When you decorate your home there are five basic things that you are manipulating; color, shape, weight, texture, and line. These are the fundamental elements of any visual art, and they each give you a unique way of expressing yourself.
Color has a powerful effect on the subconscious mind. When we look at the world around us, we get cues as to how to behave, and how to think. Different colors ignite different instincts in people, and can cause them to react to the world in different ways. It is important to pay attention to how various colors are going to make people feel before you blend them together in a room.
Form refers to the hard structure of a space and its contents. The form of a room is made up largely of its architectural design, which is accented by the shape of the various pieces within it. The height of the ceiling, the shape of windows and doors, the girth and design of the furnishings, and the layout of the room itself are all examples of a rooms form.
The weight of an object in decorating refers not only to how much it weighs, but how imposing it is in a space. Larger items which tower over the room, or which bulge out to occupy a whole wall, will have as lot more weight than dainty or slender furnishings.
The main concern with weight is trying to create a balance in a space. You don’t want to weigh the whole room down, creating a space which feels lethargic and cold, nor do you want it to be full of light objects which could make it seem cluttered, or chaotic.
Texture is a really fun element. It allows you to add a tensile character to a visual experience. One of the great things about it, is a person does not always have to touch an object to be influenced by its texture. Just making something seem rough, or soft, or smooth will cause a person looking at it to call up memories of touching objects with a similar texture, and will cause them to briefly relieve that experience in their minds.
Texture can also be used to create a startling surprise in a room, by adding it to objects without making them look textured.
Line refers to the linear aspects of a space. Vertical lines run up and down, and can be found in lamps, windows, and furnishings. A prevalence of vertical lines will create a space that seems very busy and energetic. Diagonal lines create a space which is even more chaotic and which can make a room uncomfortable. Horizontal lines help to give a space a relaxed and laid back, almost lethargic feeling.
Line is not always obvious, and can exist in a very subtle way in patterns and textures. You should always look closely at your decoration to determine what lines are being implied by their appearance.
These 5 principles are the very basic elements that you will be manipulating in a space. What you do with them will determine both the look of the room, and the way it feels when you are within it. It is important to pay attention to these features as you work, as they will help you to step back from your project and evaluate it according to a series of basic principles, in order to achieve the effect you truly want.
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