Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What is the element of space in interior design

What is the element of space in interior design? Space is the distance or area within or around elements. Space in every design, both positive and negative areas are important factors. Space is the foundation of an interior and is a fundamental concept to understand, thereby having a full grasp and command of space you are now best equipped to take on what is available to you.

The available space can’t be changed easily however a smart designer may have the luxury of doing so but most of the time will just have to work within the physical boundaries of the room. 

What is the element of space in interior design
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Two major elements of space design

Space is one of the 6 elements of interior design. Space can be divided into two categories: positive and negative space. I perfect example of this is the game of soccer where the play is always made into an open or negative space. Soccer can be viewed as a battle between two teams trying to use space and time to maximum effect. To understand these concepts, and how they affect all other factors in the game, is to understand football and how to effectively manage space. The object of the game is to get the ball into this space for the attacking team to move forward.

Positive space is space that contains objects, while negative space is open or empty space. Empty space includes any space between objects. A good designer will strike the perfect balance between a room's negative and positive spaces to avoid overcrowding or to avoid to much empty space.

Positive and negative space work together to create a visual sense of comfort and harmony while allowing a space's interior design to truly shine.

Each interior design project begins with an assessment of the room's functional deficiencies and how the elements can be manipulated to better fit the people living there. The space planning goal is to create efficiency.

Space and style


Different design styles will lend themselves to different space uses. For example, a minimalist design will have much more negative space than your average design. No matter what your design, how you use and balance the space available can be the difference between nailing the design or not.

Negative space is one of the simplest ways to make a huge impact on a room's look and feel.

Functional elements and space design

Functional elements and space design
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Functional elements such as furniture and lighting are your first priority when evaluating a room, right? These elements form the basis of your design, so start with the essential elements before you add or subtract other design accessories. Does the room require a lot or very little furniture? This will have an impact on what other pieces you invest in.

Space design for traffic paths


Negative space is needed for traffic paths. 
A good idea when looking at a room and assessing space is to first analyze travel paths crossing the room. To get from point A to point B you are going to need to cross the room. If there is one entry in the room then this makes the job much easier due to there will be no demanding travel paths across the room.

However, if there is another door at the other end of the room then there will need to be a travel path through the room to get to the other door on the other side of the room. In this situation, the room is then effective cut in half by the need to have a travel path crossing the room to get to the other door.

Travel paths are necessary and will limit what you can do with the space due to you either must get very creative with the travel path or somehow creatively accommodate it in your design plans. Most of the time it's going to be hard to not make the travel path the shortest distance crossing the room. It's just unnatural.

Interior room with multiple entries and exits can easy chop up space and leave you with very little actual space to use. Just imagine a large living room with for example with multiple doors on all different sides of the room. The room is so chopped up due to travel paths it becomes not usable. It becomes a glorified hallway. In this case, it might be necessary to creatively direct a path by positioning furniture in strategic spots in the room. Try to make the paths as direct as possible but direct traffic to create usable space.

Consideration of the scale and size of the furniture and objects placed in a room is also crucial, as this can be used to make the space appear larger or smaller given the desired result. A tall object like a book case can give the illusion of height.

If a wall contains dominant art pieces and windows, a window treatment can sometimes be redundant. Leaving unadorned windows allows both art and natural light to stand out.

Lines and space


Lines and space
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Horizontal lines, created by tables and other surfaces, provide a sense of stability, formality and efficiency. Interior designers highlight horizontal lines to make a room appear wider and longer and draw the eye to a focal point. A perfect example is floor patterns. To make a room look longer the flooring would be running a certain way as to give the illusion of long lines flowing into the room and projecting more space.

Vertical lines created by windows and doors
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Vertical lines, created by windows and doors, evoke feelings of freedom and more space. On a functional level, accentuating vertical lines often give the illusion that a room is much larger or taller than it really it. This approach is often suitable for use in dining rooms where there will be many people, entrances which are often small and narrow and offices. Vertical lines should be wisely incorporated so as not to over do it.

Dynamic lines found in stairs
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And then there are dynamic lines which are diagonal, zigzag, curved lines or crazy all over the place. Many such lines that are dynamic can be found in stairs. Dynamic lines are associated with movement. Dynamic lines capture our attention by stimulating the eye. However, too many dynamic lines can be distracting and can easily overpower you and be too distracting and uncomfortable.

Repeating shapes within a space establishes visual harmony that is pleasing to the eye.

