Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - WORDS: DANNI MOR­RI­SON For more in­te­rior de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, visit­sign­by­

Have you ever won­dered how in­te­rior de­sign­ers ac­tu­ally de­sign the spa­ces they cre­ate? I’m not talk­ing about the IT pro­grams, draw­ing ap­pli­ca­tions or pretty mood boards. I mean the foun­da­tion be­hind their ideas, the rea­son­ing for their se­lec­tions and, of course, their over­all vi­sion.

In­tro­duc­ing “the seven el­e­ments of in­te­rior de­sign”. They may seem ba­sic to some, but from a de­signer’s per­spec­tive, they de­ter­mine our ev­ery thought and pro­vide us with the com­pre­hen­sive ground­work be­hind our de­signs.

Space. First and fore­most, an in­te­rior is de­fined by its struc­tural el­e­ments such as walls, ceil­ings and floors. Yes, this may ap­pear a no-brainer but it’s the spa­tial plan­ning process in which a de­signer starts a project. An equi­lib­rium must be achieved us­ing both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive space.

For ex­am­ple, over­crowd­ing or skimp­ing on fur­ni­ture will af­fect the bal­ance of the in­te­rior.

Lines are re­spon­si­ble for es­tab­lish­ing con­trast and unity as they de­fine shapes and har­monise the space. Act­ing as vis­ual guide­lines for an in­te­rior space, in gen­eral, you can cat­e­gorise lines into three types.

Hor­i­zon­tal lines nor­mally rep­re­sent pieces of fur­ni­ture (ta­bles and lounges), whereas ver­ti­cal lines tend to sym­bol­ise more struc­tural el­e­ments (win­dows and doors).

An­gu­lar or dy­namic lines are in­tro­duced for drama and to add in­ter­est to a space.

Light­ing, ei­ther man-made or nat­u­ral, de­fines the other el­e­ments of in­te­rior de­sign set­ting the am­bi­ence and mood of the space, broadly di­vided into three cat­e­gories,

Ac­cent light­ing high­lights a par­tic­u­lar ob­ject: for ex­am­ple a sculp­ture or wall art.

Task light­ing is ex­actly what it im­plies and in­cludes ta­ble, bed and floor lamps which serve a de­fined pur­pose. Mood light­ing is not di­rected at one sub­ject, but in­stead, it il­lu­mi­nates an over­all space to cre­ate am­bi­ence.

Forms mean shapes or an out­line of any three-di­men­sional space.

Brought to­gether with the help of other el­e­ments, forms are cre­ated by two or more shapes and, when well-de­fined, es­tab­lish har­mony within the space. There are geo­met­ric and nat­u­ral forms as well as open forms that can be looked into and closed forms that have a solid sur­face.

Colour is par­tic­u­larly self-ex­plana­tory. How­ever, it is im­por­tant for a de­signer to un­der­stand how colours can af­fect mood and a per­son’s char­ac­ter.

Pat­terns add in­ter­est to a well-de­fined space and more of­ten than not are in­tro­duced after the pre­vi­ously listed el­e­ments. Pat­terns can be added as a fo­cal point or to smoothly tran­si­tion a liv­ing space.

Tex­ture de­ter­mines how a sur­face typ­i­cally looks and feels. Vis­ual tex­ture is only vis­i­ble and ac­tual tex­ture where tex­ture is both seen and felt. For a dra­matic look, tex­ture can be ap­plied to struc­tural el­e­ments such as walls and floors or for more sub­tlety. In­tro­duce tex­ture to cur­tains, quilt cov­ers, cush­ions and throws. To avoid monotony, it’s best when an in­te­rior com­bines con­trast­ing tex­tures with one dom­i­nant tex­ture.

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