Chapter 2: Line!
The element of line is the second element of design that I want to talk about in my Elements and Principles of Design series. Line is not something that is as obvious as color, but it can have a dramatic impact in a space. It acts as a foundation in design because it can be seen in other elements of design, such as form, pattern, and texture.
Purpose of the Element of Line
Lines have the ability to create movement by drawing your eye around the room. Line also has the ability to give the illusion of or emphasize height, width, or length. Overall, it’s a great tool to highlight a focal point and create transitions and flow between rooms.
Within line, there is a surprising amount of variation. There are many different types of line with different characteristics.
Characteristics of Line
First, I’ll talk about the different characteristics that lines can have. Lines can be:
Types of Line
Next, lines can be grouped by type. There are four main categories of line.
Horizontal lines can make a room look wider or longer. They tend to give a feelings of stability, calm, security, and safety.
Horizontal lines can be found in architectural elements such as baseboards, crown molding, and chair rails. They can also be found in tables, beds, couches and flooring.
Opposite to horizontal lines, vertical lines can make a room look taller, more lofty, and expansive. They tend to impose a sense of grandeur and formality.
Vertical lines can be found in architectural elements such as doors, windows, columns, and openings. They can also be found in pieces of furniture like lamps, and cabinets or hutches.
Less common than horizontal and vertical lines, there are two types of angular lines, diagonal lines and zigzag lines.
Diagonal lines convey a sense of movement, energy, action, and drama. They can be found in stairs, a roof truss system, or vaulted ceilings. Diagonal lines create visual interest because they hold the attention of the viewer longer than vertical or horizontal lines.
Zigzag lines give off energy, liveliness, and rhythm. They are usually found in textiles and patterns such as chevrons and herringbone.
Seemingly the antithesis to horizontal, vertical, and angular lines, there are three types of curved lines, curved or circular lines, flowing lines, and tightly curved lines.
Curved or Circular
Curved or circular lines are soft, elegant, graceful, and easy on the eyes. They can be found in arches, rounded windows, and things like clocks, light fixtures, mirrors, and lampshades.
Flowing lines provide gentle movement and lots of visual interest to a room. They can be found in curved staircases and natural elements like plants.
Tightly curved lines are playful and lively. They are generally found in things like textiles, wallpaper, and rugs.
Continue reading to find out how to use line in YOUR home!