A basic understanding of the elements and principles of interior design will allow you to create the best solution for a space in need. The elements and principles are the building blocks for creating a beautiful and inspired room. The elements are the basic components or tools that you work with and the principles guide you in the use of those tools. Before reading this section, a basic knowledge of the design elements is required.
The principles of interior design include:
4.Harmony & Unity
5.Proportion & Scale
Balance is the most important principle in interior design and refers to the visual equilibrium in the design of a room. Creating a well-balanced room communicates a sense of relaxation and security. The principle relies on the concept of placing objects according to their visual weight. An object's visual weight is its ability to draw attention to itself and is determined by its line, form, color, and texture elements. Darker shades, bright colors, and strong textures lead to a heavy weight. In contrast, cooler shades, subtle textures, and reflective surfaces give an object less visual weight. To maintain balance, try to distribute the elements equally throughout the room. Formal balance, often referred to as symmetrical balance, creates a mirrored-image effect from the center of the room. On the other hand, informal balance uses different objects of the same visual weight to create equilibrium in a room. It is more subtle and spontaneous and gives a warmer, more casual feeling.
Rhythm helps the eye move easily from one object to another and tells the viewer everything in the room belongs to a unified whole. Rhythm is created through repetition of line, form, color, or texture. A certain motif or style of objects can help create a room's rhythm. It can also be created through progression. Progressive rhythm is the gradual increasing or decreasing in size, direction, or color of objects around the room.
Emphasis is expressed as the focal point object of the room. This point should be obvious as you enter the room because it is the area that immediately draws your attention. Examples of common focal points include a fireplace, special artwork, an aquarium, or a window that frames a beautiful view. All other objects in the room must help emphasize on the decided focal point. You can add emphasis to a natural focal point or create one in a room through effective use of line, form, color and texture.
Harmony & Unity
A well-designed room encompasses all the other elements and principles of design while not feeling forced and chaotic. Unity ensures that a sense of order is found in the room. To accomplish unity, a consistency, or harmony, of sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns must be incorporated. Balancing repeated elements throughout the room and also including a little variety will help give the room its own personality. Too much unity can be boring; however, too much variety can cause a restless feeling. Juggling the elements and principles to get just the right mix is vital for good design.
Proportion & Scale
Proportion and scale are defined by the size relationships among objects in a room. Proportion refers to the size of part of an object as it relates to another part of the same object. Scale refers to the size of one object when compared with another, or with the size of the space in which it is located. The scale of an object must reflect its surroundings so as not to seem too large or too small for a room. The goal of understanding the language of design is to know how the concepts work together and to eventually be able to effectively incorporate the concepts into your own arrangements. Below are a few examples of how the principles are used.
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