Alhambra, Granada

Here’s something to play with this weekend, when you’ve a moment: introduce more symmetry into your home, reunite pairs of objects, and see if you like the result…

More than 1000 years after its construction the Alhambra in Granada still captivates – and one of its biggest hooks is its perfect symmetry.  It has this in multiple planes because of the reflection.   I know that it’s terribly trendy to be asymmetrical, but let’s face it, symmetry trumps it every time.

We’re born to love it: to love it in our faces and those of our animals, in flowers, snowflakes, pine-cones, reflections in lakes.  Almost all beauty has some kind of symmetry.  And this is the easiest fix-it in your home.

Organic symmetry

Symmetry automatically draws the eye.  So if you’re wanting to create a focal point in the room, make it symmetrical.  It doesn’t have to be as exact as in the photo above, but it does need to be balanced.  So a large object (or doorway) on one side, needs something of similar scale on the other.

Symmetrical bed hangings

Here a bed is made sumptuous with a double hanging behind: the symmetry of this double hanging is far more powerful than a single one with this design.  It draws the eye in and is soothing for our brains as it is familiar and recognisable: definitely a feeling you want when you’re going to sleep.

Bedrooms are relatively easy to fix as most of them are already arranged this way with pairs of bedside tables and lamps.

If you have pairs of item in your home that are separated, reunite them!  Pairs of lamps, vases, cushions – make sure they are paired up and not in separate rooms.  The pair of urns below highlight the balance of the classical sofa.  All of the furnishings reference Rome in such a playful way, and Rome was built on symmetry.

doesnt cost the earth symmetry

Anchor your sofa either with urns, or with matching lamps.  If your fireplace is your focal point, enhance it with a balanced and equal arrangement of furniture and art.

If you have pairs of armchairs, leave them as pairs.  Either identical…

Pair of armchairs

You can see the story of the transformation of these two chairs here:

Alternatively, you can cover a pair in different fabrics (as below),  or even make a mis-matching pair look similar by using the same fabric.  Either way, it’ll give you a nice equilibrium to the room.

Pair of chairs

Side tables and displays can also look immediately pulled together with a pair of candlesticks, (or almost anything really) – the pair creating a lovely frame.

Symmetrical display

To see how to make these candlesticks click here:


Of course as with everything, there are always exceptions.  And some stunning rooms have been created using asymmetry to create movement and drama.  It’s just that doing that is WAY harder.