Sunday, February 10, 2013

Principle of Design - Emphasis

Principle of Design - Emphasis
The next principle of design I will write about is emphasis.  Some think of it as the focal point of your design.

Emphasis is created when certain design elements are accented more than others, creating a relationship of dominance.  Emphasis gives character and variety to an interior design.  When a design element is to create emphasis it becomes the focal point of the space and is the center of the interest through dominate and subordinate use of form, colors, textures, and lines.  
The focal point should dominate the design without sacrificing the unity of the whole design.

The picture above uses color and contrast to create the emphasis.  The bold lime green becomes the main emphasis of the space and the use of the white pendant and Tulip table & chairs creates a wonderful contract to make the lime stand out even more.  

The picture to the right also uses color to create emphasis in a more asymmetrical way. The bold teal tile in the shower creates the main focal point and then the hints of teal in the towels used in the bathroom creates a sense of unity.

The dominate form (the teal shower) in this picture has the greatest impact and importance; the subdominate (teal towels) are secondary and  complement the former.  All of the forms are important in creating a balanced design.

I tend to use color as the main emphasis in my designs but in my new house I am building I am using more texture to create the focal point.  I will share more photos when the house is complete.

Don't forget to follow me on twitter where I share tips and other great design and fashion articles I love.


  1. Kilmer, Rosemary & Kilmer W. Otie (1992). Designing Interiors. Orlando, FL. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. pp 118

No comments:

Post a Comment