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Element of Design


Shape & Form

Think: What is SPACE in interior

Pair: With the 2-3 students on each

table talk about what you think space is>

Share: Choose one person from your

table to share your groups thoughts
about space in interior design.

The area in which the

designer is given to work
withthe area within an
Space can be real or
Everyone needs space

Theory of
ProxemicsPrivate space is 18
Personal space is 1-4
Social space is 4-12
Public space is 12
and beyond


Space is the area a designer works with.

It can be defined by walls, dividers, or

other objects.

Space is probably
the most important
element of design.
It gives us the
ability to change.
Space changes as
we move, as light
changes, or
psychologically by
where we are

The basic space problems

people encounter include
having too much or, more
often, not having enough.

1. allow large openings

between rooms
2. place furniture near
3. use small furniture,
patterns and textures
4. use a minimum of
furnishings and accessories
5. allow for empty spaces
between furniture and on

The key is to keep the eye moving in an

uninterrupted way, causing our brain to think the
room is larger.

6. allow as much floor to

show as possible
7. use mirrors to create the
illusion of space
8. unify spaces by using the
same floor/wall coverings
9. use light, cool colors
10. Place lighting around
the outside of the room or
underneath beds or sofas
so they seem to float above
the floor.

Good space planning helps people feel more

comfortable in their environments.

11. Use wall-to-wall floor

12. Use ceiling to floor

To make a room feel more intimate:

1. Place furniture perpendicular to the walls as
room dividers.
2. Use furniture of different heights to break a
long, unobstructed view.
3. Group furniture according to areas of activity.
4. Use large furniture that sits directly on the floor.

5. Use contrasting patterns, colors, and textures.

6. Use warm, dark colors.
7. Use natural lighting
and be careful when
using artificial lighting.
8. Use soft, rough
textures to absorb sound
and make the room
feel private and intimate.

Before and After

Remember: If space is not correctly planned, the

other elements of design will not be as effective.

There are two types of space:

Negative and positive.
Positive space is occupied with an object,
person, etc.
Negative space is unoccupied. It is defined
by the edges of positive space.
One cant exist without the other.

It is important in our
designs to include both
positive and negative space
to achieve a look of overall
Positive is filled space while
negative is empty space.
Too much positive space
can cause the space to feel
Too much negative space
can cause the space to feel
Using the space guidelines from the previous pages will help
to add overall balance to the design.

Each room needs both positive

and negative space

Each room needs both positive

and negative space

Which is the positive and which

is the negative space?

Positive and Negative Space

Take two pieces of paper- one full sheet and
the other a half sheet. The colors should be
Using the half sheet you will draw a design.
Then cut out that design and place the cut
out pieces on the other side of the full sheet.
This will illustrate the use of positive and
negative space.