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7 Principles of Interior Design

In our pervious article ‘7 Elements of Interior Design’ we explored the 7 elements of interior design (Space, Line, Forms, Light, Color, Texture and Pattern) that form the foundation of any interior design. In this article we are going to explore the 7 principles of interior design that define the ways these 7 elements must be used. An interior designer needs to be well versed with these 7 principles to arrange/organize the 7 elements so that a good composition is achieved. So without further ado, let’s jot down the 7 principles of interior design and understand their significance in the world of interior design!

1. Unity
The principle of Unity, as the name implies stresses on the fact that there should be a sense of uniformity or harmony among all the 7 elements used. Interior design should serve as a visual guide for a person to understand a living space, and without unity, the visual guide will only end up confusing the person. All the elements used should complement one another and a smooth transition should exist from one to another. A good understanding of Alignment of objects, Similarity of color/pattern/texture, Proximity (spacing) of objects, Repetition (grouping) of elements based on similarity, Continuation and Overlapping of interior design elements are a few ways to achieve ‘Unity’ in an interior design arrangement.

Unity

Unity

2. Balance
The principle of balance refers to the ordered distribution of elements of equal visual weight to achieve a visual equilibrium. Balance is only achieved when the visual weight of the elements are evenly distributed along a central axis or point that can be both real and imaginary. Balance can be achieved by three popular ways namely Symmetrical, Asymmetrical and Radial. In Symmetrical, a space is divided into two equal halves centered on a central axis and both the halves are equally compensated to give out a calm feel to the living space. In Asymmetrical, any odd number of elements can be used by keeping an imaginary central axis as the focal point. Though asymmetrical balance is a little hard to achieve when compared to symmetrical, the output is more natural and energetic when compared to the former. Radial balance involves a central piece (like a chandelier or a round dining table) from which all other elements seem to radiate to arrange themselves in circular symmetry.

Balance

Balance

3. Rhythm
The principle of Rhythm essentially suggests a connected movement between different elements of interior design. This movement is essential to maintain a visual tempo between elements that have different visual weights. Elements repeated in an orderly fashion and the spaces between them create a sense of rhythm. Rhythm can be achieved in any living space by following these three methods – Repetition, Alternation and Progression. Repetition refers to the repeated use of the design elements like color, texture and pattern or any other physical attributes like home décor items in an orderly way. Alternation is the method of creating rhythm by alternating two or more elements in a pre-defined fashion like ABABAB or ABCABC and so on. In Progression, elements are arranged ascending or descending based or their size, color gradient or any other distinctive characteristic.

Rhythm

Rhythm

4. Emphasis
Emphasis, as the name suggests, is a principle of interior design that says that a central piece of art or furniture must play the role of a focal point or attention grabber of a particular living space. Elements like color, pattern and texture must be used to emphasize a particular focal point. In fact these elements must be used in such a way that the focal point dominates the rest of the décor items and pulls the room together. Other items that surround the focal point must complement the latter and share a contrast that puts the focal point in the top priority.

Emphasis

Emphasis

5. Contrast
Contrast refers to the difference in the luminance or color of objects that differentiates them from one another. In interior design, contrast can be achieved by three elements namely color, form and space. One can use pillows or prints of two opposite colors like black and white to achieve contrast and make an object distinguishable. Contrast can also be achieved by combining two or more forms; for example one can combine a circular mirror and a rectangular sofa to balance and distribute the attention between both the items. One can also achieve contrast in a living space by dividing the available space efficiently into usable positive and negative spaces.

Contrast

Contrast

6. Scale and Proportion
The principles of scale and proportion ensure that objects placed in a space look like they belong to each other. Be it the size, dimension, shape or color of the objects, a harmony should be established between them and a proportion has to be maintained. For example, a high ceiling environment implies that high rise furniture should be preferred over low rise furniture like ottomans. Also, under stuffed pillows would make a big sofa look empty and under accessorized, thus disrupting the harmony and proportion that is supposed to exist.

