Seven Elements of Interior Design

“If you love something, it will work. That’s the only real rule”. It’s a great quote from Bunny Williams. Interior design is all about individual contributions, loves and passions. When you think of interior design, the words creativity and flair come to mind, however, there is actually a degree of science involved.

The seven basic interior design elements are the building blocks you need to consider before any project starts. These elements include space, light, form, texture, colour, furniture and objects. When assessing a room, the design process will be made much easier if you break down these components and make them work together to either enhance a feature or disguise any flaws.
Keeping all seven design elements in mind and letting them guide your project, will help you achieve a harmonious and pleasing result.

Here is a rough guide to each of the elements. Give them some thought before taking home design into your own hands:


Space is simply defining the boundaries of a room and is the foundation for everything else you do.

Once the room is complete, there will be clear areas of ‘positive space’ (areas where there are objects or furniture) and ‘negative space’ (empty areas).

Finding the balance between positive and negative space is important to avoid making the room over feel crowded or a too-empty.


Colour is perhaps the most obvious element. Colour sets the tone, affects the mood and feel of a room from a calm, neutral, light palette to a vibrant exciting, energetic shade of red.

Colour is clever, it can change the perception of room size.. A room can look smaller and a ceiling appear lower when painted in a darker shade.. In contrast, lighter tones can widen a room.

Colour is the element that will bring a room together. Colour is the connection between furniture and other features or objects in the space.


Furniture has the dual function in the design being both functional for the space requirements and determining the look and style within a space. Furniture helps to create a natural path in the space and guide the flow of movement. It can be placed around a focal point to highlight a feature in the room.


Objects are the personal touches that add individual flare and personality to any space.

Once the furniture has been selected for a room, objects and art work should be carefully chosen to ensure they work in harmony with the rest of the design and flow within the room.


Light whether its natural or man-made, light is key because it reveals and highlights all of the other interior design elements as well as setting the mood and ambience in a room. In addition to natural light, there are three main types of artificial lighting: task lighting such as desk lamps to make specific task easier, mood lighting is the general lighting for a room and and accent lighting such as spotlights designed to will highlight a particular feature. These all work together to create a certain feel, mood and style in any room.


Form is used to create an effect, and is the outline of a solid object. Any three-dimensional object or outline in your decorated space is a shape or “form,” and is an important contributor to the overall balance and style of a room. Too many forms in a room can make a space become disjointed but enough form can create an interesting balance of shapes and contrast.


Texture is used for depth and will change the way light reflects across a room. Texture can be added by using rugs, blankets, wallpaper, cushions and accessories. By using a rough texture, you can create a cosy, homely feeling whereas smooth and shiny materials create a more formal, sophisticated appearance. Texture can really bring a powerful dimension to any room.

These seven elements are the building blocks of any design. By using all elements carefully together when designing a room, you can create a beautiful and inspired space.

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