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Home style: Use forms to give your space harmony

Interior décor

There are seven elements of interior design namely space, line, forms, light, colour, texture and pattern. Forms are outlines of objects in three dimensions. Forms are essentially shapes.

When you combine two or more shapes, you get a form. Patterns, texture and colour work together to give life to forms.

To understand form and its use, you need to know the role of space and line, which together with form are other elements of interior design.

Good use of form adds balance and creates harmony in a space. A house devoid of form would be flat and lifeless.

Types of forms

There are different ways to classify the types of forms. Organic forms are naturally occurring. In architecture organic buildings lean on or extend from their natural landscape.

A good example is an amphitheatre built in a depression. In interior design, organic forms are like plants, rocks or animals. Man-made or geometric forms are not naturally occurring. Other ways to classify forms are whether they are open or closed.


When a form is closed you cannot see the inside. A closed form like a sculpture is only visible on the outside, you can use a closed form in the corner of an expansive room.

Any object with height, width and depth is a form. A circle is a shape, adding height and depth to it creates a sphere, which is a form. Spheres, cubes, cuboids, prisms, cylinders, cones and pyramids are all forms that emanate from shapes. Carpets are not forms because they lack height.

Forms in design

A form can either be positive like a ship-lapped wall and three-dimensional wallpaper or negative like a wall niche. When a form is in motion it is dynamic for example, an oscillating egg chair hanging from your ceiling. A decorative ball resting on a coffee table is a static form. A spiral staircase can either be static or dynamic. Employ the use of form to create balance and harmony and watch your space move from bland to visually exciting.

All the technical lingo aside, forms can be the odd piece of furniture, sculpture, décor or lighting that you use to inject life in your space. Use them to give your space that 3D vibe.

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