Our years of experience in restaurant design has helped the staff at Concetti Contracting understand the basic rules of interior design will help us create a space that looks and functions well. The elements of design are the basic tools used for designing an interior space, and the design principles act as rules to make effective use of the tools. First, knowledge of the basic elements is needed to understand the principles.
Space is Three Dimensional in Interior Design
Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. In interior design, space is three-dimensional: it has a length, width, and height. Different size spaces can convey either positive or negative feelings. For example, large open spaces can give a room an airy, relaxed feeling, or they can be unwelcoming and stark. In comparison, small rooms can be comfortable and cozy, or they can be crowded and emit a hectic and chaotic feeling.
Line is a basic design element that refers to the continuous movement of a point along a surface. Each line evokes an emotional response and conveys a different feeling. Below is a list of lines and the feelings they communicate.
- Vertical lines transmit a dignified and formal feeling and cause the eye to move upward, adding visual height.
- Horizontal lines give a restful and calm feeling and are the most stable of all line forms. The eye travels side-to-side along a horizontal line, widening the area or object being viewed.
- Large curved lines with long waves are relaxing, gentle, and suggest joy.
- Small curved lines with very short waves suggest excitement and busyness.
- Diagonal lines relay a feeling of drama and can add tension to a room.
Line is a useful tool for designing a kitchen space because it can be used to give the room a desired feeling. When designing, think about the lines that are being created with cabinetry, accessories, countertop surfaces, and walls within the kitchen, as these can also affect the emotional atmosphere of the room.
Color appeals directly to one’s emotions and can set the mood for any space. Color is seen either on the surface of an object or in colored light sources. “Hue” is the technical name given to a color as it is reflected. Neutral and less visually invasive hues can make a room calming and comfortable, whereas bright and bold colors can make a room exciting or give a feeling of restlessness.
Color is not essential for good design, but can make a powerful statement if used wisely. For example, color can draw attention to a focal point or be used to disguise an unfavorable feature. Simply using, black, white, and shades of gray can be as effective for a good design as using red, blue, or green.
Everything has form, or physical shape. Form can be measured from top to bottom (height), side to side (width), and back to front (depth). There are two types of form; man-made and organic.
- Man-made forms are often geometric and are more symmetrical.
- Organic forms are found naturally and are more asymmetrical.
Depending on the surroundings, forms can be made boring or interesting. It is important to use form creatively to make sure it complements the mood and design being created.
There are two types of texture: tactile and implied. Tactile texture is what is felt when an object is physically touched. Implied texture is the visual quality of an object interpreted by one’s eye rather than touch. Like all other elements of design, texture can also trigger an emotional response. For example, rough. course texture suggests a rugged, sturdy quality. Additionally, fine, smooth texture suggests formality and elegance.
Everything has texture and its use can add flair, personality, and variety to any design.
Having an understanding of the elements of design will help you put them into use. See Design Principles for the next steps on how to make the elements interact to effectively communicate the right message and personality for your room.