Scale & Proportion

Scale & Proportion

7. Details
Details are like cherries on an ice cream, they might seem extra but without cherries the ice cream isn’t just complete! Be it the small embroideries on a pillow cover or the color within those embroidery patterns, every detail adds a little bit of life to the overall interior design, adding their own distinctive feature to the overall composition. Once you are sure that you have achieved all of the above mentioned principles, it’s time for details to take over and beautify the place further.

Details

Details

 

 

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Want to be a professional Interior Designer?
If yes, then we might have the course tailor-made for you! Join our ‘Diploma in Interior Design‘ online course today!

7 Elements of Interior Design

The problem with Interior Design is a lot many people confuse it with Interior Decoration. While the former refers to designing an entire living space from scratch, the latter refers to decorating an existent living space with added furniture and upholstery. Interior Design is indeed a science that is bound by its own elements and principles and yes, it is not as simple as one imagines it to be! Generally interior designers go by the rule book that states that ‘There are 7 elements and 7 principles of Interior Design’.

We are going to cover all the 7 elements of interior design in this article, followed by an article explaining all the 7 principles. Let’s begin!

1. Space
Space is one of the most important elements of interior design. Space acts as a foundation on which the entire interior design plan is built. Hence it is essential that the designer is well aware of the space available, its dimensions and its utilities. Space is divided into two types namely – Two Dimensional Space which covers the floor (includes length and width) and Three Dimensional Space which forms the living space (includes length, width and height). A space that is essentially filled with furniture/décor items is a Positive Space and an empty space is a Negative Space. An equilibrium has to be maintained between the positive and negative spaces and either overcrowding or skimping on the furniture/décor items is going to affect this equilibrium.

Space Planning

Space Planning

2. Line
Lines give birth to forms and shapes and are responsible for establishing a sense of harmony, contrast and unity (3 of the 7 principles) in a living space. They define shapes and act as visual guides of an interior space. Lines are broadly categorized into three types – Horizontal, Vertical and Dynamic. While horizontal lines adorn structures likes tables, chairs and beds, vertical lines can be found on windows, doorways and almirahs. While horizontal lines add a safe and secure feeling to the space, vertical lines emote free and expansive nature. Dynamic or angular lines, which are action oriented add drama and can be seen on structures like stairs. An interior designer must know how to utilize these lines to define the forms, another important interior design element.

Lines

Lines

3. Forms
Forms mean shapes in general, an outline of any three dimensional object in the space. Forms can be created by combining two or more shapes and can be accentuated with the help of other elements like texture, patterns and colors. A well-defined form establishes harmony and additional forms add balance to the space. There are two types of forms – Geometric (man-made) and Natural (organic). Also forms are categorized as open and closed; open forms are those that can be looked into and closed forms are those that are enclosed by a closed surface. A solid understanding of the above mentioned elements i.e. space and line is required to achieve a goof form.

Forms

Forms

4. Light
Light is one of the most obvious elements of interior design. Either natural or man-made, without light other elements namely color, texture and pattern have no significance at all. Light sets in the mood and ambience into a living space and highlights the every other element including space, line and forms. While smart placement of doors and windows should take care of the natural light, man-made or artificial lighting is broadly divided into three major types namely – Task Lighting, Accent Lighting and Mood Lighting. Task light as the name implies, includes light sources like table and bed lamps which have a defined purpose, dedicated for a specific task. Accent lights are meant for highlighting a particular piece or show item like artworks, structures, sculptures and so on. Mood or ambient lighting basically set the mood of the living space and illuminate the overall space.

Light

Light

5. Color
Colors don’t need any special introduction. Colors establish an aesthetic connection between objects and set the mood. Colors must be chosen based on the psychology and the mindset of the dweller. For example, red is an excellent choice for dining room as it encourages appetite and green for bedroom as it is the color of tranquility and health. Each color has three distinct characteristics namely Hue, Value and Intensity, and an interior designer must be well aware of these characteristics to perform various permutations and combinations. Colors are broadly classified into Primary and Secondary colors and also sub-categorized into Tertiary, Complementary, Analogous and Monochromatic colors.

