fowler, Alys. (2008). Garden Anywhere. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.

Photo by Simon Wheeler

6 Golden Principles of Design