Interior design elements: 7 interior aspects

When an interior designer begins designing for a space, there are many rules that need he/she needs to consider. Well, for one, they do have their clients’ briefs to follow. But their real challenge, beyond the budget and time frame issue is, following interior design elements and principles.

Now, what exactly are these? Interior design elements and principles are rules that make designing a success. Well, any appealing design that you come across, will have at least some, if not all, of these. Also, following these rules also makes the task of designing easier. So, here are the seven elements of design that designers follow.

Interior design elements and their effect

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot include all the elements in an interior all the time. Certain elements are suitable for certain spaces. Hence an experienced and skilled designer carefully establishes them while designing individual corners and each item.

Also, these interior design elements do not exist in isolation all the time. In fact, many a times, they exist symbiotically.

#1: Line

A line, among interior design elements, technically, is a series of points that continues in a direction without breaking. Though it sounds very simple, lines play a very important role in defining the outlines in a given space. There are four basic types of lines :

  • Horizontal line : The line that stays parallel to absolute ground level, is a horizontal line. Such lines are useful in creating illusions of width. So they are of great importance in narrow spaces, but with considerable height.
  • Vertical line: The line that is perpendicular to the absolute ground level, making right angle to the horizontal line, is a vertical line. These lines are helpful in creating illusions of increased height. 
  • Diagonal line: The lines that stand at an angle other that right angle, are diagonal lines. These are also referred to as dynamic lines, since there create an illusion of excitement and movement in an interior.
  • Curved line: The line that does not bend at sharp angles and bends at differemt directions, is a curved line. A curved line creates illusions of spaciousness and it often gels with feminine themes. Nature has a lot many curved lines.

Lines provide a visual movement track for the the observer’s eyes, in a space.

#2: Space

In design, space, as an interior design element, refers to the base plane which becomes the canvas for the designer. There are two types of space:

  • Filled/ Positive space : This type of space has items, both decorative and functional, in an interior. 
  • Empty/ Negative space: This type of space is generally devoid of things. 

Space is a decisive factor to the basic design style and theme. Furniture layout depends on the space, since there are anthropometric measurements to follow.

#3: Shape

Shape refers to the appearance of an object. It can be two dimensional or three dimensional. When it becomes three dimensional, it is becomes Form.

Shape is of three types:

  • Geometric shapes: These shapes are definite in appearance and adhere to general geometric shapes such as rectangle, square, trapezium etc. 
  • Organic shapes : These shapes are frequent in nature and biomimicry encourages these shapes.
  • Non- objective shapes : These shapes do not adhere to either of the above category and are generally man-made.

Shapes give rise to forms. So, a pyramid rises from a triangle, a cube rises from a square, a cuboid from a rectangle, a shpere from a circle and so on. It is one of the most fascinating interior design elements.

#4: Light

In interior design, light plays a vital role in enhancing or diluting appearances and effects of objects. Also, lights can be functional as well as decorative. There are three types og lights:

  • Ambient light: This type of light creates the general mood or ambience in a space.  It is the general lighting in an interiors.
  • Task light: This type of light assists the user in carrying out tasks. Also, these lights come in a variety of light fixtures. They come as ceiling mounted, hanging and rise and fall fittings.
  • Accent light:  These lights decorate or highlight an object.

Also, you may broadly differentiate light on the basic of light source, as Natural light and artificial light.

At times, one or more of these lights combine to create amazing effects. At other times, a single light works as ambient and accent both.

#5: Colour

The colour of an object in an interior often adds a different design dimension altogether. When color combines with lighting, you can expect numerous visual effects. There are many aspects, like hue, value, intensity, colour, tones and shades.

When you design a space, the choice of color,  among other interior design elements, does depend on the type of function in that space. For example, vibrant colors like yellow and orange are suitable for a kitchen. Cool colors like blue and purple are apt for bedrooms.

However, each time you apply a color to any space, consider your client’s preference as well.  However, make sure that you educate your client about how colors influence lighting and overall ambience of a space.

#6: Texture

For any surface, the texture influences its depth factor. Also, many a times, textures lead to shade effects when light falls on it. There are many interior design elements that work in a simple manner. But texture is an exception.

There are two types of texture in the field of design:

  • Tactile Texture: This is the feel of a surface which we perceive when we touch the surface.
  • Visual Texture: This texture is what we visually perceive in terms of color, light, pattern and shadow.

Since a combination of textures may stimulate many senses of the observer, texture is an interesting element to work with.

#7 : Pattern

With patterns, you can create amazing illusions and feel in an interior. It can be a simple scribble or a sophisticated design motif, but the ultimate look depends on how the patterns adorn a surface. 

Big patterns often give a royal effect, whereas small patterns often create visual textures. You can add pomp and grandeur to a space simply by adding some clever patterns. Also, you can add exciting details by the use of patterns.

These seven basic interior design elements define the soul and philosophy of an interior. At the end of the day, it depends on how you arrange prioritize and arrange these elements. 


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