There are 7 basic elements to Interior Design. Understanding and appreciating interior design elements is key to developing interior design principles necessary to make your space interesting and can create a comfortable, pleasing atmosphere at home. For creative inspiration look to the seven elements… Color, Line, Form, Light, Pattern, Texture, and Space. Learning about the design elements that go into your favorite styles will help you master decorating.
The choice of color in interior design is perhaps the most personal element. Everyone has a favorite color, and they have particular associations to certain colors. Colors can affect the feel of a room. Reds, yellows, and oranges give a warm aura, while blues, greens, and purples give a cool effect. Beiges, blacks, browns, whites and grays have a neutral effect. Do not think only about your visual preferences but also, the sort of energy or attitude you are trying to cultivate when deciding your color scheme.
There are three types of lines used in interior design… vertical, horizontal, and dynamic. Lines are the basis of all objects and forms; lines define them. Examples of objects and forms used in interiors are furniture, decor elements (pillows, vases, plants), lamps and so on. However, lines are more evident in the structural elements of a space — columns (vertical), beams (horizontal), stairs (dynamic), windows, and doors, etc. Knowing how to use lines in designing a space can be one of the greatest tools of a designer. Clever use of vertical lines can give a sense of height by directing the eyes upward. If a space has an amazing ceiling, for example, vertical lines can be used on the walls to direct the focus upward as we don’t normally notice details on the ceiling. As with horizontal lines, they could work well in a space with a high ceiling if the feel of spaciousness isn’t desired. Also, in a hallway that is short, horizontal lines could be used on the walls to make it look longer. Dynamic lines — curved and zig-zag — are ideal in spaces that require action, such as in offices or in gyms.
Forms mean shapes in general, an outline of any three dimensional object in the space. Forms can be created by combining two or more shapes and can be accentuated with the help of other elements like texture, patterns and colors. A well-defined form establishes harmony and additional forms add balance to the space. There are two types of forms – Geometric which feature sharp man made edges, like squares or triangles. and organic which are natural and irregular, with curvy or abstract shapes.
Lighting is an important piece of the interior design puzzle. Lighting design plays a very big role in how you experience a space. A successfully-designed room needs a mix of three basic types of lighting — ambient, task, and accent. When choosing lighting think abut factors like the color of the light (cool blue or warm yellow) or light intensity, (great for cooking or soft for reading) and also if you want a dimming switch.
Patterns add interest and life to interior design and work along with colors. Patterns tell a story of their own and add the elements of continuity and smooth transition in a living space. Patterns could be of any shape and mostly comprise of attractive and repetitive designs. While pattern can add life and motion to a room too many clashing patterns can start to look chaotic. Patterns usually pop up on wallpaper or fabrics.
Do not confuse texture with pattern, texture is the way an object feels. There are 2 types of texture: visual and actual. Visual texture, as with color, works hand-in-hand with light. What we see gives us an idea of what it would feel like to touch something. Actual texture is what it actually feels to touch the surface of an object. A brick wall feels rough, at some points sharp, cold and sandy. A wallpaper with a brick-wall texture looks rough, sharp, cold and sandy. That’s the difference between visual and actual texture.
Space is a simple element to understand. Space speaks to the physical boundaries of a room. Typically you do not determine the dimensions of a room, you must find a way to use existing space to your advantage. Space gives you limits of how much you can place in a room. If your room is small, don’t overcrowd it with furniture and accessories. If your room is large, don’t skimp on furnishings. Always remember it is important to leave enough empty space to allow for fluid, easy navigation.
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