Interior Design 101

Interior design is one of those jobs that you think would be easy to do, but after one or two failed attempts you learn it’s not. It is something though, that you can improve on with practice, some online research and proven techniques such as the 7 Basic Elements of Interior Design. This article will help you on your way to creating a beautiful interior, on your own. 


The goal of smart interior design is to balance different elements effectively. Those elements include colour, form, light, line, pattern, texture, and space. 


Colour is about aesthetics, just as much as it influences the mood or feeling in a space. Most people, for example, feel blues and greens are tranquil, while a red room would feel intense or passionate. So, when selecting the colour scheme, start by deciding the energy or mood you would prefer in that room.

  1. FORM

Another word for “form” is “shape”. This can include the contours of any artwork or sculptures, furniture, and lighting. There are two types of form to work with; organic forms are curvy, irregular or natural, while geometric forms feature sharp man-made lines, such as squares or triangles.  

  1. LIGHT

Quality lighting is an important feature of any space. There are three types of lighting to add to a room. Task lighting such as a lamp near a chair that you read with. Accent lighting draws focus to accessories and artwork. Ambient lighting is the overall lighting that helps fill in the blanks. 

It’s important to consider the colour/temperature of the light. If you’re designing a relaxing space, for example, then you may want to use warmer lighting, which is a little more yellowing than cool lighting which is a bit bluer.  

  1. LINE

Lines can be horizontal or vertical, or even dynamic, which are more expressive lines such as zig-zags. The science behind lines show that horizontal lines enhance the feeling of security in a room, while vertical lines are seen as bold. Dynamic lines usually bring a fun element to the space. 


Technically speaking, a pattern is the intentional repetition of lines or forms. They’re often used on wallpaper, cushions, art, etc. Patterns are needed to add life to a room, however too many patterns bring chaos. The best advice when it comes to patterns is to start small; less really is more. 


Patterns and texture are very different elements, the former is seen, while the latter is felt. It seems easy enough broken down that way, but you have to remember, you can also present the illusion of texture to your eyes. For example, a coffee table may be designed to appear vintage or weathered. It looks that way, but when you touch it, it feels smooth or new.

  1. SPACE

Designers think of space in two ways: 2-D space is used to describe the length and width of a room. 3-D space is used for height. This means you consider 2-D when deciding on flooring for a room, but if you’re adding new shelves, it’s 3-D you’re concerned with. 


Interior designers see these elements as informal rules to follow for every room. Finding a way to satisfy these elements cohesively leads to a beautiful space you can be proud of.