The real power of interior design is its ability to change us and the way we connect with one another and ourselves. When our spaces are designed with conscious intent, we create a home that automatically lifts our spirits and restores our energy. Having a place to get back to center... to get grounded, is like a pressing the reset button after a stressful day. To decorate your home intentionally means that each and every item brings with it a meaning, cultivating a spirit of support. While it may seem like the design choices we make are purely aesthetic, when we pull back the layers, we recognize that surrounding ourselves with what we find beautiful has a profound effect on how we feel. From the paint colors we choose, down to the knobs on our drawers, each piece contributes to the whole energy, or vibe, of our homes.
To design from a place of intention, it’s important to first have an understanding the 7 elements of design. These fundamental aspects are the building blocks that all designers use to create spaces. When used intentionally, they create balance and harmony.
Color has a profound effect on our moods, making it arguably the most important element of design. To help you in choosing a color scheme for your interior, we encourage you to focus on how you want feel, which may differ per room. If you want to feel calm or relaxed, for example, go with shades of green or blue which is perfect for the bedroom. When putting together a color pallet, exploring color wheel compositions is a helpful tool for selecting colors that go well together. Having a color scheme is a great place to start with your design projects.
Line is a dynamic base element that aids greatly to the energy of a space. From the structure of your home to all the things in it,everything is made up of lines, making this element probably the second most important one on the list. Line can be used to make a space feel wider or taller, or it can be used to draw the eye to important focal points to your design. Lines can be straight, creating a more masculine feel, or curved, creating a more organic or feminine feel.
Like color, light has a tremendous effect on how we feel in our homes. Good lighting can make a world of difference in the mood of our space and can even have an effect on color. A well-balanced home has a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Things like dimmers, or lamps, allow you to control the vibe of a room. It’s important to make sure that the lighting is evenly distributed throughout the room. We can also maximize natural light by avoiding heavy drapery, hanging mirrors across from windows and keeping our windows clean.
This element is all about composition and layout. There is a method to where we place our furniture and decor in order to create balance and a well laid out interior. The space that your furniture and other decor take up is called positive space. The trick to this element is to be sure to leave enough negative or “white space” around your objects so as to not overwhelm the eye. Let objects breathe and you’ll feel more at peace.
Shape, or form, can refer to the overall shape of a room as well as each object in it. The two main shape categories are geometric or organic. Geometric shapes are sharper and feature angles and straight lines whereas organic shapes feature softer, more flowing curves. We like to include a balance of the two in our projects.
Pattern breathes life into our spaces and is so fun to work with. The trick is to not overdo it. We can add splashes of pattern with wallpaper, fabrics, art, rugs, and even architectural elements like countertops and tile. Make sure your patterns compliment your overall design scheme and don't overwhelm each other.
Texture is often overlooked but it’s soo important for adding depth and visual interest. Texture is about layering. Remember texture can be more than just tactile, but it can also be visual. Our favorite ways to add texture to a room include antiques with patina and age, baskets, natural elements like crystals, and of course pillows and throws!
Once you have a grasp on the 7 elements of design, it’s time to begin thinking about how you will utilize these elements in a way that supports you holistically. We always start our projects with a client questionnaire. These questions are grouped into six categories, which we call the Six Pillars of Balanced Design. Each pillar plays a role in discovering our clients own unique style, guiding us to formulate a personalized design concept. Below are a few sample questions that you can use to guide your own self-discovery process before taking on a design project. Once you have your answers, see what the common threads are and keep them in mind when selecting furnishings and decor.
How do you want to live in your home?
Where do you feel you need the most help in your home?
What are your stressors in the home?
What colors do you love? Not love? Get specific.
How would you describe your sense of style?
What styles of decor and art are you drawn to?
What do you want your home to feel like?
Are there different “feels” for different rooms?
How can your home support you on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level?
What hobbies do you have? Interests?
What do you want your home to say about you?
What objects or mementos hold special meaning to you, and how can you incorporate these into your design scheme?
What feels good to the touch? Are you sensitive to the feel of rugs or fabrics?
What scents do you like, not like?
How can your interior help you to engage your senses more?
What enables you to feel more connected?
How do you nourish your spirit?
How would you like your home to inspire you?
Lastly, we can’t talk about designing with intention without thinking about how our choices impact the planet. Making intentional decisions about what we choose to furnish our homes with is something that we should all be mindful of. When we select products that are healthy for the planet and ourselves, we feel better knowing that we are doing our part to protect Mother Earth.