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What are the 7 elements of interior design?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Creating a beautiful interior design is a precise combination of art and science. There are several principles and elements that incorporate together in order to create a stunning space. So, what are the 7 elements of interior design? How do these elements work in sync with each other? Read on to learn about these seven important components that work in partnership to craft a beautiful aesthetic.

1. Color

Color plays a key role in the way a space looks and feels. The color palette you choose can have a dramatic impact on the mood or feeling of any particular room. Deep, darker colors evoke feelings of passion and warmth, while cooler colors can inspire a more calming, serene feeling. When choosing a color palette, consider how you want a specific room to feel in terms of energy and attitude.

2. Form

When asking, “what are the 7 elements of interior design?” remember to think about form. This word is simply another term for shape and can be applied to everything from the furniture and decorative objects to the actual shape of the room. Organic forms that are natural and irregular are one type of form, and geometric forms (like circles, triangles, or squares) are another. You can blend both organic and geometric forms together in one space or separate them to create a specific style.

3. Light

Light and lighting can make any space feel large or small, and cold or warm. From natural sources to manmade (or artificial) lighting, this element of interior design is extremely important. Think about how you want a specific room to function, and then choose your lighting style and location. You can choose warm lighting to help promote a cozy feeling or try something brighter in an area where functionality is key.

4. Lines

In a room, lines can be vertical, horizontal, or dynamic which means they express motion such as a zig-zag or a squiggle. As you ponder “what are the 7 elements of interior design?” think about how lines contribute to a space. Horizontal lines tend to promote calm, while vertical lines are bolder and more expressive. Dynamic lines can be used to add artful flair or to make a room look and feel more whimsical and exciting.

5. Patterns

Patterns are repetitions of images, shapes, or other designs (think floral patterns). You’ll typically find patterns on things like fabric and wallpaper, but they can also be incorporated in other ways. When choosing a pattern for a room, make sure that it’s not too overpowering. The key is to find visual balance and to use patterns as a way to add interest without becoming too chaotic.

6. Texture

Textures can be visual, but they’re also tactile which means they offer different ways an object feels to the touch. Using textures can help create more visual depth and dimension in a room. Mix and match textures using things like floor coverings, wall art, or linens to give a space an eclectic look and a comforting feel.

7. Space

Space is a crucial component of interior design. There are two main types of space: 2D which refers to the length and width of a room, and 3D which covers height. Rugs or flooring are an example of using 2D space in a design. Furniture and decorative objects are examples of how to use 3D space to design a room. Make sure that there is enough empty or negative space in a room to maximize functionality, allow for movement, and to visually break up the area.

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