Ideally, you want to strike a balance with the incorporation of different lines. This is typically done by selecting one dominant feature line in accordance with the brief of the client and the desired feeling they wish to convey in space.

Light and space


Lighting has an impact on space
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Lighting has an impact on space. Rooms that are dimly lit or with poor lighting are going to look smaller than they actually are. To make the illusion of a larger space just add more light. For example, try taking an average size bathroom and painting all the walls a dark color. Now the room appears to be very tiny and almost claustrophobic. Take the same room and now paint the walls a light color and add great lighting. Now the room appears so much bigger but as we know is actually the same size.

Lighter colors will make your room feel larger
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Lighter colors will make your room feel lighter. Even so, many colors absorb light, no matter how light it may be. Choose a light color that reflects, not absorbs, light. Add warmth to rich neutrals such as espresso brown, light gray, warm rust colors, and a lighter tan. Add color to your room by painting your ceiling or adjusting a different color; black or dark trim, light blue ceiling or warm colored flooring. 

Natural lighting is the best to have. However many times we find dark furniture absorbing a lot of the natural light. Or dark colored walls or dark flooring and even heavy window treatments covering and blocking natural lighting. Thick window treatments and curtains often absorb valuable natural light. Removing heavy or dark curtains will instantly add light to your dark rooms and make the room feel so much bigger. Light colors and light weight fabrics both help preserve natural light. You can often get great results by removing some of the offending items and then return them to see if they make a difference.

Neutrals, whites and tan paint colors are also versatile color schemes. They are the perfect contrast if you have dark wooden floors, doors or heavy wooden furniture.

If you have a smaller room try using sheer, light fabrics if you need curtains for privacy. Darker colored fabrics are absorbing light. If you prefer a flush, minimalist look, then you might consider using shutters. They control the amount of natural light in your room and protect your privacy. 

The brighter the surfaces that you can add to the rooms, the lighter the room will reflect.

Your decorating strategy should include the use of objects such as chandeliers, brass lighting, gold door knobs or silver photo frames, brass candlesticks, mirrors or acrylic-clear furniture. They help bounce your room's light. Large wall mirrors are a perfect decorative touch to add more light.

However there are rooms where you specifically want to have a dark room. For example, a bedroom. Dramatic dark bedrooms are great for relaxing and sleeping in. Dark walls, bedding, heavy dark wood floors and dark accents create a cozy sleepy, relaxing effect that is wonderful to come home to after a long hard day at work. But you should think about balancing the dark with lighter colors. For example, try adding light colored bed linen, cushions and rugs. this will give a great balanced look to your room.

Dramatic dark bedroom with contrasting colors
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With contrasting light colored throw pillows, sheeting and bedding in soft lighter colors like butter yellow or off white, with dark walls in a bedroom can easily create a good balance between light and dark. This adds to creating a relaxing atmosphere in dark rooms. Balance the large areas of dark space with equally large areas of lighter finishes and accessories is the key to a great design.

If your room has very little natural light, but you love dark walls, use light colors on your ceiling, floors or baseboards and trims to lighten your room.

Dark colors are rich and dramatic. They make a great addition to your decor if you want to add character to a boring room. But first consider the amount of natural light in your room if you want to experiment with darker colors. Of course the more windows and doors in your room, the darker the color of the walls you can go.

Space design conclusion


Most of the time the available space can not be changed and you will have to work within the physical boundaries of what you have. Make sure to use positive and negative space equally well. They work together to create a visual sense of comfort and harmony while allowing a space's interior to really shine. Negative space is one of the simplest ways to make a huge impact on a room's look and feel but remember negative space is often used for traffic paths.

If a wall contains dominant art pieces and windows, a window treatment can sometimes be redundant. You don't' always need to have elaborate window treatments. To leave unadorned windows alone allows both art and natural light to shine through thus making the room feel so much bigger. the use of repeating shapes within a space establishes visual harmony that is very pleasing to the eye. Neutral colors like, whites and tans are also very versatile color schemes. They are the perfect contrast if you have dark flooring, doors or dark colored furniture.

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy, describing how apparently opposite or opposite forces can actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they can give rise to each other as they interrelate with each other.

 yin and yang
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To add more light use  bright surfaces that you can add to the rooms. For example, by using bright surfaces the lighter the room will feel. If your room has very little natural light, or you just want a dark room because you love dark walls, be sure to use light colors on your ceiling, floors or baseboards and trims to lighten your room. And finally remember the best design always have a good balance between the yin and yang!

I would love to read your thoughts. What worked for you and what didn't?

Please comment below. Thanks 

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