Interior Design Basic Concepts, Elements and Principles

principles of interior design
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Interior design is not just a profession; it is a way of life. It is a beautiful art form that enables interior designers to share their creativity to reflect the personality of the homeowner.

Interior decorators have a keen sense of style and understand the aesthetic value of symmetrical and asymmetrical balance. They can analyze the needs of the homeowner and combine them with their own design ideas and create a beautiful living space that brings tranquility to the inhabitants.

See also – How To Start Interior Design Business?

The Core Elements of Interior Design

There are many important aspects of Interior design that play important roles in a design project. Let us take a look at them one at a time:

1. Space

The first thing you need to take into account, as an interior designer, is Space. Space planning is the foundation of all design ideas. From creating floorplans to designing the living spaces, everything boils down to this one key factor.

It is easy to use 2D modeling to get a basic idea about the space and how you can use various design elements to create a symmetrical balance. However, we recommend using 3D programming to get an accurate idea about the different types of interior space and what you can do with them. 3D rendering and modeling also help spark the visual interest of the client.

Space planning refers to how much open space you want to implement, where you wish to allocate the furniture, and what kind of balance you want in your floor plan.

See also – Best 3D Floor Plan Software

Office space interior design

Image credits: intheblack.com

2. Line

The second most important factor in interior design is Line. This design element enables you to implement a theme to the living space.

You can choose to use simple horizontal or vertical lines if the theme of your design ideas is minimalism. However, if you wish to add some flair to the living space, lines can add dramatic finishes to otherwise simple design trends.

You can use lines to align complementary design elements or to create an asymmetrical balance for effect. Lines can be playful or they can be subdued. Either way, they are an important factor of any design project.

3. Forms

In any interior design plan, a form must always follow function. This is to say that forms actually increase the aesthetic value of any interior design trends.

As an interior designer, you can choose to experiment with different forms such as natural forms which include the implementation of natural colors, natural elements, etc. The natural forms are usually requested by homeowners when they wish to prevent the use of negative space in their own homes. Natural forms usually follow a rustic or classic theme because it utilizes basic elements.

You can also use geometrical forms in your design ideas for contemporary or modern space planning. Geometric forms are highly popular in today’s technologically advanced era. They add a manner of diversity in an otherwise simple setting.

4. Light

No matter if you are creating a home design from scratch or preparing a makeover for a dull living space, the light should always be your focal point. It is the basic element that creates the mood for the room.

You can introduce tons of natural light with large windows or skylights, or you can introduce different forms of accent lighting to add playfulness to the overall disposition of the living space.

It is best to use brighter lighting in the kitchen, living room, and dining room. You can also use focused lighting that illuminates the dining table or coffee table while keeping the rest of the living space in dimmer light.

Homeowners tend to prefer dim lights in the bathroom and bedroom where they can relax while the brighter lighting is reserved for more pressing environments. Make sure to maintain a complementary balance between the lighting and the other elements to ensure they fit together.

office light design

Image credits: fumtc.com

5. Colour

Another important factor that affects the aesthetics of a home design is the color scheme. While it may seem like choosing a piece of furniture and a piece of art is what affects the mood of a room, it is actually the colors you implement that set the overall temperature.

Color psychology plays a major role in elevating or decimating the inhabitant’s disposition. Different colors tend to have different effects on the human mind. This is also to say that the perception and effects of these colors differ from person to person. While some people may find it beneficial to be surrounded by a bright, vibrant color scheme, others may find it to be palpitating. Their mood will also change based on the colors used in the room. This is why it is best to combine vibrant and dull colors to maintain a balance in the living space.

For instance, red has a motivating effect on the human brain. It makes people passionate about their life, their career, their loved ones, and their self. But too much red can also make them hyperventilate, lose their temper, or even become violent. Therefore, if you choose to add red to the walls of a room, then you must balance it out with more neutral colors in furniture. You can also use red in patterns, lines, or a piece of art and use neutral colors on the walls.

6. Textures

The texture is more than just a visual element that adds character to your interior design ideas. The textures that you use in the living spaces, reflect directly upon the personality and interests of the homeowner.

While visual texture such as paintings by Caravaggio can add appeal to the room, it is the subtle elements of actual texture that add a more realistic feel to the living space. You can complement them adversely for a balanced effect.

