Function implies on the usability of the space or the furniture. A good design is more functional than it is more lavish and eye pleasing. To determine the function, one needs to think of , as in how exactly is the space going to be used.
For example, if we have to design a bedroom, we first need to list down the functions happening in the bedroom, with regards to whose bedroom it is, like is it a girls bedroom? Do we need a jewelry closet too, or maybe a kid’s room, do we need to make the room childproof?
We also need to take care of the furniture designs and their sizes like the closet, the storage, the workspaces and the bed accordingly. If the closet would require a safe, or a tie hanger if it’s a boy’s room and the list goes on. Based on this, we can analyze how much space we have, and prioritize our space requirements and fit them in order.
Designing a space is more than just making it look really good, it’s about making a room work for you, to fulfill your needs. We need to take care of the furniture, the space planning and the lighting too. Now lighting would mean deciding if we need a task light at the workspace, or a lampshade near the bedside table. In order to design a space that functions, it’s important to know one’s wants and one’s needs and prioritize them.
But prioritizing doesn’t just mean cutting stuff out of your list because it doesn’t fit in the room. we simply need to make multi functional and space saving furniture and think creatively.
For instance, if this happens to be a small bedroom, we need to make a storage bed, so as to fit in the extra clothes or books, or maybe have a sofa cum bed, or a wall hung bed just to have that extra moving space.
Unity helps in conveying the design concept more effectively. Unity in a design not only compliments the theme and concept, but also helps in serving the functional purpose of design.
It helps us giving reasons to every design process, by asking why are we using a particular object? Does it justify the theme or are we just placing that Aztec print pillow cover, just because it looks nice.
Unity can be of two types.
Visual unity – a group of design components all directly focusing on a common concept…
For eg – a repetitive use of the logo, promotes branding of the company, and creates a visual unity, in the design.
Conceptual unity – a group of elements that indirectly imply the same concept.
For eg – the use of the colors in the logo as the color scheme for the space, will create an indirect implication of unity in the space.
Unity helps in avoiding mixed signals, and gives a unified space, which conveys the design concept not only effectively, but also helps the space to look like a whole and not a group of individual eye pleasing spaces.
Unity in a design can be achieved by contrast, alignment, repetition and proximity. While contrast adds variety, repetition helps in relativity of the space. When all elements are focused on a common design concept, it helps to bring about a unified designed space.
Harmony is closely related to Unity. Harmony in a design helps in achieving a unified message. It contains enough unity to make sense, but varied enough to be interesting. Harmony is created when the design is coordinated to express one theme and concept.
However, in this process, everything doesn’t have to be the same. For Instance, its not necessary to use the same color to achieve that unified message, one can use a green color along with the brown color, to explain the earthy theme in a design.
Color Schemes help in creating that unity in a space, without much hassle. This explains, that the elements should not necessarily be of the same color, size and texture to achieve harmony, but it should co – relate and tell us a story, make sense, compliment each other and not look out of place.One must plan and give it a thought to every design process, in terms of co-relation.
For example – If the flooring is not too loud, for the undertone walls? or If the ceiling design and the furniture layout co-ordinate? Little things like the style of the furniture and the light fittings also play an important role in creating harmony, because of course a vintage wooden sofa, with a modern steel and glass side table does not express one theme or design style.
Rhythm can be defined as an organized movement. Its all about visual pattern that is expressed with Repetition, Progression, and Contrast. Rhythm in an interior spaces, helps in achieving order, focus and and interest, that helps lead your eye from one space to another.
Repetition is probably the easiest way to achieve rhythm. One element is repeated more then once in a space. For Instance, that element can be a particular pattern, color, texture or shape.
However, it all depends on how well does one repeat the elements, and in what manner.
For instance, If a space is all white, except for the reception table, sofa and accessories like a vase, or a sculpture is in a bold color like red or blue. The repetition of the color, will create rhythm in the space, by leading the eye to all the elements in bold color,
Repetition can also be created by repeating two or more elements in a particular pattern.
Progression can be attained by implementing gradation. Gradation can be done in size or in color. One can use the red color in different elements while changing the gradation in color, which creates interest in an interior space.
Contrast however is using elements which are contrast or opposite to each other.. Like a rectangle table, with circular o curvy pendant lights hanging above…..or a contrast in colors For instance, the yellow and blue.
Contrast usually helps to bring the space life, and helps you keep in interest and variety.
