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The Smart Guide to Creating Your Signature Style By Shandra Ward Signature Designs Interiors Events & Custom Decor

The Basic Elements of Design

Shape A shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, color, or texture. Shapes in house decor and interior design can be used to add interest, style, theme to a design like a door. Shape in interior design depends on the function of the object like a kitchen cabinet door. Natural shapes forming patterns on wood or stone may help increase visual appeal in interior design. Texture Texture is perceived surface quality. In art, there are two types of texture: tactile and implied. Tactile texture (real texture) is the way the surface of an object actually feels. Examples of this include sandpaper, cotton balls, tree bark, puppy fur, etc. Implied texture is the way the surface of an object looks like it feels. The texture may look rough, fizzy, gritty, but cannot actually be felt. Form Form is any three dimensional object. Form can be measured, from top to bottom (height), side to side (width), and from back to front (depth). Form is also defined by light and dark. There are two types of form, geometric (man-made) and natural (organic form). Form may be created by the combining of two or more shapes. It may be enhanced by tone, texture and color. It can be illustrated or constructed. Value Value is an element of design that refers to the relationship between light and dark on a surface or object and also helps with Form. It gives objects depth and perception. Value is also referred to as tone.

Line Line is the basic element that refers to the continuous movement of a point along a surface. The edges of shapes and forms also create lines. Lines and curves are the basic building blocks of two dimensional shapes like a house's plan. Every line has length, thickness, and direction. Space Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. It may have two dimensions (length and width), or it may have three dimensions (length, width, and height). There are two types of space: positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the space of a shape representing the subject matter. Negative space refers to the space around and between the subject matter. Color Color is seen either by the way light reflects off a surface, or in colored light sources. Color and particularly contrasting color is also used to draw the attention to a particular part of the image. There are primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors are used to create contrast. Analogous colors are colors that are found side by side on the color wheel. These can be used to create color harmony. Monochromatic colors are tints and shades of one color. Warm colors are a group of colors that consist of reds, yellows, and oranges. Cool colors are group of colors that consist of purples, greens, and blues.


2012. Shandra Ward Signature Design Studio. All rights reserved.



Well decorated rooms are always work in progress... they evolve as lifestyles change.

Elementals: The Smart Guide to Creating Your Signature Style is about creating the home environment you want by using the basic elements of design: line, space, color, shape, form, texture, and value.

I have taken these design elements and created a three layer design technique to help you create a harmonious style. You will learn how to build each layer to design a stylish space that emanates form, function and fusion. The three layer technique consists of: ~creating a backdrop (walls, fixed lighting, window treatments, built-ins, and flooring) ~selecting the appropriate furniture ~adding the perfect accessories to pull the room together. The objective to decorating living spaces is to create comfortable and inviting spaces that express your signature style by showcasing the things you love. This guide will show you how to get amazing results using this 3 layer technique.

Backdrop: Setting the Stage

Envision the mood or atmosphere you are trying to create in your blank space. If possible, clear out the room and start from scratch. This allows you to view the room in its bare state and helps you to de-clutter and re-organize. If you feel that your backdrop needs a little spunk, add color to your walls, ceiling, or your floors. Light airy hues set a quiet relaxed atmosphere, while bold and vibrant hues bring excitement and stimulation to the space. Get real creative and add an accent wall or stripes to your walls. Built-in cabinetry is a great way to add color and change the feel of a room. Paint the back-wall of the shelves with a contrasting or coordinating hue to help tie the room together.

Furniture: The Main Characters Furniture serves as the main characters of your living area. When selecting your furniture pieces, think about the role each piece plays in the space. You have the main characters, such as, the sofa, the bed, the dining table, the ceiling light...etc. Then you have supporting actors, such as, the coffee table, the night stand, the buffet, and so on. What pieces can be used in a dual capacity? An armoire may serve as and entertainment center and a room divider. A storage ottoman may serve as a coffee table for displaying your collectables. When guests are over, take the items off the ottoman and store these things in the ottoman, then VOILA! you have extra seating. Choose your furniture selections with care, buy for comfort first and style second. Make sure your style selections are consistent to ensure a cohesive setting.

Accessories Now the fun stuff, accessorizing! Without accessories, a room lacks personality. You can easily bring a room to life by placing a small sculpture on a stack of art books on a sofa table. If you own a collection of framed photos or art work, create a gallery wall. Know when to stop! Follow your instincts and add what you feel comfortable with. Choose accents that are functional and non-functional. Display beautiful accessories because you love the way they make you feel.

Decorating Tips: Envision the mood or atmosphere you are trying to create in your blank space. If possible, clear out the room and start from scratch. This allows you to view the room in its bare state and helps you to de-clutter and re-organize.

Happy Decorating!


The Smart Guide to Creating Your Signature Style

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ELEMENTALS: The Smart Guide to Creating Your Signature Style