What are the 7 elements of interior design?

Have you ever walked into a room or seen one on a home show or in a magazine that is jaw dropping? Everything seemed to be in a perfect place, and it flows with effort. These amazing rooms are created by interior designers with the 7 elements of interior design in the forefront of their mind. The 7 elements of interior design are space, line, form, light, color, texture, and pattern. With these seven elements you too can create a magazine worthy space. You do not have to be a professional interior designer to create a cohesive space. All you need is some timeless furniture, the 7 elements of interior design, and creativity. Now, as you continue to read about these elements of design, keep your room or space in mind to see which elements you are representing well, and which ones may need some further assistance.


Space is the very first element you should consider when designing a room. Space is simply the area in the room. It incorporates how large or small the room is and how crowded or empty the room will be. By playing with the idea of space you can create various feelings within a room. For example, if you want a very intimate space you may have more furniture in closer proximity to feel that you are physically close with those around you. It is important to keep in mind that there is both negative and positive space. Negative space is a spot with no items, whereas positive space is an area that is filled with something, for instance furniture. To keep a room feeling balanced you will want to have a similar amount of negative and positive space.

As mentioned previously, space is something you need to keep in mind when looking at how large your room is. If you have a very large room with high ceilings you would want to have furniture pieces that have the same scale, so you would choose larger furniture pieces such as a large and comfy sectional. Keeping space in mind will allow you to have a proportional room that feels balanced and well put together.


Everything that you see is made out of lines. Lines carry the eyes from one place to the next, maybe left and right, or up and down. Depending on the effect you are wanting to create you can use the interior design elements of lines to create a flow that the eyes will follow. Lines typically come in four different forms: horizontal, vertical, dynamic (diagonal), and curved. Each line has a different purpose and creates a varying effect. For example, Horizontal lines carry the eyes left and right, this is a very common line, but is very helpful if you want to make the space feel grounded. Vertical lines draw your eyes up, so they are useful in rooms that are shorter to make them feel taller. Dynamic lines create drama and direction, these are very common in the use of stairs, but can be used in other areas of the room to add visual interest .Curved lines give a softer look, so they are very useful in designs that are trying to portray a light and airy feel. You do not have to only use one type of line in your design, it actually makes it more interesting if you use different types of lines in your design. You can carefully mix and match different lines to evoke the feeling that you are going for in your room.


Forms are simply the shapes in your room. They are classified as either geometric shapes or organic shapes. Geometric shapes are the classic shapes you may think of: square, triangle, rectangle, really anything that you would find in a geometry textbook. Organic shapes are shapes that are more fluid and may be found in nature. A great example of an organic shape is a leaf. Forms are found in all areas of your room from the furniture, lighting, and patterns. Different shapes create different feelings. Organic shapes are more fluid and have a great flow to them, therefore are calming and relaxing. Geometric shapes are more rigid and traditional, so they are often found in modern furniture. You never want to only have one form throughout your room. You want to incorporate different forms to keep your room interesting and not too monotonous.


Lighting is one of the most important aspects of interior design. It not only allows you to see, but it can create an atmosphere. Imagine your favorite romantic restaurant with harsh hospital lights, it completely disrupts the vibe. The lights in your room should include natural and synthetic light. Natural light comes from your windows, doors, or skylight. Natural light can be enhanced by the placement of these key features, or you can add treatments such as curtains, stained glass, or treated glass to play with the natural light.

Synthetic lighting is the lights that you add to your room with a sconce, underlighting, lamp, or ceiling lighting. These lights can play a vital role in setting the mood you are hoping for. The first key to choosing lighting is the warmth of your light. For a moody and romantic feeling, you should choose a warmer light, for a lighter and brighter feel you would want a cool tones light. After you decide on the warmth or your light you will want to choose the placement of your light. The placement you choose should highlight the lines and forms in your room and create shadows or bright points to complement them. Once you have determined the placement, you should be ready to pick the ultimate lighting for your aesthetic. Groms offers a wide variety of lighting with chandeliers, pendants, floor and table lamps, and wall sconces, you will be sure to find exactly what your room needs.


Color is such a personal feature of design, some people prefer very minimal color, and some love color and want it to be the feature of the room. Different colors give off different vibes to the room. In addition to the actual color, the vibrancy and saturation can also be a key feature in the feeling of the room. Warmer tone colors tend to have more energy, so they are great in rooms that you may want to feel awake in, such as a playroom. Cooler colors such as blue, purple, and green are often more calming and greater for use in a bedroom or bathroom. Colors truly do affect our mood, so choosing the right one is essential in creating the perfect vibe.

Color does not always have to be the center of the attention. Color is often used as an accent in textiles, décor, and small furniture pieces to add a pop of color to an otherwise minimal room. When using this accent color method, do not be afraid to use varying hues of the same color to add interest and variety into a room without dousing it in color.


Texture is how a surface looks or feels. Is it rough, soft, bumpy, or smooth? Texture can be visual (what you see), Physical (How it actually feels) or both. Incorporating various textures keeps a room interesting and creates depth. Texture is not only seen on textiles such as a rug, bedding, or blanket, but is even found on your usual furniture pieces. Think about the grain on your wooden dresser, it has visual texture because you can see the grain, it also has physical texture when you run your hand across it and feel the knots and sanded and stained top. Textures not only keep your room interesting, but also helps to create the mood. Soft and plush textures are romantic and homey, whereas sleek finished items are more sterile and less inviting. Keeping the textures in your home or space in mind can help you to culminate your vision.


Patterns are a repetition of shape that create interest in a room. They can be featured in art on your walls, wallpaper, textiles, or even on your furniture. Some of the most traditional textures are stripes, dots, and shapes. However, there are so many unique patterns that can be incorporated into your design that offers another touch of your mood into the room. Choosing a pattern can be difficult since there are so many, but once you find one that perfectly accompanies the design of the room it will be love at first sight.

Patterns are also great when they are incorporated with texture. These two elements of design complement each other very well and can make them even stronger together than if they were alone. For example, you could have a polka dot rug where the pile of the dots is higher than that of the background. Having both together adds even more interest to the piece and make your guests truly appreciate the piece. The seven elements of interior design are the key to creating a well balanced room with a unified and cohesive theme. The next time you are decorating your space use these elements to make your room feel like it should be in the next edition of Architectural Digest.