Most designers have studied the Elements and Principles of Design when getting their design degree or diploma.
The Elements: Space, Line, Shape, Texture, Light, Color and Pattern are the tools the designer uses to create the visual enviroment.
The Principles: Scale & Proportion, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis and Harmony are the basic rules for achieving the goals of design.
When I take on a design project, the Elements and Principles of Design always play a part in achieving the look I am after.
Read on to see how the Elements and Principles of Design played a big part in the design of this project.
I had worked with this development team in the past and after viewing the architect’s elevation for this high-end renovation, I immediately saw that geometric lines and shapes would be perfect for the interiors of this home.
Taking cues from the windows, the Square was chosen as the dominate shape for the interior millwork.
The vertical columns, the symmetrical balance of the façade and the repetition of the geometric shapes also influenced my choices.
The Kitchen layout began by placing the main sink, range and refrigerator on separate walls forming a U-Shaped layout.
Each of these main centers became a “block” within the space, with 18″ backlit, glass cabinet doors topping each zone.
The repetition of these 18″ cabinets produced a pleasing rhythm to the room’s design echoing the window and accordion door mullions in the space.
On either side of the built-in stainless steel refrigerator, 18″ wide pullout pantries provide great storage while also echoing the columns on the homes façade.
At the end of the main sink run, a raised dishwasher topped by cabinets down to the countertop produces another column like element.
A lineal island was placed down the center of the kitchen housing a trough sink accessible from both sides.
The size and shape of this sink was chosen to work with the geometric shapes throughout the space.
Even the cabinet door hardware was chosen and placed intentionally adding to the detailing of the Kitchen.
The addition of the arc faucets and cylinder shaped pendant lights add just the right amount of contrast to all of the straight lines.
At the end of the Kitchen island, a square built in table with chunky edge was included for informal dining.
Just beyond the Kitchen a mini mudroom cabinet was included.
The design of this unit was a bit more subdued allowing the frosted glass squares in the French Doors into the formal living room to be the focal point.
The family room adjacent to the Kitchen repeats the 18″ square motif in the form of tiles for the fireplace wall.
The long lineal mantel and built-in, touch to open drawer storage, keeps with the geometric look of the home.
The corner windows in this family room were the perfect choice for the space and floods the room with light.
The final room on this level I designed was the Powder Room.
The square motif was continued with the passage door, wainscot detail and vanity all sporting squares.
The backlit vanity is the focal point and is topped with a chunky countertop and a sculptural rectangular vessel sink.
The custom wood wainscot running around the room was the perfect detail to finish off this space.
Note even the rose on the passage door hardware is square as is the escutcheon for the wall mounted faucet and the small knobs on the vanity.
It is details like this that take a project from “that’s nice” to “WOW this space looks great!”.
I don’t think I could design a space without employing the Elements and Principles of Design.
Is it something you use in your Kitchen Design practice? Let me know in the comments below.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
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