How to Use the 7 Elements of Interior Design

Interior design is more than just deciding which furniture pieces, pillows, drapes, and indoor plants can tie the room together. 

It’s also about how each element of interior design complements one another to create a space that’s both functional and visually appealing. 

Finding the balance between functionality and aesthetics may be easier said than done when decorating our homes, but we can use the elements of interior design as our guide!

For today’s article, we’ll talk about the key elements of interior design and explain how each element can help us through the journey of decorating and designing our spaces.

1. Space

The first thing that any interior decorator does before starting any work is to inspect the space to get a sense of its dimensions. 

In the context of interior design, space refers to the distance between and around furniture and their proportions inside a room. 

There’s what is known as positive space and negative space. 

Positive space is where furniture pieces and other household objects are located, while negative space refers to the gaps in between these objects. 

The secret to a well-laid out room is in finding a balance between these two forms of space, which is easier than you think! 

If a room seems larger but feels empty, then there’s too much negative space. An excess in negative space can make a room feel under-furnished as well. 

If there’s too much positive space, there’s a chance that the room will seem crowded and over decorated. 

2. Lines

Lines can add a sense of direction and structure to any room. In interior design, there are 3 main types of lines: horizontal, vertical, and dynamic. 

We recommend using more horizontal lines (found in chairs, tables, and other furnishings) if you want to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere inside your home. 

Horizontal lines can make a room feel larger as well, which works if you have a small living room or bedroom! Meanwhile, vertical lines that come from doors, windows, and fireplaces make a room seem taller. 

According to design experts, horizontal lines give homes a sense of security, while vertical lines provide a sense of freedom. 

So for a house to feel welcoming and safe, even details as small as the types of lines will have to be properly thought of!

Finally, dynamic lines suggest movement and add energy and life to a room. Think of zig zags, curves, and angular lines as your best friends in making a home feel livelier.

3. Form

Form refers to the shapes found in a room, usually coming from furniture, artworks, and decorative pieces. Shapes can either be natural or geometric.

Natural shapes are typically curvy, like that of an indoor plant, while geometric shapes are man-made, such as sofas, tables and cabinets. 

Once again, finding the balance between the softness of natural shapes and the strength of geometric shapes is the secret to a well-crafted space.

4. Light

Do you know what mood lighting is? If so, you probably know what lights are for!

Whether man-made or natural, light sets the mood of a space. Natural light can make a room feel warm, while artificial light adds a degree of coldness to the space. 

As most households do, you can use a mixture of natural light and artificial light, but there should be a balance to keep your room pleasant from day until night.

Multiple windows mean an abundant source of natural light throughout the day, which you can filter through curtains and draperies. You’re lucky if your house comes with lots of windows!

Generally, artificial lighting is used when there’s a lack of natural light, but remember not to use it as your main source of light!

5. Colour

Besides setting the mood, colour carries the power to make a room feel larger and lighter, so it’s more than just simply an aesthetic choice. It can influence your room’s sense of space and mood too. 

Now, it makes sense why bedrooms usually have calmer tones and home offices have bright and energetic shades. 

If you think about it, red is often perceived as passionate and intense, blue as calm and serene, and yellow as optimistic. 

When choosing colours, think of not only your personal preference, but also the energy you want a space to radiate.

6. Texture

Texture is used to add depth and meaning to a space. When it comes to interior design, texture isn’t only how it feels, but how it looks.

Visual and actual are the 2 types of texture. 

Have you ever seen a bespoke rug that feels rough without having to touch it? That’s what visual texture is.

Meanwhile, actual texture refers to how a material actually feels. For example, both faux sheepskin bespoke rugs and leather sofas feel smooth, but the smoothness of these materials isn’t the same. 

Texture is crucial in parts of the home that we frequently come into contact with, such as the floors and sofas.

7. Patterns

Similar to texture, patterns can add life and energy to a space.

Patterns refer to the repetition of shapes, lines, and other design elements, usually coming from area rugs, carpets, wallpapers, and curtains. 

Whether floral or abstract, your choice of patterns should be in harmony with the rest of the interior decors because clashing patterns may start to look chaotic.

Understanding the basics of interior design

It’s common to feel overwhelmed when trying to decorate your homes for the first time, but the basics of home design and decoration can act as a guide. 

The best thing about interior design is that we’re free to play around and let our creative juices flow while understanding its basic elements to enhance the space!

Here at The Rug Maker, we design and craft custom rugs in Singapore. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in adding a bespoke rug to your home and we can even share more interior decor tips to enhance your space.