When designing a room, you must keep in mind many different things so that you can create a visually appealing interior space. One of the first things that you learn in design school is that there are seven elements of design. Whether you are creating a single piece of art work or an entire room, a good designer will keep these seven elements of design in mind.
The 7 Elements of Design:
When creating a room the word Line refers to the lines in the room, meaning the lines in your sofa, tables, structure of the room, etc. Depending on the particular style that you prefer, the lines in your room will differ. For a contemporary styled room, you will find that most the lines are linear, while a traditional room will tend to have more curved lines associated with the design.
One of the reasons that many traditional rooms have more curves than contemporary rooms is because the design concepts pull from the old Greek thought process of design. When the Greeks first started to design interiors and architecture, they developed three different types of columns to embellish their interiors and exteriors: Doric Columns, Ionic Columns, and Corinthian Columns. Doric is the straighter of the three. Ionic consists of a curved scroll look and Corinthian bases its structure from the organic structure of leaves. The lines used in these columns were used to create and define the styles in interiors.
Shape is a word that is used in design to train the eye to concentrate on negative and positive space. For those that don’t know what negative space and positive space is, let me explain… Positive Space refers to the object taking up the space, an example of this would be a chair or a sofa and the floor space it encompasses. The Negative Space would refer to the floor space that is left over in the room. This should not be a great concern to the average person unless you are creating a furniture plan for your interior space. When space planning, you must think about the flow of traffic and the shapes that are created by the different combinations of furniture.
Direction refers to the lines that are used in a room. Sometimes this will be as simple as picking the direction of fabric when it is a stripe. Some helpful tips about choosing the direction of something that has a stripe in it is that horizontal [stripes] suggest calmness, stability and tranquility. Vertical [stripes] gives a feeling of balance, formality, and alertness. If you are looking to create a “pow” statement in the room, mix things up with a piece that is constructed with an oblique angle. The piece will create movement and action because of its unique lines.
Suggest calmness, stability, and tranquility.
Gives a feeling of Balance, Formality, and Alertness.
Suggest movement and action
The term Size refers to the scale of the room. When choosing the objects that you are going to place in the room, you need to consider the scale of the objects. Scale and porportion are very important because you can easily draw attention to something that was not meant to be enhanced by not paying attention to scale. Many people don’t consider the size of their sofa compared to the chair that they put next to it. Sometimes if you put too large of a sofa next to a small chair, it will make the sofa look much bigger than it is and the chair much smaller.
Two chairs are too large for the bed.
In design the term Texture can refer to many different things in the room. Depending on the particular style that you are going for…Minimalistic style vs. Old World Style, you may notice that texture will be represented in many different areas. In a room that is going for the minimalistic style, you may notice that it will have very little pattern, but uses texture on the walls, in pillows, woods, etc. This will give an overall calm, tranquil look…but still contempoary! In an Old World Room, you will notice the complete opposite. These rooms usually consist of multiple patterns, and using textures in the fabrics instead of materials around the room. An example of a texture that would be commonly used is a tweed fabric.
Textured Walls and Surfaces; Small amount of Pattern Incorporated
Old World Look; Many Patterns Together
Colour is another word for hue when talking about design. Even if the design in your room is all monochromatic, you still have some form of shade or tone in the colour itself that must be matched. Whites and Beiges are one of the most difficult colors to match in design because there are many different hues of beiges and white. To further explain myself, Beige tones tend to go in the direction of having a hue of green, red, or yellow incorporated with it. When working with these tones, you must stay consistent with similar hues because if you don’t you run the risk of making one beige look “dirtier” than another. Most people don’t understand why one beige tone looks cleaner than the other, but this is the reason. This will happen with almost any color, but with other colors it may not be perceived so much as “dirty” but as just plain “wrong”.
Chair in lighter Beige; Mantle to Fireplace Yellow Beige
Value in reference to interior design can talk about lightness and darkness of tone with in multiple areas of a room. Value can be spoken about in regards to fabrics or in regards to the amount of light in the room. When speaking of value as it pertains to the light quality in the room, you have to consider “What type of lighting am I getting in this particular room?” There is yellow lighting, natural lighting, flourescent lighting…each of these lightings will affect the nature of the fabrics and materials used in the room differently. You must select a lighting choice that will best compliment your style. I have provided some examples to better explain.
By using these basic Elements of Design as a guide you will be able to create a very well-designed room on your own without the help of a designer! For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:
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Writen By: Erica Guajardo
Edited By: Linda Decuir