Contemporary interior design involves much more than deciding which pillows and drapes tie the room together or which steel windows and doors to install — although those selections still matter. At Frankel Building Group, we believe interior design is both science and art! It has to do with how our brains and bodies react to the space around us. And it’s the job of an interior designer to shape those feelings or sensations in a positive direction that makes someone want to spend time in a room.
To do this, interior designers utilize certain artistic methodologies that “trick” our minds or, at the very least, reshape how we perceive interior spaces. It’s much more of a mind game than people realize.
While all seven elements on this list are indispensable components of interior design, space is perhaps the most important to get right. After all, interior design is about the design of interior spaces.
If you’ve watched any sort of home improvement show in the past decade, you’ve heard of an “open concept” floor plan. This particular style of home is obsessed with space, specifically the balance of negative and positive space.
Another element leveraged by interior designers to shape how our brain perceives space is line. There are three main types of lines:
For example, if you want a more earthy, secure, cozy and stable feel, use horizontal lines. Vertical lines, on the other hand, make spaces feel lofty and airy.
For a more tranquil and peaceful feeling to a room, use horizontal lines. They ground the space and make it feel wider and more expansive. However, if you have too much of this design element, your space can quickly become dull, lacking the visual appeal that comes with vertical and dynamic lines.
Perpendicular to horizontal lines, verticals draws your eyes upward. For example, if your home boasts amazing tin ceiling tiles, a good interior designer will incorporate vertical lines that subconsciously lift your eyes up to highlight that feature. However, if vertical lines are used too frequently, it can cause people to feel confined.
These lines suggest movement and stimulation. They are active and encourage your eyes to “move” in the direction of the line or notice the pattern.
3. Form or Shape
Any collection of lines that produces a shape is called a form. Lines, whether horizontal, vertical or dynamic, give birth to shapes. These shapes can either be geometric (angular) or natural (curved). They can also be open or closed. When your interior designer has a firm grasp of your style, they can mix and match forms to achieve any feel you want in your home, whether that be earthy, modern, warm, cool or whatever you’d like.
A pattern is a collection of lines and forms, making it a part of the “line” family of elements along with form. Like shapes, patterns accentuate a certain part of your interior, be it the ceiling, stairs, or walls. You can accomplish this effect with a bold statement wallpaper or loud color pop on a wall.
Patterns don’t have to be married to the walls. You can use them anywhere, from the grain in wood, to the picture frames, drapes, pillows and more. Incorporating patterns into your home presents an endless array of options.
If you’ve ever heard of “mood lighting,” then you’re familiar with this element of interior design. Light can set the mood of any room, as different types of light connotate different moods. Natural light can represent warmth and happiness, while artificial fluorescent lighting makes a room feel cold and still.
It’s important to understand the two main types of lighting and how they can contribute to the overall mood of a space.
Natural light sources can show off your beautiful paint colors or highlight a certain piece of furniture you’ve been dying to showcase. With a fully customized home, the interior designer can position the windows and doors perfectly to allow the right amount of natural light to cascade upon any interior space. Plus, designers can manipulate that light through curtains, shades and drapes.
When natural lighting isn’t sufficient or when designers are looking to highlight a particular art piece or set the mood, you can use artificial lighting. Your options include:
- Task Lighting: Fairly self-explanatory, it helps you accomplish tasks, meaning desk lighting, overhead lighting for the kitchen, and more.
- Accent Lighting: Indicating a focal point in your home, this form of lighting can include art pieces, sculptures, chandeliers or even the architecture of your home.
- Ambient Lighting: Rather than highlighting or helping with tasks, ambient lighting enhances the overall space. It’s the “mood lighting” we talked about earlier.