Monday, August 23, 2010

Elements of Design

Most of us are familiar with the four Elements of Nature: earth, air, wind, and fire. Ancient belief was that these four elements were the building blocks of the universe. Likewise, there are elements that are the building blocks of great design. I like to break them down this way:

& metal

When designing a space it is important to keep these elements in mind. You don't necessarily have to use all of them, but you want to make sure that the ones you do have are balanced. If a space isn't working for you, chances are you either are lacking in one element or too heavy in another.

{WOOD: stained and painted}

For example, my family room is definitely heavy in wood. It's not so much that I have too much wood, but I have too much dark wood and no other variations. It's made worse by the fact that our new home came with dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen and family room are conjoining. We are drowning in dark wood over here.

What my room needs is a new coffee table - either something in glass and metal or stone and metal to add variation to the room. A large leather or upholstered ottoman would work as well.
Another possible idea is to paint the console table. It could be a pop of color or an antiqued silver finish. Which brings me to my next element: Metal.

{Metal: metal, or metallic finishes on wood or glass}

What makes this room so beautiful? The gold finishes on the mirrors and frames. Not to mention the back rests on those amazing chairs. But the metal is also balanced out by the wood spindle on the fireplace, the glass vase, and the rich fabric curtains.

{Fabric: color, texture, and pattern}

{Stone: granite, marble, ceramic, pottery}

This room is such a perfect example of design balance: glass and metal coffee table, fabric in furniture and curtains, marble and wood fireplace, wood book shelf, and stone and metallic accents. Love it.

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