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Element #4 – Use of Lines in Interior Design

It’s important to understand how to use the element of lines in interior design to emphasize the mood of your space. Using lines effectively can add a sense of calm or movement. Lines can trick our eye into believing a room is larger than it actually is. Knowing how to use this sometimes subtle tool will help make your home even more engaging. Here are some tips to help you get started using lines in your interior design.

Types of Lines

Interior designers rely on three different types of lines: horizontal, vertical, and dynamic. Lines create impact and emotion in a space. Some types of lines in interior design can be used to make a space feel larger, taller, or wider. Other types can create a sense of calm or excitement. Understanding which lines to use in your room depends a bit on the effect you’re trying to create or how the space will be used.

In our post on the element of light in interior design, we discussed how you want to use multiple types of lighting in a single space. With lines, however, incorporating too many different types of lines within a single room can be overwhelming and exhausting to view. Use bold patterns that reinforce lines sparingly. Lines are most effective when they enhance the natural features of the room and reinforce the appropriate feeling of the space. For example, a bedroom should be restful and peaceful, which is reinforced by horizontal lines.

Horizontal Lines

Horizontal lines are used to create a sense of calm in your interior design. They’re more informal and restful. Furniture such as dining tables, couches, and coffee tables create horizontal lines within a room. Another way to add horizontal lines to a space would be to use shiplap and orient it so that the planks form horizontal lines.

Vertical Lines

Example of both vertical lines and dynamic lines

Vertical lines in interior design create a sense of height in a room. Tall windows or doors are great examples of features in a room which are considered vertical.

Since vertical lines lift our eyes and move away from us, they make a space feel larger and taller. They also create a sense of strength and formality. This article from HomeBNC has some great ideas for designing a small kitchen to make it look larger. Notice how many use vertical lines in their designs.

Dynamic Lines

Example of dynamic lines

Dynamic lines include lines such as diagonals, zigzag or chevron patterns, and curved lines. These make a space more organic and fun.

A diagonal or chevron pattern brings a sense of action to a space. It’s a wonderful way to brighten up a lively space like a game room or child’s playroom. A more subtle diagonal line, such as a herringbone pattern in the planks of a floor, can add playfulness and fun to a living area as well.

Get More Great Interior Design Tips

Be sure to check out our other blog posts on the elements and principles of design for more home décor tips. If you’re looking for professional help with a design or remodel, contact me now to set up a virtual meeting so we can get started making your