• Tammy Walls

Lines in Design

In any design, lines define your space. Lines can tell the eye where to look or they can trick the eye into thinking it is something other than it is.

The most common lines we find in interior design are straight lines as opposed to curved lines. You can manipulate straight lines in a room for the purpose that you want. For example, you can direct the eye towards something by creating lines running in a certain direction. Let me explain. We own a home on a lake. Our home is an older cottage that during the course of its life had the front porch enclosed and added to the main living space of the home. The problem is that the main part of the home has this beautiful wood slat cathedral ceiling and the enclosed porch, while it has a wood slat ceiling, it was not cathedral. However, by painting both ceilings white, the beams seemed to "line up" and draw your eye from one ceiling to the other ceiling and right out the front window to the lake . And that is how lines work. Interior decorators can manipulate lines to create an illusion for the eye.

While it is common sense to say that vertical lines make things taller and horizontal lines make things shorter, it's more than that. Vertical lines draw the eyes upward and create the illusion of a much more formal space. Too many vertical lines can also make a room seem too narrow. Whereas too many horizontal lines in a space can lower ceilings and make a space seem cramped. Diagonal lines on the other hand give a sense of movement. Think about a stairway or the lines on a cathedral ceiling. Stairways give a sense of movement and cathedral ceilings move the eye upward and inward. Curved lines, on the other hand, will give a space softness along with movement. Think of a spiral stairway. It moves the eye upward but has a softness to the flow of movement.

When planning your space it is important to consider all the lines in a room but it is just as important to plan how you want the end result to be and it is how you use those lines in the overall design that compliments the room. Interior designers use many tricks to fool the eye and one of the tricks is the use and manipulation of lines.

If you need help or advice on your next interior project, give me a call at 574-527-9306 or check out our website: