7 Elements of Interior Design
Jun 03, 2019
7 Elements of Interior Design
Seven often seems like a magic number, and there's no exception in interior design. If you've been stuck in a home decor rut, look to the seven elements and principles of interior design for creative inspiration. You might be surprised at how much you can learn by returning to the basics. Just read on to find out for yourself!
What Are the 7 Basic Elements of Interior Design?
As the old saying goes, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” The same thing is true for interior design — which is really just an illusion created by balancing different elements effectively.
Think of it like this: learning about the ingredients that go into your favorite recipes will help you master cooking. In the same way, learning about the design elements that go into your favorite styles will help you master decorating.
So what are the 7 elements of interior design? These include:
Color is more than just an aesthetic choice — it can influence a space’s mood and overall ambience. For example, most people think of red as a “passionate” or “intense” hue. At the same time, blues and greens are usually perceived as “tranquil” or “soothing,” and yellow is often associated with words like “happy” and “optimistic.” Consider not only your visual preferences but also the energy or attitude you're trying to cultivate when deciding on a color scheme for your room.
Color can make a room feel like a larger or smaller space than it actually is. For example, a brighter color, like white, can make a room feel wider, while darker colors, like black, make a room feel smaller. These are a few important factors to consider: are you looking for bright, eye-catching colors to create a vibrant space? Or are you hoping to stay monochromatic with something more neutral? Think of color as your building blocks or foundation for designing the rest of your entire space. By picking out your color scheme ahead of time, you accomplish a specific task that will be an essential element throughout the room design process.
Form is another term for shape, expressing the contours of artwork, furniture, or any other decorative object you could imagine. It refers to both the overall shape of the room and the décor. Form is all about balance and natural shapes. Furniture, lighting, and even flooring can take on two forms: natural shapes and geometric forms. Natural shapes are genuine and irregular, with curvy or abstract shapes. Geometric forms feature sharp, man-made lines and edges. While geometric shapes tend to be bold, natural shapes offer a softer look.
Have you ever cringed at a photograph taken in bad lighting? Then you already know the power that lighting has to affect our perception!
Quality lighting is integral to any space, whether its sources are natural light or artificial lighting, or some combination of both. Mood lighting sets the tone in your space. Creating a balance of natural light and artificial light will ensure your space looks great all day. When choosing the lighting for your room, think about factors like the color of the light (cool blue or warm yellow?), the lighting’s intensity (bright for cooking or soft for reading?), and whether the light should be dimmable.
Think of line as the perimeter around a form or shape. For example, if you were to draw any object in the room, you would probably start with its outline.
Lines help create a direction in your space’s interior design and can help draw the eye to a focal point. Lines also bring structure. Different lines can influence your space. Vertical lines go up and down, while horizontal lines are side-to-side. Horizontal lines offer a sense of stability and are often found on furnishings like tables and chairs. Vertical lines are typically from doors, fireplaces, and windows. Interior designers say horizontal lines create a feeling of security, while vertical lines are expressive and bold.
There are also dynamic lines. Dynamic lines, which follow their own rules, can add a fun, exciting touch to any space when strategically used. Diagonals and zigzags are just two examples of dynamic lines that add an eye-catching element to your space!
A pattern intentionally repeats forms, lines, or other interior design elements. Patterns add interest and excitement to a room. Patterns usually pop up on wallpaper or fabrics but can appear anywhere in the home, even in light or other design elements. Patterns add a visual texture and come in abstract, floral, or geometric shapes as well as any other style you can think of. While patterns add life and motion to a space, too many clashing patterns can start to look chaotic, so tread lightly when choosing your favorite prints.
Not to be confused with pattern, texture is how an object feels. This can mean how the object literally feels to the touch (physical texture) or the sense it gives when observing the object (visual texture). For example, you might say that a surface looks “weathered” or “vintage” without actually touching it, thanks to the creative use of texture.
Careful consideration of texture is especially important in parts of the home that you're frequently in contact with, like your flooring. Our experts at Flooring America can help you find floors with the perfect, comfortable texture to start every day on the right foot.
Last but not least, space is at the heart of virtually every design decision. There are two basic types of space to consider: 2-D space (which accounts for the length and width of a room) and 3-D space (which covers height). For example, only 2-D space is essential when considering carpets or rugs — but you’ll need to consider 3-D space before adding new shelving or furniture. Having a balance of positive and negative space is also very important. Positive space refers to areas in your room filled with furnishings and décor, while negative space is empty.
Get More Interior Decorating and Style Ideas From My Design Finder
Let color, form, space, texture, pattern, line, and light be your guide through the world of interior design. But if you need a few more pointers, head to My Design Finder, where you'll be matched with personalized design ideas. To learn more about how gorgeous custom flooring can express your style — and maybe even help you save money on your energy bill — contact us online, or call Flooring America at (866) 439-6743 today.
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