Emphasis can be achieved by creating a focal point in the designed space. While all other elements are placed in order to lead the eye to the focal point, A focal point is the center of attraction in the room. However, a focal point should be visually important enough in order to draw attention to it. Emphasis can be anything from Picture frames, Headboards, Beds to Doors, Ceiling, Windows etc. Emphasis not only make the space interesting but also help in hiding the weaker points in the space.
For Instance – If we have a dead passage leading nowhere straight, we can create a Wall of Fame, at the end of the passage, and emphasize it even more by using a different paint shade. The Wall of Fame, will create interest in the dead passage, by being the focal point of the passage area.
Emphasis are mainly of Two types:
Architectural Emphasis –
Emphasis of this kind, is usually about letting the room speak for itself. Architectural features in a space, like its Columns, Beams, Ceiling, Walls, Doors, Windows, Fireplace etc can be the focal point of the space. Dome Ceilings, Arched Doorways, or Symmetrical Columns create great focal points in a given space.
For Instance, one can enhance the beauty of the Columns, by stone cladding it, or giving a particular paint shade to all the columns. By making the architectural features the center of attraction of the space, Architectural Emphasis can easily be achieved.
Object Emphasis –
This kind of Emphasis, is usually about making the design flexible enough for years to come. Its a lot easier to change a sofa, or a painting or a TV Unit, than to change the position or shape of your columns, or your doors and windows. Ofcourse, one wouldn’t choose such kind of emphasis, if we already have great architectural features. Since, Architectural features are not found in every space.
Object emphasis could be a large painting on the wall, or a beautiful sculpture or a 1970’s dresser. It all depends on how you create that contrast, how does your focal point stand out.
However, a combination of both in the right amount, makes the space interesting and eye pleasing.
Scale is the most important principle of design, since it defines the function ability of a given space. Scale is considered, with respect to the anthropology of humans. The Computer desk or the chair your sitting on, are all made as per human scale. Everything from the doorways, the ceiling height, wardrobes depth and height, the sofa in your living room, are all made with consideration to the anthropology of humans.
For Instance, imagine your dining table at a higher level than the existing height. It will make it too difficult for you to eat food on it. You will need a higher chair, which you wont be able to sit comfortably either OR if your wardrobe, had a lesser depth than the standard size, you wouldn’t be able to hang any clothes.This is how important the principle of scale is in interior designing. It is nice to have an aesthetically good design, but its even more important to have a functional design.Because, what is the use of that good looking sofa anyway , if you cant really feel comfortable sitting on it.
Similarly, Furniture for a kid, is made as per the anthropology of a child of that age. That is the reason, a kindergarten bench is smaller than the bench at a high school.
Scale is closely related to Proportion of a room as well. If Scale is measured by the dimensions of a particular object as per the standard sizes, Proportion is the comparison of two objects as per their size, and if they relate to each other.
Although to further understand the difference between the two –
A small room, with an over sized L – shaped sofa, will look out of scale.
But a room, with an over – sized L shape sofa, and a very sleek small side table will look out of proportion.
However, playing with the scale and proportion of the room in the right amount and correct way, helps in creating a desired focal point in a given space. A designer with a good understanding of scale and proportion, is often named as a person, with a good eye of design, since not many people manage to get the scale and proportion right..
Balance in Interior Design refers to equalizing visual weight in a space. balance can be created with the help of color, size, shapes texture and patterns.
Balance can be achieved in three ways –
Symmetrical, Asymmetrical and Radical Balance.
1. Symmetrical Balance –
Usually found in traditional interiors, where the visual weight is equally split on both sides.
For instance, similar looking chairs on both sides of a coffee table.
Symmetry creates a feeling of stability, however, which could be dull and repetitive. Symmetry can be easily achieved by arrangement of furniture, pattern or color.
2. Asymmetrical Balance –
Unlike symmetrical balance, this type of balance doesn’t necessarily need to be equally split on both sides. For instance, A Sofa paired with two upholstered chairs.
Asymmetry creates interest, and usually used in modern interiors.
However, this is fairly difficult to achieve, but tends to bring out the space as more dynamic and gives a more casual feel to the space.
3. Radial Balance –
Visual Weight that is achieved by creating a focal point in the center directing inwards on outwards can help achieve Radial Balance in a given space.
For instance, A round dining table with chairs around it, or a spiral staircase are few of the examples.