There have a lot of people confuse Interior Design with Interior Decoration. The former refers to design a living space start with sketch, the latter refers to decorate an existing living space with add furniture and upholstery. Interior Design is indeed a science that bound by its own elements and principles, it is not as simple as one imagines it to be! Generally interior designers are going through by the rule that states that ‘There are 7 elements and 7 principles of Interior Design’.
Now we are going to cover all the 7 elements of Interior Design in this article. Let’s begin!
Space is one of the most important elements of interior design. Space acts as a foundation on which the entire design plan is built. Therefore, designers must fully understand the available space, size and usability. There are two types of space dimensional space covering the floor (including length and width) and three-dimensional space (including length, width and height) that form the living space. The space that basically filled with furniture/decorative items is a positive space, and the empty space is a negative space. A balance positive and negative spaces, and over-crowding or imperfections in furniture/decorative items will affect this balance.
Lines give births to forms and shapes are responsible for establishing a sense of harmony, contrast and unity (three of the seven principles) in a living space. It defines the shape and act as a visual guide to the interior space. The lines are roughly divided into three types - horizontal, vertical and dynamic. Although horizontal line decorative structures like tables, chairs and beds, vertical lines can be found on windows, doorways and almirahs. Horizontal lines add a sense of security to the space, and vertical lines show a free and natural style. Dynamic or angular lines, the motion orientation is dramatic, and can be seen on structures such as stairs. Interior designers must know how to use these lines to define shapes, which is another important interior design element.
Forms usually represent as shapes, an outline of any three-dimensional object in the space. Forms can be created by combining two or more shapes, and the form can be emphasized with the help of other elements such as textures, patterns, and colors. A well-defined form establishes harmony and additional forms add balance to the space. There are two types of forms – Geometric (man-made) and Natural (organic). The form is also divided into open and closed; the open form is a form that can be viewed, and the closed form is a form enclosed by a closed surface. A solid understanding of the above-mentioned elements i.e. space and line is required to achieve a goof form.
Light is one of the most obvious elements of interior design. Whether natural or man-made, without light other elements namely color, texture and pattern have no any significance at all. Light sets in the mood and ambience into a living space and highlights every other element including space, line and forms. While smart placement of the doors and windows should take care of the natural light, man-made or artificial lighting is broadly divided into three major types namely – Task Lighting, Accent Lighting and Mood Lighting. Task light as the name implies, includes light sources like table and bed lamps which have a defined purpose, dedicated for a specific task. Accent lights are meant for highlighting a particular piece or show item like artworks, structures, sculptures and so on. Mood or ambient lighting basically set the mood of the living space and illuminate the overall space.
Color does not require any special introduction. Colors establish an aesthetic connection between objects and set the mood. Color must be chosen according to the psychology and mentality of the residents. For example, red color is the best choice for a restaurant and dining room as it encourages appetite and green color for bedroom as it is the color of tranquillity and health. Each color has three different characteristics, namely Hue, Value and Intensity, which interior designers must fully understand to perform various permutations and combinations. Color are roughly divided into Primary and Secondary colors, and also sub-categorized into Tertiary, Complementary, Analogous and Monochromatic colors.
Texture mainly deals with surface 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.