Monday, August 12, 2013

Principles of Design - Variety

Principles of Design - Variety

The last principle of design is variety.  Variety means "to change the character" of a design element to make it different.  Variety is the complement to the design principle unity and it is needed to create visual interest in a space.

Without unity, a space will feel chaotic and without variety the space will feel dull and uninteresting.  Good interior design is achieved through the balance of unity and variety (which is easier said than done).  The design elements need to be similar enough so we perceive them to belong together in the space and be different enough to be interesting.

The image above is a great example of variety.  The picture frames are all very different but have some similar colors and shapes used in the design.  Also they are all hung at in a uniformed line to create unity.

Variety can be created by the following elements:

  • Line (thickness, thinness, value, angle, length)
  • Shape ( size, color, orientation)
  • Color (hue, value, saturation)
  • Value (darkness, lightness, contrast)
  • Texture (rough, smooth)

An effective way to use unity and variety in a design is by creating variations on a theme/concept.  A designer can repeat an element throughout the design to create the balance of variety and unity.

I hope you enjoyed the blog posts about the principles of design.  I have one more element of design I will write about and then fall color trends.

Let me know if you have any topics you want to learn more about.

  1. Kilmer, Rosemary & Kilmer W. Otie (1992). Designing Interiors. Orlando, FL.  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. pp 121