Negative Space. Sounds like a bad thing doesn’t it? Yet in Interior Design this is the area between objects where one can rest the eye. This is where nothing becomes everything. It is where the success or failure of your design plan can occur. Positive and Negative space are all part of the Composition of your room. Remember you create in a room , no different than if you were executing a painting.
There are some basic principles you can apply to balancing out the impact of your negative and positive spaces. After that rely on what feels right . If it looks off , it usually is.
1. Do not crowd your areas . Often I see people lining up their accessories like soldiers. They are equidistant apart and have zero visual interest. Utilize the 3 to 1 ratio here. If you place a vase 1/3 of the way down a shelf , then your next grouping should be 2/3 of the way or even 1/2 the distance away from your first accessory. You would never do a 1/3 , a 1/3 , and a 1/3. It looks staged and therefore unnatural. The way we as humans read , this actually would encourage the brain to start counting objects. Equidistant Repetition is a great way to lead some one down a hall for example , but used in the wrong manner looks too “placed”.
2. Don’t create a Central Station. Often we go to great pains to make sure everything is perfectly centered off a wall. We measure carefully until we achieve a very artificial and almost “don’t touch me look”. Relax into your design. Have curved pathways and unequal spaces. Think of the room as a painting and implement some flow. Create tension between furniture pieces by placing chairs slightly off from each other. When we install conversation circles and squares , it means arrange your grouping in the basic shape. This does not imply everything has to be divided up into perfect pie piece like placement.
3. Plan it on paper or computer. We don’t need to design by whim. Scale out your floor plans and explore different avenues of interest for the final resting space of your items. Is it pleasant and interesting to view as an art form? If not keep sketching. Find the Negative amidst the Positive. Everyone will enjoy the results.
It is Wednesday , spaced right in the middle of your week. Often this is a day that feels “stuck” in there , and makes us feel kind of stuck too. When will Thursday arrive? Tomorrow will be soon enough. Make this day count and do a little more . This way you will have a less frantic Friday.
Peggy Oberlin RID 4986