THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF INTERIOR DESIGN | TUTORIAL AND ADVICE

THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF INTERIOR DESIGN | TUTORIAL AND ADVICE


The main elements of interior design are
well-documented but some have been forgotten about in the rush to discover
new products, designers or business.
Today we’re going to look at the seven
elements of interior design that you’ll need to look at when you are designing
any room or property. So in no particular order, let’s get started. Negative or unfurnished space is as
important as the furnished. You don’t have to fill every available space of
course, but it is wise not to over populate a room with furniture and
accessories. In small spaces you can put large objects in to fool the eye into
thinking that it is larger than it is. You tend to see this a lot in hallways;
large pots in corners, huge artwork etc In long rooms, consider splitting up the
room to create different areas of interest. Also think about what the room
gets used for. If a spare room is used mostly as a study, despite having a spare
bed in it, put the study desk in the area with the most light. You need to be
practical, you need to be able to move around each object and sit down without
knocking into things. It’s simply economics but it does need
to be thought about; preferably earlier on in the scheme. How much light do you have in the day? I
mean, the sunrise, midday and dusk? You need to really evaluate where your light
is coming from and then you can look at what colour applications will enhance
that particular space. Consider ambient lighting at night which is often the
most important for most people being that time when they’re at home, of course.
When I think of light, I often think of shadow, so light streaming in is great
for every room, but where doesn’t it hit? if you’re going to light places with no
direct daylight, you need to work out what works best; be it wall, floor or
overhead lighting – and then plan accordingly. Again, early on in the scheme. What does the room lend itself to
furnishing wise? How can you accentuate good shapes with colour and hide bad
shapes and other flaws? Alcoves, fireplaces, L-shaped rooms; they can all
appear in awkward places within a home. Most alcoves of course are tailor-made
for bookcases and it’s rare these days to see either side of a fireplace not
populated with built-in joinery – heaving with books. Larger alcoves make perfect
places for TV screens of course, either with a base or fastened onto the wall.
You need to utilise what you have, NOT what you WISH you have! Line is harder to work with but in
essence you can enhance good lines and beams and windows with furniture running
along the same line. Blocking these lines can jar the eye, as diagonals often make
people feel uncomfortable. Working on right angles is a very simple way to
make things appear symmetrical even if they aren’t. Accentuate the furniture
with rugs and artwork running along the same lines as that furniture. As important as lighting, colour is often
the defining attribute of a home. Some go overboard, some stick to neutrals, and if
you do stick to neutrals, think about applying three or four different shades
to different walls to project some depth and to keep the space interesting. Cplour
affects size so apply it carefully. Use a darker colour if you want to bring walls
closer and lighter tones to widen a room. And don’t forget to paint the woodwork
and especially ceilings – which are often called the fifth wall. Choosing a
different colour for these areas as opposed to white is often one of the
best decisions that you can make. It can actually really change a room’s feeling
but not in that really shocking abrasive way. Not as easy as people think, pattern can
be about texture too, but more of that in a moment! Think about prints and patterns
and use the repetition in design trick. This is when things such as
radiators with vertical finishes can be duplicated by using stripes and window
treatments, cushions and rugs designs. Don’t be afraid of using print with
print; it takes guts it can be very rewarding and unique; not every pattern
has to have symmetry or indeed match. Remember leopard spots and freckles work naturally and they both have non symmetrical pattern. If curtains, sofas and cushions are all
silk and shiny, for example, the overall harmony is not as good as multi-textured.
When considering texture try and bind the scheme together to give a uniform
look. Similar to a hotel suite, the bedroom and the sitting
room work together seamlessly, despite being different uses. Texture can
be many things. Leather, fur, wool, felt, silk, cotton, boucle, sheers, wood, porcelain,
mirror, marble, metal, concrete, paper or glass. Make good use of them all and
don’t stick to the same things in each of your designs. So those are the Seven
Elements of Interior Design. I know it can be confusing when you’re dreaming up
schemes but if you are in doubt as to what to choose perhaps it’s a good idea
to turn to nature. Go for a walk, look up at the trees, down at the earth and see
what tones are naturally attractive and then add a punch of colour. So for example
saffron cushions can work very well against an olive sofa. It’s reminiscent of
vibrant flowers, seen in many woodlands, for example. These seven elements are
the mainstay of any design. Putting all this into practice takes time, effort,
vision and execution. Let me know if you struggle on any one in particular and
I’ll dive into that in greater depth for you. In the meantime – Happy Designing!

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