Inside the Mind of A Designer: The Principles of Design

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Every designer loves watching their project come to life- from the preliminary drawings to the final installation of the very last details. To make it to the finish line, designers must not only consider the physical functions of a space, but the principles and stages of design that every artist practices. We wrote a while back about these principles in a past blog found here and expanding on these guidelines today!

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The Fundamental Principles of Art and Design utilizes the entire space at hand and allows for a designer to use every square inch to its fullest potential. The design principles are as follows: Balance, Emphasis, Contrast, Rhythm/Pattern, Scale/Proportion, Hierarchy, and Harmony. Without these guidelines, the space is left feeling unbalanced and incomplete. Every good design will take these principals into consideration.

Balance is about creating a visual equilibrium within a space. When we space plan a room, we take into consideration the materials being used and disperse them with care and precision. There is an art to “Display” that every designer understands. Balance can be symmetrical OR asymmetrical. It’s all about the weight of the elements. Similarly, Designers use Emphasis to create a visual focal point within the balance of the room. Just like in any great piece of art, there is a section that draws your eye to it first- and it is our job to make sure the right piece stands out.  Contrast can work treat an emphasis of an element in a space such as the change in color, size, or depth.

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One of the most important principles to a Designer is the use of Scale and Proportion. When we take a cocktail table, for example, and ensure that it fits within the area of a rug, we use proportion to make sure there is enough room to move about the space. We then use the overall scale of the room to ensure our table and rug fit comfortably into the confines of the room and do not appear dwarfed compared to the dimensions of the space. 

For those that enjoy art in any form, whether it be music or visual media, everyone can agree on the importance of Rhythm, perhaps my personal favorite principle because of its array of options with repetition and the impact it can make! Within Interior Design, Rhythm creates a visual repetition of important features through color, texture, and sight-lines. Working hand-in-hand with Harmony, a Designer must make sure that everything they place into a room has been thought out carefully. Without this, there would always be “something missing” within a space and it would never feel fully completed. With that said, we often utilize Hierarchy with different elements to create a focal point or layered interest in a space. This principle can work with varying the size or location of details to accomplish a particular order of attention. This is used often in kitchen designs with the hierarchy of the vent hood being the focal point of the space.

With that being said, Designers like to think outside the box. Once the basic needs are met, there is an opportunity to bring some character and fun into the design. Using Contrast opens the door to vibrant color combinations and mixings of materials while keeping the visual integrity of the room intact. While every principle is different, they are equally as important and depend on one another to mold that ideal finished space. 

Client’s put their trust in a designer to use these principles to create the perfect space for them to enjoy with their families for years to come. We take that to heart as our greatest joy is seeing the look of excitement in our client’s eyes as we deliver on their dream home or office space.