Lines are among the seven basic elements of interior design. Lines define objects and spaces. They also create forms, shapes and dimensions in a space. There are different types of lines and here are the different ways they impact and contribute to the functionality and aesthetic appeal of a space.
Vertical lines run from top to bottom. They draw the eye upwards and create a “taller” than life illusion. When used in a small space they give an illusion of a tight cramped space. In interior architecture, vertical lines occur in windows, columns, door frames and pillars. In furniture and interior design they form free-standing cabinets, curtains and armoires. Using too many vertical lines in a space may result in a cold space devoid of warmth. For this reason vertical lines are best employed in offices, banking halls and churches.
Horizontal lines are naturally more inviting than vertical lines. They make a space appear larger than it actually is. Horizontal lines form floors, ceilings and furniture forms like table-tops. They give a space expansive visual interest and form focal points.
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These lines form corners or angles in a space. Diagonal and zig-zag are the commonly used angular lines. Diagonal lines symbolise movement, infiniteness and strength. They are more common in staircases, roofing structures and attic ceilings. Zig-zag lines can either be chevron, herringbone or flame stitch in nature. Architecturally zig-zag lines form staircases. Angular lines when used in moderation, add drama and pizzazz to a space without competing with other lines.
Curved lines add grace, fluidity and beauty to a space. Curves, arches and elliptical forms in a building are more pleasing to look at. Curved lines form winding staircases, light fixtures and some furniture types. Too many curves in a space may be overpowering and dizzying to the eye. Good design employs all types of line in a balanced proportion to create harmony in a space.