We have all been faced with the frustrations of interior design-- whether you decide you want to go in a new direction using existing furnishings, or whether you are starting with a blank slate in a new home.
The problem with Interior Design is a lot many people confuse it with Interior Decoration & Interior Design. Interior Design is indeed a science that is bound by its own elements and principles and yes, it is not as simple as one imagines it to be! Generally interior designers go by the rule book that states that ‘There are 7 elements and 7 principles of Interior Design’
Each of these elements should work together to achieve a visibly pleasing house, shop, restaurant or office, which fulfills the client’s needs and wants.So we are going to cover all the 7 Elements of Interior Design in this blog and followed by explaining all the 7 elements of interior design in detail.
Space is one of the most important elements of interior design. Space is a physical boundaries of a room, apartment on which the entire interior design plan is built. Hence it is essential that the designer is well aware of the space available, its dimensions and its utilities. Space is divided into two types namely – Two Dimensional Space & Three dimensional space. Two dimensional includes length & width of floor and Three dimensional include length, width & height of a room. A space that is essentially filled with furniture & decor items is a Positive Space and an empty space is a Negative Space. We have to maintained an balance between the positive and negative spaces. Overcrowding and making it too busy with furniture & decor items is going to affect this balance of room interior.
Lines provide the basis for forms and shapes and are responsible for establishing a sense of harmony, contrast and unity (3 of the 7 principles) in a space. They define shapes and act as visual guides of an interior space. Lines are broadly categorized into three types – Horizontal, Vertical and Dynamic. Horizontal lines add stability to a room (think tables, chairs). Vertical lines give a feeling of freedom and nature (think windows, doors). Dynamic lines add interesting movement and energy to a space (think stairs) and can be tied in with patterns and color to bring a room design together, or to focus your eye on a particular point. An interior designer must know how to utilize these lines to define the forms used in the living space.
Form is the shape of the space and the things that you put into it, and is the shape of the lines put into the space. Take some time to think about the proportions of the room in comparison to the scale of what you are adding to make sure things don’t overwhelm the space, nor get lost.Using similar forms in a room can bring harmony, but using too many different forms or shapes can result in an unbalanced effect. Use forms carefully in each room to give the desired effect: rectangles are hard shapes, but create a flow through the room. Circles soften a room, and triangles give stability to the feel of a room. This image shows a hard table softened by the use of curved chairs, balancing the room.Forms can be categorized into natural and man made, and open or closed forms (whether you can see into the shape). Having a good understanding of space and lines will inherently bring positive form to the room.
Light can change a room dramatically by changing the impact of texture, lines and color, so give some thought to the impact that different lighting types and styles will have. Remember that other elements ( Space, Line & Form) of the room will look different dependent on the lighting so include lights in your planning to get your desired room.
There are 4 types of lighting – the most obvious is natural light which can be controlled by cleverly placing doors and windows around the space.Artificial lighting makes up the other 3 types: task lighting (think desk lamps and bedside lighting which makes a specific task easier), mood lighting (a.k.a. ambient lighting – this is general lighting for the space) and accent lighting (think spotlights that will highlight particular features, like artwork).
Color is an obvious category to add, but has some hidden concepts that you probably do without thinking. It is also more on the side of interior decoration and fit into your comfort zone more easily. Color changes the feel of a room dramatically, from a calm pale palette to an exciting and energizing bright red. Remember that using darker colors will make a room look smaller, but using feature colors (in objects or ‘feature walls’) can be a great way to get a strong color into a smaller space.Use color to provide connections between objects and furniture within the room, bringing the room together. It is always worth noting the emotive value of color too: blue is a productive color, green and lavender colors bring tranquility and calm, red is energetic (which is linked with appetite in a dining room!) and brown can be used for a secure and safe space.
6. Texture & Pattern
Texture mainly deals with surfaces and determines how a typical surface looks and feels. Texture adds depth and interest into a living space and defines the feel/appearance and consistency of a surface. Texture is broadly classified into two types – Visual Texture where the texture is only visible and Actual Texture where the texture is both seen and felt. Anything that has to do with textiles such as pillow cover, bed spreads or anything to do with covers like drapes, wall paint or wallpapers have a texture. While there must be a dominant texture to define a mood, a contrasting texture must also be included to avoid monotony.
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. Paisley, a design pattern which takes the shape of a droplet-shaped vegetable is one of the most commonly used patterns on wall paints, pillow covers and other decorative surfaces.
7. Furniture & Objects
Furniture is a functional element of design, as well as an important one to use to bring together a room and the feeling of a house. Furniture forces particular paths to be taken throughout the space and are a great way to express creativity or personality.
Placing furniture around a focal point can be a good way to highlight a feature, such as a fireplace, and shuffling furniture at intervals can be a quick and easy way to change the feel of a room.
Objects are the most personal element of the overall design, and tell a story. The objects used in a room, whilst personal, should still be linked with the design, and flow with the room.