Learn the essential elements of a winning interior style without the need for an interior designer.
At Escapology, we know a thing or two about what it takes to make a home look stunning, without it appearing contrived, so it is beautifully attractive and perfectly relaxing to live in.
With our guiding principles which we call ‘homeology™’, part art, part science, you can create an interior that you want to come home to.
By following these 7 elements you too will know how to create gorgeous rooms.
The number one thing to understand. Understanding space is fundamental in ensuring that you can make the most of what is available to you.
Space can’t be easily changed, so it is your main constraint. Understanding the physical boundaries of the room helps guide you in deciding what should be filled, and what should be left empty. Both are important in ensuring functionality and great looks.
Split space into two categories:
Positive space is the space where objects are placed. Negative space is open space (which includes the space between objects).
Striking a balance between + space and - negative space is essential to avoiding an overcrowded appearance or something that looks sparse or clinical.
Consider what you want to use the room for and let that guide you in creating a balance in space. And don’t forget you need - negative space for paths through the room.
A critical area to consider is the scale and size of furniture and objects for the room. Use this to make the room look bigger or smaller. For example, a tall item such as a book case can be used to give the illusion of height.
Lines are what guide your eye. Both vertical and horizontal lines help shape the room. Creating lines using the room’s furniture and structure can provide either unity or contrast.
Horizontal lines can be created by tables and other flat surfaces. They create a sense of stability. Highlight horizontal lines to make a room appear longer and wider. Or use to draw the eye towards a focal point.
Be careful though, overemphasis of horizontal lines can result in the room being boring and uninspiring.
Vertical lines are created by features such as windows and doorways. They evoke the feeling of freedom. Accentuating vertical lines can help give the illusion of a room being taller than it actually is. Accentuating vertical lines is often suited to use in dining rooms and entryways.
But don’t over emphasise. Over-emphasis can create a feeling of unease.
Dynamic lines are diagonal, zig-zag, and curved lines. These are often found in stairs. Dynamic lines capture attention and provide a sense of movement. Too many though, and it can be distracting. They can also overpower horizontal and vertical lines.
Strike a balance. Incorporate different types of lines and use the dominant type of feature line to create the feel of the room you desire.
Form is the three-dimensional parts of the room. It’s both the shape of the room and the objects within it. Think of it as anything that has a physical shape.
Form will generally fall into one of two categories; geometric or natural.
Geometric - has hard lines, square edges, and often looks man-made.
Natural - relates to organic forms that seem to be created by nature, although may not be.
Form can also be open or closed.
Open - you can look into it
Closed - you can’t look into it
Another important factor of form is proportion. This is the relationship between the scale of the room and the size of the objects being placed within it.
Too small items in a large room and they look lost. Too large, and they become overly dominant and look awkward.
Add forms of similar shapes to create balance. Use repetition of minor objects in the dominant form throughout the room - this creates a coherent feeling.
Whether natural or man-made, light is a critical consideration for any room. Light should be categorised into the following:
Task Lighting - this has a defined purpose, e.g. desk lamp
Accent Lighting - this is used to emphasise objects
Mood Lighting - this is used to add atmosphere
When planning lighting, always consider the main activities that will take place in the space. And don’t forget to consider both quality and quantity of lighting. The more tasks to be undertaken, the higher the number of lights will be required. They will also need to be brighter.
For example, a kitchen will require bright lighting so that you can see clearly; living room lighting can be softer for increased ambience.
Dimmer switches are a great way to make a space more versatile through the ability to alter the brightness of the lighting.
Light has the ability to set the mood for the room while defining colour, line, and texture. And remember, you can manipulate natural light through clever placement of doors, window dressing, and mirrors.
Light fixtures are a visual feature in themselves, so ensure that light fixtures aren’t overlooked and are included in the overall look and feel of your styling.
Colour has the ability to make or break your interior’s style. Colour can be used to create mood, define unity, and change the perception of how large or small a space is.
Colour creates a psychological response in us. For example, greens and blues suggest calmness (perfect for bedrooms), while red prompts appetite (and often features in kitchens).
When choosing your colour palette, consider the use of the space and match accordingly. Also, think about how both natural and artificial light will affect the colour perception across the day and night.
Generally, lighter and brighter colours are great for creating the illusion of space in smaller rooms. Darker colours can give a powerful dimension to a larger room.
Sometimes overlooked, texture refers to the tactile surfaces of objects, fixtures, and fittings. The feel of something, whether it be smooth, coarse, glossy, etc., can be a unique dimension of a room. Just like mixing colours, the mixing of textures can provide a subtle sense of depth.
Texture has the ability to add interest and detail, making it visually pleasing. From furniture to accessories, texture helps create a vital part of the room’s feeling.
There are two forms of texture; visual and actual.
Visual texture - the impression of texture you get from only looking at something. Usually created by a pattern.
Actual texture - can only be felt.
Generally, if there is a sense of something missing from a room, it is due to a lack of texture.
Texture plays a part in every item you select for a room. So it is important to give texture consideration right from the start.
The placement of each item in comparison to the texture of item beside it will add emphasis and contrast to the finished style.
When paired with colour, pattern offers a similar impact to texture in adding to the appeal of the room.
Consider the size of the room before introducing pattern.
Pattern should be used sparingly in a small room to avoid overwhelming the space. But clever use can help create a heightened sense of space.
Complex patterns made of contrasting colours and lines can enhance a room. However, they are best used as a feature wall.
Large scale patterns used in a large space can be used to add a distinct focal point to a room.
Match patterns to the overall styling of the room. For example, for traditional schemes, incorporate organic or floral patterns. For contemporary schemes, use geometric or abstract patterns.
As a rule of thumb, include a maximum of three patterns, all drawing from the same colour scheme.
You know now the 7 essential elements to any successful interior.
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