Less is More: Utilizing Positive and Negative Space in Interior Design

Posted On February 28, 2023

Balancing out the positive and negative space in interior design can make or break the overall appearance of your home. Whether you want to utilize minimalistic or bold designs, you must always strive to create balance and harmony.

Read on to find out how you can maximize the look and functionality of your space.

What is Positive Space in Interior Design?

Mixing and matching objects with decor define the overall composition of your home. Positive space in interior design refers to the space in the room dedicated to your furniture, lighting, curtains, rugs, and cushions.

Neutral-colored Barbara Barry Tufenkian Shearling Rug

What is Negative Space in Interior Design?

Leaving room for negative space can help ensure that your interior won’t look cluttered. Negative space in interior design refers to your “breathing space” or the empty spaces surrounding the objects in your room. Not filling your space with too much clutter is important to ensure each unique piece stands out. Here’s how you can spruce up your interior :

Combine Modern and Rustic Elements

Using modern yet rustic farmhouse decor for positive space in interior design can create a cozier, more homey atmosphere. One of the ideal spots to utilize these contrasting designs is in the kitchen. Shelves, cabinets, and other functional but decorative items, like wooden storage boxes, can help minimize clutter. 

You can also incorporate bar stools or dining chairs to balance the positive and negative spaces. Furthermore, displaying ceramics and glass pieces can add character to your country-style kitchen and dining area.

Choose A Statement Piece

When designing your interior, it doesn’t have to be filled with an influx of objects. You can make your living room or bedroom stand out with just a few well-curated pieces, such as a striking light fixture or a sleek coffee table as your focal point.

Colorful and stylish rugs can also elevate your room and add more depth. You can choose bold colors or heavier patterns as long as your walls and furniture pieces are minimalistic to avoid overwhelming your positive space.

Add a Pop of Contrasting Hues to Your Interior

Instead of adding statement pieces, you can paint your room in neutral colors such as cool gray, off-white, creamy beige, or a calming yellow undertone. Light color schemes are effective in balancing out your positive and negative spaces.

Understanding the synergy of colors and spaces can help maximize your rooms in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Neutral walls also allow you to showcase elegant furniture pieces, which tend to get overlooked when paired with vibrant undertones.

Incorporate Natural Elements

Bring warmth and coziness to your space by using natural elements. Think of stone tiles, and wooden stairs and doors. Installing hardwood floors can also help simplify the look and feel of your living room.

Layering is a great way to make your space warm and inviting. You can achieve this by choosing patterned rugs. And if you want to bring the outdoors in, you can display succulents and indoor plants for a more natural vibe.

Create A Contemporary Living Space

Contemporary interiors feature exquisite design and craftsmanship, from curved edges to shining surfaces. You can select furniture pieces made of stainless steel or wood for a modern feel. 

Open-plan kitchens and living rooms should be roomy and less cluttered to avoid distracting from the louder aesthetics of your interior. If you want to design a minimalist home, you can add textural art deco and area rugs to accentuate your interior’s calming atmosphere.

Let in Ample Natural Light

You can’t truly maximize your positive and negative spaces without natural light. One way to bring sunshine into your home is by hanging mirrors. They are functional decor for negative space in interior design and can make your space look larger than it is.

However, be mindful of clutter before installing mirrors. Think about what will be reflected in the background to avoid showcasing messy desks or shelves. Oversized mirrors can have a stunning effect on your interior when utilized carefully.

Allow Your Home to Breathe

The key to utilizing your negative space in interior design is allowing select areas of your home to breathe. A classic example of this would be leaving the upper parts of your storage areas bare. Filling every nook or using these areas for storage can result in overfilled spaces.

Instead, you can keep them open and even incorporate an elegant light fixture to draw attention to your dining table or other focal furniture.

Don’t Go Overboard With Your Furniture 

Balancing out your positive and negative spaces doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rearrange your furniture or buy more of it. Instead of looking to fill your display cabinets, you can leave some breathing space to draw attention to your other favorite statement pieces.

You can also lean away from dressing up your sofas with throw pillows and blankets. The absence of pillows creates negative space and allows sofas in neutral shades to blend with the walls for an overall more spacious feel.

Invest in Multi-Functional Design Elements

Double-duty pieces such as storage benches can add aesthetic value to your home. Through multi-functional decor, you can save space while keeping everything simple. Multi-purpose furniture is the best option for those who aren’t lucky enough to have a huge space to work with.

If you’re unsure whether a piece of furniture fits with the rest, leave it out. Remember, less is more and always think of the added value that comes with a piece.

Leave Your Pathways Clear

The idea behind a well-balanced interior is being able to fully navigate the room without clutter. Once you’ve decluttered your home, you’ll realize there are so many things lying around that you don’t need.

One way to organize your stuff is by storing the items you use most often at eye level. Make sure everything is accessible and not too crowded. No matter how small your entryway is, the best way to make it look functional is by decluttering it regularly.

Elevate the Overall Look of Your Space

Creating a balance between positive and negative spaces is not always about striving for a minimalistic home but rather liberating areas to highlight your personal taste. Visit the Cyrus Rugs blog for more ideas and design inspirations.