7. Pattern

Finally, the pattern is the last but definitely a very important factor in interior design. Patterns can be implemented in any form, including designs on the walls, on a piece of furniture, or even the lighting.

You can use radial patterns, or straight lines, or geometric shapes to add more depth to your design ideas. Patterns can be implemented in materials as well.

For instance, you may choose to implement a Scandinavian interior design that follows a very basic structure and color scheme. But you can add patterns to the curtains, bedding, lighting, etc. to liven up the entire space.

See also – Best Interior Design Software

The Core Principles of Interior Design

The core elements and principles of interior design must always be implemented properly in order to create aesthetically pleasing design ideas. You must take the following principles into account when implementing the design elements:

1. Unity

Unity is a focal point of home design. Every piece of furniture, every pattern, and every item of decoration must complement each other. The unity and uniformity of all the design elements together make for a beautiful interior design.

You must always ensure that there is a smooth flow in your use of patterns, colors, texture, etc. Otherwise, the entire design project creates a negative space.

Unity office by Kitzig Interior Design Buren Germany

Image credits: retaildesignblog.net

2. Balance

The second thing that you must pay attention to, is the balance between the objects and color schemes. Whether you choose to paint vibrant patterns on the walls or hang crystal chandeliers from the ceiling, you must ensure that they balance each other out.

You can choose a compulsive symmetrical balance if the homeowners are conservative or you can choose an asymmetrical balance to create a more new-age vibe.

Boho design trends usually follow an asymmetrical balance while minimalist design trends such as Japanese or Scandinavian styles opt for a more symmetrical balance.

heldergroen escritorioImage credits:officespacedirect.net

3. Rhythm

Although it sounds unusual, interior design does employ the fundamentals of rhythm. Every object in the universe has a vibration and you can use these vibrations to create a rhythm.

As we have discussed above, colors, textures, and shapes add character to the home design. You can use the concepts of Progression, Alteration, or repetition to instigate the rhythm.

For instance, you could use radial patterns on the walls of the living room. Then you can add some radial accent lighting hanging from the ceiling to repeat the pattern but in a singular fashion.

You can also use repeated colors or shapes to create a rhythm.

4. Emphasis

As interior designers, most of the time you will come across individuals who wish to showcase some of their prized possessions. You need to find a way to emphasize this object so that it draws the attention of anyone who walks into the room.

This may be a piece of art that they curated, or a DIY piece that they made, or even a piece of furniture. But the object must be placed in a way that emphasizes its beauty and effect.

You can use contrasting designs and patterns or even create the surrounding design plan with the object as the focal point.

mbooth nyc officeImage credits:officesnapshots.com

5. Contrast

While it is pivotal to create a flow in interior design, decorators sometimes overlook the importance of contrast. It is obviously necessary to follow a color scheme and definitive space planning. But if you keep a single color or just variations on a theme, then the entire design will end up looking bland.

That is where contrast comes into the picture. You must always use colors and patterns that balance each other out but also have a contrasting effect so your design ideas aren’t muted.

Contrast can be implemented by choosing striking pieces of artwork, or decorations, or even lighting. You can also use fabrics to create a contrast in an otherwise dull space.

6. Scale and Proportion

Scale and Proportion are important elements to justify the use of certain items. If a piece of furniture or fitting is too large or too small, it looks out of place. Hence, measurements are very important in interior design.

For instance, if you choose a small bathtub for a large bathroom then the rest of the space is going to look empty. Similarly, if you decorate a large room with small furniture then it will look out of place.

You must always find the right proportion and size of every item in home design. You must scale them properly to ensure that they are neither too big, nor too small. They need to be just right.

7. Details

Last but definitely not least, you must pay attention to the details. All your design ideas and floor plan and space planning needs to be combined with proper detailing, otherwise, the entire interior space looks haphazard and disrupted.

Details entail the patterns you use for bedding, curtains, doorknobs, switchboards, and all the little things that help tie the place together in a neat little bow.

Interior design principleImage credits: pinterest.com

Interior Design is intricate work. Using the fundamentals above, you can create a checklist to ensure that you instill all the necessary elements in your design ideas. Don’t forget ‘The devil is in the details.’

Whether you create minimalist designs or extravagant ones, you must ensure that form follows function and everything has a perfect place, proportion, and purpose.

We hope this article aids you in creating the most astounding interior design ideas to amaze and impress your clients.

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