The Basics

Below are some key terms that are important for interior decorators to become familiar with. To view the full article, click here.

Color- the creator of illusion and maker of mood

Form- the overall shape of any object

Line- the implied direction or boundary of an object

Mass- the bulk of an object that occupies space

Texture- the touch me, feel me of matter

Focal point- This is the point of visual reference to which the eye always returns — a “home base.”

Scale and proportion- Scale refers to overall size, while proportion relates the size of parts compared to the whole. Keep these two factors in mind when selecting furniture.

Harmony and unity- Harmony refers to the blending of similar elements, while unity refers to the overall sense of belonging together. This is a goal, so keep it in mind as you add each new piece of furniture or accessory.

Contrast- Contrast places opposites side by side, such as black and white or hard and soft. The challenge is to balance contrast, so as to maintain a sense of overall unity. Add contrast in small doses; be careful not to overdo it and thus upset a sense of harmony of parts and overall unity.

Variety- Variety is the spice of life and the spice of interiors. Include variety within a single room as well as within a whole-house design.