Careful planning and effort go into any well-designed interior. Be it a home or commercial space, interior designers and decorators take everything into consideration. It is an art and a science, but to make things easier, we will discuss the basic seven elements that are fundamental to interior design.
Space is a tricky element to work with, as interior designers and decorators can only work with the space that they have inside each room. They cannot change the room’s actual size, but what they can change the way we see the room!
By working with paint and wall coverings as well as the placement of furniture and accessories, designers and decorators can create illusions of larger or smaller spaces. One simple rule is to work with the scale of furnishing so in a larger room, larger pieces would be called for that fit the scale. In a smaller space, the opposite would apply to so as to create the perception of more space by scaling down the pieces. Designers and decorators also work with ‘positive’ space and ‘negative’ space to create a balance between the two. Positive space is the space that is occupied by objects, and the negative space is the empty space around the objects.
Form is another term that designers use for ‘shape.’ Form can either be described as natural and organic or as geometric and architectural which is often a man-made design.
An organic would be an object created by nature. Think of the way leaves, trees, and rocks are shaped – these all have natural curves and bends. Geometric forms, on the other hand, consist of shapes and hard lines or edges such as squares, right triangles, and straight lines. Form also consists of open and closed objects. Objects that have an ‘open form’ can consist of an interior enclosed space that is visible, like a basket for instance or a glass vase. ‘Closed forms’ are objects that are enclosed, and cannot be looked into, like a wooden cabinet.
Interior designers and decorators have to create a balance with closed and open forms, along with organic and geometric shapes that give the space its Zen. An imbalance of these can result in a busy and unsettling design the rattles the senses.
Light affects the mood in any space. The variants are different types of lighting that designers use, depending on what the room needs.
Low amounts of light convey a cozy and ambient atmosphere, whereas an excessive amount of light (natural light through windows or glass doors) tends to brighten the atmosphere with a more cheery feel. Light is also used for practical or more functional purposes – like illuminating an office desk, or a dining hall.
‘Accent lighting’ is light that is used to emphasize objects (such as a painting on a wall). Most rooms need more natural lighting compared to accent or low lighting. The effects of natural light are important as it not only contains a range of health benefits, but it also impacts us psychologically. The consistent lack of natural light can result in a dark and gloomy feel, especially if it’s dark during the day.
Colors work in conjunction along with light, and it is are a key element to a well-designed interior.
Color also affects us at a psychological level. Another simple rule that designers follow is that warm colors are energizing, warming, and comforting, and cool colors are peaceful and tranquilizing. Dark colors create a more ‘moody’ atmosphere. Depending on what the space is used for, color can be themed for certain reasons. For example, many hospitals use lighter pastel colors to create a calm yet light atmosphere for patients. Gyms often incorporate red themes, as it tends to energize. Trade professionals also use warm colors in smaller spaces to create the illusion of more space, whereas larger rooms will fair better with cooler colors. You can see that there are many things color can do inside a room!
Patterns are often underutilized as a way to scale a space, but they too play an important role in the perception of size and scale in interior design. Patterns need to placed with careful consideration, or it can often cause the room to appear to be too busy and disruptive, therefore in workspaces especially, this element cannot be ignored. Patterns work in conjunction with color schemes. Professionals will often work with one to three patterns per room, and carefully consider the colors and space of the room.
Patterns can be considered as an ongoing transition of form, from one year to the next the ongoing ability for patterns to morph in accordance with current trends make patterns the chameleons of the industry. With the ever-increasing development and progression of printing technology, the design industry has seen patterns go from a one dimensional flat print to patterns that give the perception of two and three dimensions, jumping off a flat surface.
Line refers to both straight and curved lines on objects. Lines can also be implied – like boundaries or edges of surfaces. For example, a twisted staircase often adds a dynamic feel with its curved and horizontal form. Curved lines create a dynamic feel, whereas straight lines create a more static feel.
Trade professionals like to use lines to draw your eyes to a focal point in the room. Like the other elements, the interior designer and decorator needs to achieve a balance between vertical and horizontal, dynamic or still lines, depending on what they want to achieve in the room.
If designers get the feeling that something is missing in a room, it often comes down to missing textures. Texture is similar to pattern. It is also used to enhance a room or certain objects within a space. For example, a smooth surface that is reflective can enhance natural light. If you have a large room with too much light, then using rough textures can reduce the sense of too much light. There also needs to be a balance with the amount of texture that is used. as texture draws attention to itself.
There you have it, the seven main elements of design. As a high-end interior design showroom and store, Designer’s Mark takes into account far more than just these elements, to ensure that your home or commercial space will be designed tastefully to your style and preference! We bring hand-selected items and accessories into our interior design showroom from all over the globe so that you can have a little bit of everything. Stop in today and let us lead the way to transform your environment into a place of timeless elegance.