8 principles and basic elements in interior design

Your home is the most important place in your life! In this article we will explain some elements of interior design to make it beautiful and pleasant.

Last update: December 14, 2021

Interior design is a very interesting area that study the harmony, textures and configuration of space, among other things, to create functional and pleasant places. In this article we will teach you some concepts, principles and basic elements in interior design that you can apply in your home.

The Barcelona School of Design explains that interior design, as a study area, differs from interior decoration insofar as it studies the structure of the spaces and not just the final decorative finishes. In contrast, interior decoration intervenes to give a final aesthetic value.

Being so, the interior design professional studies the structure of buildings or homes. In this way, it determines the ways of distributing the space and combines them with other elements, such as lighting or furniture.

The principles and basic elements of interior design

The design and decoration of the home are decisions that should not be made lightly. However, not everyone decides to hire a professional to handle these issues.

Below we will indicate the basic principles that you must take into account to decorate your spaces, following clear guidelines. More than being rigid rules, they are guidelines to take into account in planning, which can be adapted according to your tastes, intentions and needs.

Additionally, before you start designing the space you want to bring to life you must take into account what activities are going to take place there. This way, it is easier to keep in mind the configuration of the elements.

1. Harmony

The harmony of spaces is about ensure that the elements that compose it are in balance with each other and do not oppose or compete. This balance is achieved through ordering the elements in such a way that their visual weight does not uncomfortable.

A balance must be pursued between aesthetics and the optimization of spaces so that they are functional. The concept of harmony is probably the most important, as it is transversal to the other principles and basic elements in interior design.

The spaces must be functional and pleasant. The combination of both factors is key.

2. Proportion and scale

Have you ever been in a place that seems too small because it is full of objects? This is one of the most common mistakes and it is about not keeping proportionality.

First, scale refers to the size of objects relative to the size of the room. For its part, the proportion evaluates the size of one object in relation to another.

For example, a tiny table accompanying a huge sofa is not proportional. Similarly, a small room with a bed that takes up most of the space does not scale well.

3. Color

Color is one of the most fundamental elements in decoration and interior design. A correct application of color can create environments with different intentions, as desired by each person or family. For example, certain shades can make a room generate relaxation.

This influence of color on emotions and behaviors is known as color psychology. In this way, using blue tones encourages calm; orange ones encourage creativity; the yellow ones encourage joy and energy; and greens influence peace.

4. Textures

Textures are provided by furniture and decorative objects that are used in the room. However, they are also present in the walls, floors and other materials that make up the space.

They must be included strategically, depending on the style of decoration that you want to achieve. It is important that you add a limited variety, otherwise saturation can occur.

5. Lighting

A publication of the University of Palermo points out that in interior design you should talk about the language of lighting, because with it he communicates and has a theatrical purpose. That is, it seeks to create specific atmospheres.

When planning the design of a room, it is necessary to make an assessment of the natural light it receives and how it can be supplemented with artificial light. In addition, it is convenient to find some focal points that you want to illuminate.

6. Space distribution

Within the distribution of space and objects it is essential to have the concept of ergonomics at hand. It is about evaluating people’s relationships with the environment. That is, how the objects and spaces adapt to the activities that take place there.

In this sense, the spaces must be organized in such a way that the furniture and decorative objects facilitate circulation and do not interfere with the entrances. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the height at which the paintings, shelves and drawers will be hung.

7. Shapes and lines

Lines and shapes constitute elements for the definition and configuration of the spaces of the house. The shape of these objects, and how they are arranged with each other determines how the visual and physical tour of the place will be made. They also allow you to create sensations.

The vertical lines on the wall help the feeling of height. For their part, the horizontal lines generate spaciousness and informality in the spaces. The inclusion of circles brings pizzazz, while the rounded lines help soften.

8. Emphasis or focal point

The focal point or emphasis in the décor is the one that attracts the most attention in space. That is, it stands out from the rest and defines the rest of the decoration.

Sometimes it can be defined intentionally. However, in others it is present almost naturally, such as fireplaces or large windows.

You can also create intentional focal points by placing items in a striking color or at eye level, such as a painting or a vase. Knowing the focal point helps determine where to pay more attention.

Paintings are often focal points in décor when they are large and placed at eye level.

Tips for Taking Advantage of Interior Design Basics

Before you start decorating your spaces it is wise to seek inspiration and ideas. Nowadays this is very easy, as you can find many references on social networks, blogs or designer websites.

Afterwards, it is convenient that you take an inventory to know what resources you have.

It is also important that you think what do you want to achieve with the reform to the design or decoration of the space. For example, have a pleasant environment for reading, an area for teleworking, a place for meditation or a play area for children.

You can draw pictures, have an idea board, sketch, or make a to-do list. You should first make a budget and define the order of priority.

Now that you know the principles and basic elements in interior design, you have acquired valuable knowledge to give your home a makeover! Remember that a good interior design is not only based on having a beautiful decoration, but also has to do with creating spaces that generate emotional well-being and are useful.

Get pleasant sensations by noting the smell, temperature and cleanliness. The houses must be adapted to the needs of the members of the household. It is different to design a space where babies or children will be than to design it for older adults or a young couple.

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