Interior Design Basics For Dummies
Even if you do not consider yourself a very creative person or have very little interest in spending too much time elevating the look of you home to 'House Beautiful' standards you still need a home that at least looks presentable and pulled together. Understanding the most basic principles of interior design can help you do just that.
5 Basic Elements of Good Interior Design
Any decor scheme, even a very simple one, has five basic elements:
Color - Color sets the tone and the mood of a room and can be used to create illusions of space as well. For example light colors can make a small room appear larger, especially when used on the walls.
Form - The actual shapes of all the elements in a room.
Line - The boundaries of an object in the space.
Mass - The bulk of an object in the space.
Texture - The way that objects feel to the touch.
5 Concepts of Good Interior Design
Every artist actually works with these five elements to create their work to a certain degree but they are especially important in interior design. They are not enough on their own though. In fact there are more concepts that a professional interior designer learns that make for a rounded, workable design:
- Focal Points
Points in the space that the eye is immediately drawn to as well as to where their attention eventually always returns. This can be a great piece of furniture, a spectacular rug, a fabulous light fixture or even a great piece of wall art. Whatever it is that you choose as a focal point though this is what you need to build the rest of the room around.
- Scale and Proportion
This refers to the size of objects in the room in relation to one another and it is very important to keep this in mind when selecting furniture. For example a big bulky couch with a tiny ottoman will look silly rather than stylish and the same is true for a large rug with a tiny bistro table set on top of it.
- Harmony and Unity
Although not every element of a room has to match they all do need to have a sense of harmony and unity if a certain decor scheme is really going to work.
Every room has a theme of sorts and an observer should be able to see at least some kind of link between all of the elements in the room. For example if most of the items in your living room have a modern, contemporary edge but then you add, for example, a big old fashioned standard lamp it is just going to stick out like a sore thumb, even if it is, in itself, a striking piece.
A 'matchy matchy' room is boring. If everything in the room is a shade of blue then every single element will fade into the background and the space will have no design personality at all. The same is true for texture. If all you have are hard materials - metal, wood and very stiff fabrics - then the overall result will be cold and uninviting not chic.
The hard part is getting the contrast right without making a room look jumbled and disorganized. It does take some practice and more than a little restraint but with a little effort - and an 'editing eye' - even a beginner can get it right.
Even though you are trying to create a sense of harmony with your interior design you do need to add variety into a room - and indeed into a whole home - for it to actually be livable.