Seven Key Elements of Interior Design

Seven Key Elements of Interior Design

Every design is composed of certain basic elements that give it structure. The elements of interior design help to design a better and more coherent space. The seven elements of interior design are:


The first element of Interior Design is the space itself. It refers to the actual building or room that is to be furnished and designed.  This is the basic composition of the space such as walls, floors, ceiling, doors and windows as well as the beams and columns.  This is the “canvas” that the designer works with. Sometimes this canvas is completely bare, other times it comes with some challenges. The designer must realize the potential of the space and work in harmony with it to enhance style and functionality.


Color plays a vital role in determining the basic mood for any interior design. The designer sets a color palette in accordance to the style and the atmosphere he wants to create in the interior space. Using a common Color schemes is a great way to unify a collection of spaces. For example, three or four complimentary colors can be used in varying shades throughout a house to create a relationship between every space while keeping variety.



The next element is light.  Lighting in interior design is essential to craft the ambience of a room. It also has a major impact on the way colors and textures are perceived. The two types of lights that the designer can use are natural light and artificial light. Artificial lighting can be classified as task lighting, accent lighting and mood lighting.  The right combination of these types of lights can help create a certain feel, mood and style in every space.


The fourth element is texture. Texture is a great tool to add depth and interest and can bring a powerful dimension to a room.  Texture can be used to break up a monochrome room and add more variety.  Texture can be added by using rugs, wallpaper, cushions and drapes to name a few.


Balance is an element that brings stability in the design. It is the equal distribution of visual weight in a room. There are three types of balance: symmetricalasymmetrical and radial. Symmetrical balance is obtained by placing the same objects placed on either side of a vertical axis. It creates a Mirror effect and is more suitable for formal settings. Asymmetrical balance gives a more relaxed or casual feel to a space. It is obtained by placing some dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight on either side of a linear axis. Radial symmetry is when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a center point. This type of balance is more difficult to achieve but gives a space movement and playfulness.


Focal point is crucial in a space to define a hierarchy. A well-designed room always has one or more focal points. The focal point is an element that draws the attention towards itself and dominates the space while staying an integral part of the space through scale, style, color or theme.


Putting two elements in opposition to one another is called contrast. Contrast can be introduced in form, color and scale. The more stark a contract, the more attention it will take in the design. The right contract can break monotony and enliven a space.

Here’s a great video on some of the tips in this article by Molly Sims

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