How do we distinguish between the elements of design and design principles?
There is a slight “element” of similarity however, the elements of interior design can roughly be defined as the things that are used to create the design, while the principles of design can be thought of as what we do with the elements of design.
Combined; they are the building blocks of design fundamentals.
The Elements of Design
How you address the elements of each area is ultimately how you will effect design. Like life itself, it begins with a plan, some vision and a passion for seeing it through.
“Good designs come from the heart, not from the brain.” — Danny Sengers
How will you define the areas of the space that you are decorating? What are its limitations? What do you want the space to function as? These are some of the questions that you will need to address when choosing design space. If a room seems to small, how can you make it appear larger?
Design planning can and does address these and many other issues,
Lines in a room are second only to colors in importance. Just as colors do, lines are used to create a setting for the overall mood or feeling of a room. Your choice of emphasizing the direction of particular lines will determine the mood you are going to create in the room, for example:
- Vertical lines add height and balance the horizontal lines in furniture, thus creating a more formal atmosphere.
- Horizontal lines are more casual and create a restful informal feeling.
- Diagonal lines are attention getting, loud and unless used properly can be disturbing. If they are supported by vertical or opposing diagonals they will be less “demanding.”
- Curved lines add a softening feel and keep rooms from becoming “rigid” in design, however, too much of them will make the room appear “feminine.”
Combining lines produces the form, or shape, of an object, which in turn creates the overall feeling of a room. Lines can create triangles, squares and rectangular patterns while curved lines can create elliptical and other “unconventional” forms.
Color, my favourite element can make a room change from dull and boring to vibrant and alive within a moment, colors can set the mood and it can define the language of the entire setting. Color speaks volumes when it comes to interior design.
The Principles of Interior Design
The principles of interior design focusses on how we use colors and textures to create the atmosphere or mood of the design. These are the basic principles of design:
- Balance of design; How do you maintain balance in the elements, how much is too much or too little?
- Graduation of size and perspective. Graduation helps ease the eye into something rather than having it scream at you. It creates a more comforting and softening way of introducing elements.
- Repetition and consistency; although some repition is good, too much can overdo it.
- Contrast is a great effect when it comes to a focal point, but too much contrast can create a feeling of chaos and confusion, it is always good idea to carefully consider where to place your areas of maximum contrast.
- Harmony is created through the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements.
- Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasis.
- Unity is the art of relating the design elements to the the idea being expressed.