One of the first tasks that I undertake when starting a new project is to work out what style my client prefers in their home and how they like to live. This then informs all of our decisions like where we will shop and what items we will bring into a space to how a space may look and feel. It also tells me a lot about how my client likes to live and therefore informs the type of furniture placement we are going for. I find that people fall into two categories, either a more formal symmetrical style or a casual asymmetrical style.
If you are the type of person who is super organised, you like order and structure in your life and if you also have a strong focal point in your room then the symmetrical layout is the one for you. Generally you should purchase in pairs, such as 2 occasional chairs sitting either side of a fireplace, 2 pieces of artwork on either side of a window, or 2 table lights at either end of a hallway console. Even in the smallest of spaces you can achieve symmetry with the right placement of furniture, lighting, artwork and decorative items.
If you are the type of person that enjoys a little chaos in their lives and is quite spontaneous the asymmetrical arrangements may work best for you. Asymmetrical meaning having parts that fail to correspond to each other this could be in shape, size or colour. The interesting things about asymmetrical design is that playing with scale, size or colour can be very interesting and create that quirk in the design to add an extra level of interest. Such as adding in an over scaled light to a design, or hanging your different sized artwork off centre.
Of course there are exceptions to these general rules, and your room may not allow for a completely symmetrical design if you are pushed for space. I have to admit I like a little of both in my own home, what does that say about me? Organised chaos perhaps! However following this simple formula where possible will lead to a more comfortable resolved room that you will feel at home in.