Design Elements

How to Design with Confidence? Fundamental Design Elements and Principles. Before you start designing your own home, you need to understand those basic and general design rules. Trust me you will be glad that you read this, you will learn a lot and you will be able to design better houses as you will be making knowledge-informed decisions just like architects, so don't skip this step.

This page will be dealing with design elements only, and the next page will be dealing with design principles; both are important and interrelated because design is the organized arrangement of one or more elements and principles such as shape, value, or direction, etc.. for a reason or a purpose.

The Seven Elements of Design

The elements and principles of design are the building blocks and fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design used to create a work or art; any kind of design, be it architecture, interior designs, or a painting. These elements are the basis of all intentional visual design strategies.

The elements of design are the things that make up sketches, a painting, drawing, design, blueprint, etc.. All designs contain most of if not all, the seven elements of design. Because how you apply the principles of design greatly determines how successful you are in creating a good design, this is the first lesson you should learn before you start designing your own house.

So What are Those Seven Elements?

The Line Design Elements
Line can be considered in two ways. First, the Actual line, or the linear marks made with moving point i.e a pen or brush. Second, Contour line where the edges of shapes and forms also create lines as an edge is created when two shapes meet. This is an outline that defines the shape of an object as well as the internal lines that define the form of an object. Line is the very basic component of a shape drawn on paper. Lines and curves are the basic building blocks of two dimensional shapes like a house's plan.

The Shape Element

Shape is a self contained or an area enclosed by lines or curves ( geometric or organic). A positive shape in a design automatically creates a negative shape. Shapes in house designs such as home decor and interior design can be used to add interest, style, theme to a design like a door. For example, shape in interior design depends on the function of the object like a kitchen cabinet door.

The Direction Element

All lines have direction and they are either horizontal, vertical or oblique. Horizontal suggests calmness, stability and tranquility. Vertical gives a feeling of balance, formality and alertness. Oblique suggests movement and action. The element of direction can have a powerful influence on the mood of a design.

Making a conscience decision about the dominant direction when designing your home, can have a noticeable effect on the atmosphere of the work. When designing a house, it is possible to impose either a horizontal, vertical or oblique dominant direction. The examples below show the effect of different treatments. For example, a horizontal emphasis tends to make your house look sleek and clean and creates a fairly static or calm atmosphere, while a diagonal dominance reinforces the chaotic nature of your house, and emphasizing a vertical direction maintains the random chaos, but gives a solid formal feeling to your design.

  • House With Horizontal Lines: A house with horizontal lines makes it look sleek and clean and creates a calm atmosphere

A house with diagonal direction: A house with diagonal direction reinforces the chaotic nature of the house

  • A house with diagonal direction: A house with diagonal direction reinforces the chaotic nature of the house

A house with diagonal direction: A house with diagonal direction reinforces the chaotic nature of the house

  • Vertical Direction House: Vertical Direction House makes a house look solid and formal.

Vertical Direction House: Vertical Direction House makes a house look solid and formal.

  • The Size Element

Size is the relationship of the area occupied by one object such as a room to that of another (does not have to be another room, or a relationship between tow similar things).

  • The Texture Elements

There are two types of physical texture.

Physical Texture: physical in a sense that it's tactile (tangible) that you can feel with your hand. It is the kind of texture which you can detect with your five senses. The build up of paint, slipperiness of soft pastel, layering of collage - all the things that change the nature of the papers surface.

Visual Texture: it is the illusion of physical texture, created with the materials you use. . Paint can be manipulated to give the impression of texture, while the paper surface remains smooth and flat. For example, texture like garden sheets on a wall gives a three dimensional look to the wall.

Texture is the feeling and visual feel of the fabrics, colors, and room accessories. It's the surface quality of a shape - rough, smooth, soft hard glossy etc. Also, texture is the roughness of the surface of a material. For example, surfaces with same or similar textures like fireplace marble tiles and drywall usually look more visually appealing. The quality of finishes of surfaces in home design is important. For instance, a smooth mirror reflective finish on a marble bathroom countertop enhances its looks.

In order to design the perfect home and to fully explore your options when designing a home, you must understand the difference between physical and visual texture to help you take full advantage of this element. In addition to the unlimited options and creative design ideas that you can generate just by understanding this principle, this understanding if this basic principle, can even save you money, I'll fully explain that in other areas.

  • A house with Visual Texture: This contemporary building design uses tow different size blades to add visual texture.

A house with Visual Texture: This contemporary building design uses tow different size blades to add visual texture.

  • The Color Element

As you know, there are three primary colors ( Red, Yellow and Blue ) and color is considered as, and indeed is, the most expressive element of design. Color can be used to create illusion of depth. Understanding color theory is important i the business of architecture and designing houses for many reasons. For instance, when you design your house, you can use the colour red to make things seem to come forward while you could use the colour blue to make things seems to recede into the distance.

You will understand these important yet simple facts when you start designing your own home; only then you will appreciate the powerful effectiveness of these principles. Color can also be used ,and especially contrasting colour, to draw the attention to a particular part of your house or certain areas inside your house. For example, colour can be added to increase visual appeal inside your house such as the natural colours of wood added to mimic the lines of cross beams overhead of a cabinet adding a relaxed touch. However, most importantly, we will talk a lot about colors at the finals stage of designing the house. Choosing the color is absolutely important when choosing materials for your interior and exterior finishes.

Even the most experienced architects find choosing the right color that goes with the right kind of materials really hard. In fact, materials and, in turn, color are what truly distinguish a talented architect, and you too; it will show your taste and knowledge about colors. Colors are not just are associated with moods and every color is good for a specific thing. Thus, we will discuss this in detail at that stage.

  • The Value Element

Value, which is also called Tone or shading. is the lightness or darkness of a colour and helps with Form. As you might have guessed, it gives objects depth and perception.

  • The Type Elements

Type is the use of letterform or letter shape: the shape of a letter of the alphabet to add a message that would be otherwise challenging to create through the other elements. I'll show you many examples of how might this apply to home designing.