Movement in design is the topic of the day and a great way to add the finishing touch to your home!
Chapter 11: Movement!
This is the last installment of my Elements and Principles of Design series. And we are finishing up with the principle of movement! Merriam-Webster defines movement as “the quality (as in a painting or sculpture) of representing or suggesting motion.” And i believe that this is the definition that is most applicable to movement in interior design as well. Movement in interior design can also be thought of as the path the eye takes around the space.
Okay, these theories and definitions are all well and good. But what does this really mean in everyday life and design? Basically, it means that your goal should be to plan your space in such a way that the viewer’s eye is drawn from one thing to the next in the room. Oftentimes, you will have a couple focal points in a space, and you will want your viewer’s eye to move from one to the other in a smooth way, not just be jarred by the two focal points opposing each other. Movement is a way of telling a story, moving around a space in a way that makes sense and creating a cohesive flow to the space.
Creating Movement in Interior Design
So, how does one create movement in interior design?
As we have discussed throughout this series, the Principles of Design are guidelines to using the Elements of Design. Movement in interior design is no different. However, movement also combines other Principles of Design. This means that incorporating movement is definitely a big-picture concept, something that requires taking a step back and looking at the space as a whole.
Emphasis, rhythm, line, and asymmetrical balance are the Elements and Principles that are most often used to create movement in interior design. You can take a look at each of these Elements and Principles in more detail on their respective posts, linked above.
Rhythm and Emphasis
Essentially, one way that you can create movement in interior design is by using the different types of rhythm we talked about, repetition, alternation, and progression, in order to connect the focal points in the room, which you can use emphasis to highlight.
Line is also a great way to create movement in interior design. You may or may not have paid attention to what happens when you look at a line before. But your mind naturally wants to follow that line. So one way to carry a viewer’s eye around a space is to use lines.
You don’t even have to use obvious lines to connect the focal points, though. In fact, there are a quite a number of different types of line that I talk about in depth in my line post. And there are several ways to use lines without having big graphic lines if that’s not your thing. For example, you can use what’s known as implied line, which is where your eye and your mind fill in a line by connecting the dots, so to speak.
The other common way to create movement in interior design is to use asymmetrical balance. Symmetrical and radial balance have their place in design for sure. But they do have a tendency to cause the eye to rest. On the other hand, asymmetrical balance creates interest and movement.
Go Forth and Move!
Well, I feel like movement is the perfect Principle of Design to wrap up my Elements and Principles of Design series with. I mean, that’s what you have to do to get things done, move! And creating movement and energy in your space is a great way to set the stage in your home.
As with the rest of the Elements and Principles of Design, it really doesn’t cost any extra money to incorporate movement into interior design. It simply takes being thoughtful when planning your space. For more affordable and practical ways to use the Elements and Principles of Design to make your house a home, check out my other Elements and Principles of Design posts.