I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the interior design tips available online, in books and TV etc and I thought why aren’t we talking about the seven interior design elements and five interior design principles. These are the fundamental basics of interior design. So, here are the seven interior design elements (and here is the post on the interior design principles) and why they’re important to consider for your space.
Space – interior design element number 1
Space is the area within a room and defines the boundaries you have to work with. Wall, floors and ceilings. And within the space you also have positive space, negative space, foreground, middle ground and background.
I think most people understand the concepts of there being a foreground, middle ground and background in a space but what is positive space and negative space.
Simply positive space is space taken up by the furniture in the room. For example, in a dining room this would be the dining table and dining chairs. Positive space is where the focus of the room is, the furniture that defines the functions.
Therefore negative space is the space around the furniture that allows access and determines flow of movement.
Line – interior design element 2
Line creates a sense of direction. Lines can lead the eye, outline an object, divide a space and communicate a feeling or emotion.
Dominate line in most situations is straight, vertical horizontal and diagonal rather than curved.
Vertical lines suggest feelings of strength, dignity and height, draws the eye upward, create a more formal atmosphere.
Horizontal lines support feelings of rest, informal, they draw the eye across the room, works well in casual rooms.
Diagonal lines demonstrate feelings of movement and direction. But too many diagonal lines may create a feeling of unrest.
Curved lines aid to softening, graceful effect suggestion of movement and rhythm.
Shape – interior design element 3
Shapes are made by connecting lines to enclose a space. For example, two diagonal lines and one horizontal line can form the triangle shape.
Shapes are placed within structures and can be two or three dimensional.
Regardless of the design style, shapes are selected because they are visually pleasing and suited to the interior. For example, the cabriole legs s-shaped leg everyone connects to French style.
Included in this element is ‘form’ which is a three-dimensional object (structure), defined by light and dark, geometric and organic forms.
Colour – interior design element 4
Without light, there is no colour. Colour can alter the perceived shape, size and location of an object.
Colour is extremely complex and can change the character and the feeling of a space. It can visually bring things forward or make them recede. Colour can also impact our moods.
Texture – interior design element 5
Texture refers to the characteristic of anything we feel or touch. It is visual as well as sensory, we feel through seeing. There are also acoustic textures for example the sound of water, muffled sound of drapery etc.
Light – interior design element 6
In a space there is natural and artificial light. Natural light considers how much natural light is in a space. Orientation, direction, quantity.
Characteristics of natural light vary as the angle of the sun changes throughout the day. Intensity of the sun changes from summer to winter.
The availability of natural light is the starting points of design decisions.
The use of artificial light, such as floor and table lamps, is unconstrained. It can highlight space, create illusion of colour, texture, movement and pattern. Artificial light can also be decorative.
Pattern – interior design element 7
Pattern is used to create interest by interacting and combining with other elements.
It can be used for visual impact or create a certain design style or theme. Pattern is not only found in textiles but cemented walls, buttons on sofa, foliage etc.
When you work with an interior designer these seven elements form the design, not just how to style a coffee table. Working with décor is a finishing touch to a space brought together by these seven interior design elements.