Shapes, lines and geometry are part of the foundations of basic design. While most other people will start creating a design for their home from a color scheme, lines and shapes make for an equally effective and interesting starting point. They call about as much attention as a new color and work better with other elements. So let go of that paint can for now, take out your ruler and start redecorating.
Although it’s true that a room is static in that it has fixed and definite dimensions, it’s also dynamic in the sense that you could make it look differently proportioned than it really is. By just mixing up the shapes and the lines that you use to decorate a room, you can drastically change how it looks overall.
Whether you like your spaces large and grandiose or small and compact, you likely have at least one in your home that’s not exactly right to your preferences. It’s too small, too big or somehow too awkwardly proportioned. Whatever its problem, using the right shapes and lines in the décor can easily correct it. It’s all about tricking the eye of the viewer into thinking that the room is something it’s actually not. Once the visual flaws of the room have been corrected, you can then finish it off with the décor that you had wanted and the color scheme that you planned for the room to have.
Before putting in any new decor pieces, give the room a long hard look first. Consider how you’ll be using the room and how many people you intend to have in it at any one time. It helps to be realistic when doing interior design, especially here where you play with the proportions and visual size of a room. No matter what illusions you use, you can only make an eight foot square room look spacious but not actually spacious enough for, say a living room or a recreation area. You can only influence the visual size of the room, so don’t mix up visually fixing and physically redecorating it.
After you’ve gotten the room’s purpose straight, it’s time to check the geometry that will work best with your space. Lines, for example, tend to draw your eye from one end to the other. It’s effective for making one dimension seem longer, such as with continuous lines running the length of a room. Meanwhile, you could also shorten the room by breaking up any continuous lines, such as by clumping furniture into squares.
Curves, on the other hand, relax a room and literally take the edge off. Any curving shape is fine; just be careful not to use too many different ones so that the room won’t end up looking like a mod project gone wrong. But whether you’re going with curves or straight lines, area rugs are an easy and safe way to reinforce or counteract it. They come in round or contoured shapes for a homey look or in hard-line rectangles and squares for a stronger, manlier appearance. Having patterns on the rug only adds to the effect and gives your decor even more depth.
Similarly, your choice of furniture can also affect the overall look of the room. Plain rectangular coffee tables fit in with rooms full of straight lines, while tables with rounded edges add a bit of contrast to a ’round’ room without clashing. Whichever theme you use, a little creativity and a bit of architectural know-how should give you a room that looks exactly the way you want it to.
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