Good interior designers are creative, but great designers also have sound basic mathematical skills. Putting together a beautiful room design requires a good understanding of size, scale and proportion, and how different colours, textures, materials and patterns impact on these; all principles of geometry.
Geometry is the visual study of shapes, sizes, patterns and positions, and it plays an important role in so much of the world around us. In architecture, machinery, navigation, art and design, geometry forms the foundation of how we live. Simple shapes like the circle, square and triangle, secondary forms such as half-circle, diamond and trapezoid and extruded forms such as spheres, cubes and pyramids are featured in design throughout history. From the sacred geometry of the golden ratio to the Egyptian pyramids, from the grand architectural structures of ancient Rome and Greece to modern buildings such as the Sydney Opera House, from cubism to abstract art and from retro to contemporary home décor, geometry defines the synergistic relationship we have with our environment.
“For without symmetry and proportion, no temple can have a regular plan,”
Vitruvius – Ten Books on Architecture
Geometry impacts the following areas of home décor:
- Size and scale
- Furnishings and finishes
- Texture, colour and pattern
Deciding on a layout starts with an understanding of the room’s function; is it single-purpose or a space that has many functions?
In a space that needs to accommodate various purposes i.e. relaxing, conversation, dining, watching television, study etc. use geometric shapes to define unique areas within the space. Strategic placement of furniture and various floor types also work well to define separation in an open-plan room.
AMERICAN shutters’ marketing director and interior designer, Karina Palmer adds, “ allowing natural light into a room accentuates the geometry of the area, adding interest as the light changes and shadows move and lengthen.” Shutters, which have their own strong geometric appeal facilitate full light control; light penetration is controlled by opening or closing the louvres or opening and closing the shutters themselves.
When analysing a space for interior design, the entire space needs to be taken into consideration; floor space, ceiling height, window size and doorways. This will inform your choices of furnishings and finishes. Using large furniture pieces in a small space creates a disproportion that results in an awkward impractical room, using multiple small pieces in a large space results in a cluttered, confused look that is disconcerting. But although size does matter, it is also important to look at proportions; how different pieces work with one another i.e. opting for a large designer sofa as your centrepiece, then choosing a glass coffee table to fulfil a purpose but not steal any glory from the sofa or keeping your décor accessories minimal to allow the drama and stature of strong geometrical elements.
“Using similar geometric shapes in a room either in a repetitive sequence or layered in varying sizes and colours will create a harmonious slightly hypnotic space that relaxes and revitalises while combining different geometric shapes accentuates their differences and creates drama and interest,” says Karina Palmer.
Shutters and blinds have strong geometry, the horizontal lines of the louvres can add to a striped-themed room whether subtle or bold. This effect is minimised or enhanced by the simple effortless versatility of the shutters and blinds, “closing the shutters and louvres creates a neutral backdrop on which the room’s interior design is accentuated, but opening the louvres adds a completely new dimension to the space, one that is further exaggerated when light and shade are invited in to become décor elements of their own,” adds Karina.
Get your home in shape with clever use of both your creative and mathematical talents and shutters and blinds to introduce the form, symmetry, interest and style of geometry into your interior design.