Read Paulina Bird’s (House of Bird) insights into the 6 Principles of Design and how applying these principles can influence a successful design and create beautiful spaces. This Six Part Series breaks the design mystery down to its most simple and most easily understood elements – a must for any design enthusiast.
As I contemplate how to begin discussing the 6 Principles of Design, I realise they are all overtly in direct relationship with our world. I find that exciting and invigorating realising that all forms of Design are based on fundamental Life Principles. No matter how scientifically one analyses these, they draw us into far more than fact and formula’s; they ultimately relate to how we exist and how we are intricately woven together with this amazing world around us. Thus all Design relates to these life forces and how we master the use of these is through perseverance, instinct, knowledge and practice.
The Golden Mean – It’s the application of a simple mathematical equation that calculates proportion that is pleasing to the eye.
As previously discussed in my last Blog on Patterns ( Blog 2) “The essence of life systematically repeats in rhythmic patterns that infinitely dominate in all our lives” and so Life Principles that are also called Design Principles all relate to (1) Balance: a fundamental law of the Universe that not only upholds our planet in mid space but also holds all of Life together.
Balance is always “just right”. It is what we aim for in all aspects. We walk with a rhythm but also balanced; gravity compels us to be balanced otherwise our world would be chaotic and none of us would be able to function. A tree grows balanced otherwise it would not survive, plants need a balance of sun, rain and soil and so on it goes. This is a fact we all accept and live with so why use balance in Design?
A building designed with no balance would not stand, be unpleasant to our senses and would not be functional. However a building designed with balance in structure, function and appearance would ultimately reap all the rewards thus making it a useful and pleasing environment. Its outcome would be worth all the effort it took to create it and would make life easier for all involved in its purpose.
Our homes also need to reflect this and so in contemplating a customer’s need for a scheme in their Bathroom, I consider all aspects of Design Principles but more precisely, I understand that getting the right balance is my ultimate aim.
Balance makes us feel in control. If our immediate environment is harmonious then we adapt far more readily to tasks with clarity. If we get a Scheme balanced with colour, positioning and format then we relate to this in a pleasing manner.
A jarring colour scheme screams at us but a balanced harmony of colour is restful and easy to live with. Remember, “balance is just right.” Basically Designers are responsible for forming pleasing and eye-catching spaces filled with a harmonious balance of colour, format and function. Even styling a room is based on a balance of objects that harmoniously work together to provide a sense of pleasing proportion.
If your Bathroom faces south and has a cool aspect we balance it with a warmer scheme eg. paint colour and warmer tones. We place tiles at a balanced height with the rest of the room to add a sense of proportion and function. I like to keep the height of tiles with the same height as the doors and windows. This forms a continuous line around the room rather than too many different height for tiles, mirrors, doors and windows. Keeping these at the same height in your bathroom adds to the balance and proportion of the room with a much more professional outcome.
Basic as it sounds, balance is extremely important in all aspects of life; our survival as a planet, our eating and sleeping habits etc. Take the balance out of anything and there is instantly a problem. This also relates to Design and so balanced detail is the essence of amazing and rewarding outcomes.
By Paulina Bird
Links to all six parts: Design Principles – 1 Balance (Series, 1 of 6), Design Principles – 2 Rhythm (Series, 2 of 6), Design Principles – 3 Movement (Series, 3 of 6), Design Principles – 4 Stability (Series, 4 of 6), Design Principles – 5 Dominance (Series, 5 of 6), Design Principles – 6 Tension (Series, 6 of 6).
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