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Element #5: 4 Keys to Using Shape in Interior Design

Have you ever noticed the shapes of the furniture and objects in a room? How do they contribute to the overall feel of the room? Using the element of form or shape in interior design allows you to establish a mood for the space through the shapes of the objects in the room.

There are two basic categories of shape: geometric and natural. Geometric shapes have crisp edges and hard lines or flat sides. The most common are, of course, squares and rectangles, but triangles, hexagons and other geometric shapes are also easy to find once you start noticing them. Natural shapes are more organic with curves or irregular lines. You’ll see these shapes in a camelback couch with soft, rounded arms or a curved railing on a spiral staircase.

Shapes in interior design can be used to define the mood of the room in several key ways. Here are some ideas to get started experimenting with how you use shapes in your space.

Use Shape to Support Your Style

Modern design lends itself to geometric shapes very easily. Geometric shapes can be playful or sophisticated depending on how they’re used.

Natural shapes suggest harmony and peacefulness, so they’re great in spaces where you want to create a calm, soothing atmosphere. They’re also great rooms with biophilic or Bohemian styles.

Make Your Most Dramatic Shapes Easy to Replace

Bold shapes can become tired after a while, so one worthwhile technique you can use, especially as you’re experimenting with your design style, is to choose items that can easily be replaced as your boldest shapes in the room. For example, throw pillows or blankets.

Bring in some living plants into your space, too. Not only are they lovely, they add oxygen to our spaces and boost our moods. Look for pots or containers that add a pop of color or have patterns on them that match other shapes in the room.

Think Outside the Box

The shape of your tables, lamps, and wall décor are definitely worth considering as you look at shapes in your space. But what about your wall coverings? You might find a wallpaper with a bold or subtle design that adds emphasis to the shapes in the room.

If you’re using geometric shapes in a room, consider triangles and hexagons as well as squares and rectangles. For natural shapes, look for furniture with a living edge or featuring natural materials such as jute and rattan.

Consider Pattern and Scale

Pattern and Scale through shapes

When we think of form and shape in interior design, another way to incorporate those elements is through the use of pattern and scale. For example, you might choose accent pillows with a geometric print. Or perhaps a flowing watercolor design with a more organic pattern. Consider the pattern you choose for rugs and wall art as well.

Using shapes of varying scale around the room reinforces the theme. When we see repeating shapes of different sizes, our brains recognize that as a pattern. Be careful not to go overboard, though. Too much repetition can become overwhelming to the eye. Here are some great ideas from Better Homes & Gardens for using geometric patterns in your home.

Check Out My Mood Boards

Mood boards can give you a great sense of the way shapes work together in a space. They’re an excellent tool to use whether you’re looking to update a room or completely redesign it. Look at my interior design idea gallery to start exploring some new ideas. To get a custom mood board for your home or space, contact me today at (407) 314-5076.