Select Page

Elements and Principles of Interior Design

A formal education in interior design will typically build upon some form of the design elements and principles outlined below. To see how these elements and principles of interior design are applied to the home design practice, please visit Interior Design Basics.


Elements of Interior Design

Line – A path made by a moving point

Shape – 2-Dimensional object

Form – 3-Dimensional object that occupies space

Color – The part of the visible spectrum observed when light reflects off a surface

Value & Tone – How light or dark an object appears, includes shades and tints of colors

Texture – The tactile feel of a surface or object

Space – The area around, between, and within objects


Principles of Interior Design

Proportion & Scale – The relationship among objects relative to each other such as size or quantity

Balance – How elements are distributed in an area to provide visual weight

Contrast – Emphasizes the differences among elements such as light or dark, big or small

Rhythm & Movement – Creating a sense of direction to naturally guide the viewer’s eye

Emphasis & Dominance – Establishing a focal point

Harmony & Unity – Making all parts of the home work together as a cohesive unit

Variety – The utilization of a wide assortment of differing elements

Pattern & Repetition – The recurring use of elements to create a regular arrangement