Colors

Colors

6. Texture
Texture mainly deals with surfaces and determines how a typical surface looks and feels. Texture adds depth and interest into a living space and defines the feel/appearance and consistency of a surface. Texture is broadly classified into two types – Visual Texture where the texture is only visible and Actual Texture where the texture is both seen and felt. Anything that has to do with textiles such as pillow cover, bed spreads or anything to do with covers like drapes, wall paint or wallpapers have a texture. While there must be a dominant texture to define a mood, a contrasting texture must also be included to avoid monotony.

Textures

Textures

7. Pattern
Patterns add interest and life to interior design and work along with colors. Patterns tell a story of their own and add the elements of continuity and smooth transition in a living space. Patterns could be of any shape and mostly comprise of attractive and repetitive designs. Paisley, a design pattern which takes the shape of a droplet-shaped vegetable is one of the most commonly used patterns on wall paints, pillow covers and other decorative surfaces.

Patterns

Patterns

 

 

Love decorating houses?
Want to be a professional Interior Designer?
If yes, then we might have the course tailor-made for you! Join our ‘Diploma in Interior Design‘ online course today!

Indian Interior Design – Characteristics

A country once known for its immense wealth and royalty, India still remains to be one of the most diverse cultures with a rich heritage and history. The role of Interior Design in the ecstasies of our royal kings and queens can be clearly seen in architecture marvels like Taj Mahal. Though times have changed and foreign interior design styles like Minimalist, Contemporary and Zen are gaining importance amidst Indian mindset, Indian interior design style remains distinct and clear stated. It is easy to decorate an Indian home provided one remembers the following five characteristics that define the Indian style of interior design.

1. Color
Color is the most distinct characteristic of Indian interior design as the country itself is a land characterized by different colors, languages and cultures. Rich, dark, vibrant colors and deep burnt shades against lighter backgrounds define the color pallet of Indian interior design. To narrow things down, one could draw inspiration from the colors of Indian spices like chilli, cinnamon and pepper.

Use of Colors

Use of Colors

2. Pattern
If you have been to any Indian temple or just stared at a silk saree, you would know the prominence of patterns in Indian culture and art. Patterns are the second most characteristic element of Indian interior design. Patterns could be drawn on throw pillows, bed spreads, wall hangings, knotted rugs and any other upholstery that involves textiles. Paisley is the most popular pattern and Indian silk and cotton are the popular textiles of choice in Indian home décor.

Patterns

Patterns

3. Décor
Indian interior design is also characterized by a good but not excessive amount of home décor items. Rather than using random decorative flower vases and modern artworks, use idols, statues, embroidered rugs and wall hangings that feature the good old gods, kings and other prominent figures of Indian mythology. Mirrors, oil lamps and other ornaments made of bronze, brass, copper and gilded gold also make up for good Indian home décor items.

Typical Decor Items

Typical Decor Items

4. Furniture
Wood is the most widely used furniture material when it comes to Indian interior design and exotic wood like rosewood, teak and ebony are the most preferred types. In fact, Indian artists are noted for beautifully turning the imperfections of wood to give out a rustic appearance. Heavy wooden tables, bench-style sofas and carved wooden chairs are a few notable choices.

Wooden Furniture

Wooden Furniture

5. Floor
Indian climate is relatively sunny and flooring plays a major role in keeping the home cooler. Granite, which is stain resistant, durable and less maintenance is the most preferred choice in Indian interior design. Marble which is also durable and attractive is preferred by many, although its lustrous surface could fade with time. Tiles is the most preferred flooring option in the affordable section, though they can crack easily.

Tiles Flooring

Tiles Flooring

 

 

Love decorating houses?
Want to be a professional Interior Designer?
If yes, then we might have the course tailor-made for you! Join our ‘Diploma in Interior Design‘ online course today!