The Basic Elements of Interior Design

When it comes to interior design, creativity, and flair should be the center of everything you choose to do. However, many people will be surprised by the level of science that is involved in interior design!

The Basic Elements of Interior Design

Designers follow a set of ‘rules’ that are based on a set of interior design principles. These principles include line, form, light, color, texture, pattern, and space. All of these principles come together to create a beautiful interior. 

If you’re looking for some interior design advice based on the basic elements of interior design, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explore these elements and principles to help you further develop your understanding! 

7 Elements Of Interior Design 

There are 7 elements of interior design that you should consider when you are designing an interior. These are: 


Space is the foundation of any interior, and for this reason, it is one of the basic elements of interior design.

The main idea behind space in interior design is to take all advantage of what is available to you. You should plot your design around all available space because the available space will not change. 

Any internal structure plan will center around space as it is not very common that an interior designer would suggest that you make any changes to the available space. 

Space is divided into two different categories, two-dimensional space, and three-dimensional space.

In interior design, space is considered a negative space, and space that has furniture in it is considered a positive space. 

The balance between positive and negative space is very important for any interior design space, and both overcrowding the space and leaving the space too empty have negative effects. 


Lines are another important element in interior design. They provide a way to define a space and act as visual guidance for the interior space. There are three different categories regarding lines. These are: 

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical 
  • Dynamic 

The horizontal lines are used to make a room seem wider and longer. They contain a table, chair, and bed. These lines are very useful, but they can make for a boring and uninspired space if you use them too much. 

The vertical lines are created by features such as doorways and windows. This gives the illusion that the room is much taller. 

Dynamic lines refer to diagonal, curved, or zigzag lines. This is useful for adding a dramatic effect to the room.


The form is another basic element of interior design. Any three-dimensional object in your home is known as a form. These forms can be easily created by combining two or more shapes.

You can easily highlight these shapes with the help of some of the other elements on this list, such as texture, patterns, and colors.

You can get a natural form or a man-made form. Natural forms are created by nature.


Patterns add some life to the interior design. It adds interest to the area. Patterns usually have a repetitive design and they can be of any shape. You will often see these patterns on the wall or a decorative surface. 

These patterns allow you to bring interest and energy to your design, and they also give depth to your space.

Patterns are very important because they add drama to the space. They are what gives your home the wow factor! They also provide the room with direction and dimension, giving your room a better view. It gives the room a 3D look.

Patterns also bring energy to a room and the people in it! You may think that one simple pattern is insignificant, but it makes one of the biggest differences in a room.


Light is another basic element of interior design. Lights highlight a large number of other elements, including color, texture, forms, lines, and patterns! 

Without light, none of the other elements have any significance. Designers often use artificial lights on doors and windows. Artificial lights are categorized into three different types: 

Task Lighting 

Task lighting is used for a well-defined purpose. This includes light sources such as bed lamps and table lamps. This type of lighting is put in place to carry out a specific task. 

Accent Lights 

Accent lights are used to highlight a certain thing in the room. For instance, they might highlight artwork or structures.

Mood Lights 

Mood lighting is used for setting the mood and highlighting the overall appearance of the space. 


Color is a very important element when it comes to interior design. Color is very good at creating mood and changing the perception of the size of a space. Each color has three different characteristics which are value, hue, and intensity. 

Certain colors and textures suit certain rooms better. For instance, red is often used in the dining room, and green is often used in the bedroom. 

Colors are categorized into primary and secondary colors, and they also fit into sub-categories. These are tertiary, complementary, and monochromatic.


The texture is another basic element of interior design. It refers to the surface of the object, which can bring a unique dimension to the room. This usually comes in two different forms: 

Visual Texture 

Visual texture refers to textures that you can easily see with your eyes. You can see these textures but you can’t feel them. 

Actual Texture 

Actual textures can be seen and felt. They have 3D characteristics that imply that you can see and feel them with your hands. If a designer can tell that something is missing from a room, then this will often be due to a lack of texture.

Texture reflects both the taste and environment of the room, and it is one of the most important elements involved in interior design.

Creating A Space Plan 

Space plans have a couple of steps to them. The first step is known as a bubble plan, and it consists of roughly drawing a map of the space using bubbles. The bubble plan will detail the activities that take place in space planning. 

After this, you will create a detailed scale plan. You will need to draw the design on a large piece of paper, drawing in the windows and doors. This will give you an understanding of the things you can and can’t do in the space that you have.

It is very important to understand the space you have before you consider the other basic elements of interior design. This is the first stage of the process as you need to know what you can fit into the space and in what way.

Final Thoughts 

This article has explored the basic elements of interior design. If you are designing your house or office, you should ensure that you keep all 7 of these elements in mind. If you consider all of these aspects, you will be able to fill the space beautifully. 

Interior design is a great way to express yourself in your surroundings! So, following these basic elements, you should give some of the areas that you spend time in a makeover! 

John Whitford
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