Continuity in Design


Interior design is not all about proportion and scale, texture and color. It’s also about creating a feeling or mood. It can be about telling a story — your story. Creating a theme for your home can be fun and personally fulfilling. A theme enhances the easy movement from one room to the next. Select one or two elements in design to express your theme and use them as a continuous thread throughout. Here are some examples. 

Wood Finish: Selecting a particular wood finish and continuing it in each room can be an effective way to tie a house together. A very dark mahogany finish in wood furniture pieces throughout can make a statement and carry the eye from room to room.

Baseboards and Casings: An entire house can be unified with the continuation of a strong baseboard and large casing around the windows and doors. Select one paint color for them throughout each room.  

Art: I have a client that collects all forms of glass art (plates, vases, sculptures, etc.). We’ve used them throughout the house, and other design decisions were specifically made to enhance the collection.

Geographic Themes: Whether you are attracted to Asian, African, Italian or any other geographic style, you can use it as a main theme. In some rooms, it can be applied more predominately than in others; but repetition throughout the home is key for theming.  

Area Rugs: If you have hard-surface floors and an eclectic mix of furniture pieces, selecting a certain style of area rug to use in the different spaces will maintain a sense of continuity. Visualize dark wood floors with sisal rugs defining different areas.

Open Space: Keeping a large amount of blank space around furniture pieces and living areas is a minimalist style that can be used as a unifying force. 

Location Themes: Do you like the ocean? Perhaps a beach, aquatic or nautical theme for your rooms would be perfect for you. Maybe you prefer the country and you’d rather have a rustic style running throughout the spaces of your home. If you like the city, then go for a sleek, cosmopolitan look. 

Color Schemes: There are a few ways that you can create continuity with color. Here are three of them: (1) Repeat one or two colors in every room. Different colors can be added in each of the rooms for variety, but keep the continuity going by repeating a couple of core colors. (2) Repeat large uses of whites, creams and beiges to create a sense of simplicity and pureness. (3) Black is such a strong color that it can be a striking scheme even when used in small ways from room to room.


Joan Peters, Allied ASID
Joan Peters Design

Categories: Home Design