Elements of Design

We see design everyday, whether it’s good or bad design. Whatever style a space is evoking, traditional or contemporary, there are certain elements that always stay the same, these are the Elements of Design. These things may sound a bit trivial but they surround us everyday & may give clues why a space speaks to you or not. Here they are:

1. Lines

Is it horizontal or vertical? Diagonal or Straight? Curved maybe? Straight lines have always been attributed to more modern or contemporary design, whereas curved lines are associated with an older era. Think Queen Anne canopy chairs & arched doorways. Too many straight lines are considered too harsh or too cold whereas too many curved lines are too flamboyant & over the top. Maybe that’s why a mix always turn out easy on the eyes.

2. Shape

Shapes are basically closed lines. A square, a rectangle, a circle. If surrounded by box shapes like sectional sofas & ottomans, then you can break the monotony by using round coffee tables.

3. Forms

Forms are three-dimensional shapes, cubes, cylinders, a ball.

4. Space

Or better called negative space is the area between objects. If there’s too much area between objects, it’s a minimalist design, less space, more country cottage. Yet some space principles are considered universal, like dining chairs should at least be 4 feet apart from each other. Learned that from my professor the first day.

5. Color

Can any other element be more universal? Color affects our mood & the way we feel everyday When we think of color, we think of it’s “hue”, it’s name, it’s value, whether it’s light or dark & it’s intensity,whether it’s bright or dull.   Muted  colors  are  “in” nowadays.  Muted  colors  are  dull colors.

6. Texture

The surface quality that’s seen & feel. Don’t you think it would be so boring if everything was smooth? Or if everything was coarse? A rich-layered look is never achieved without varying textures. The smooth hardwood floors, covered by a soft rug, the suede sofa with cotton pillows & a cashmere throw.

I hope you learned something new {or relearned something old} with this post. Next up, the Principles of Design.