7 Unmistakable Elements of Great Design

How to Create an Atmosphere in Your Home

April 22, 2020

One of the most beautiful design showrooms we have ever seen was from  Sherrill Furniture at High Point Market in North Carolina. They have a furniture line called Mr. and Mrs. Howard, which was created by James Michael Howard, and it was exquisite! We were so enamored by what we saw that our designer, Jennifer,  purchased his book called Atmosphere – The Seven Elements of Great Design.


If you’d like to create “atmosphere” in your home, keep reading!

1.    Style – Style will determine the direction of the design.  To accomplish style, the home owner’s preferences or vision must be taken into consideration, as well as important things such as the location of the home, the exterior and interior design, and the casual/formal, rustic/refined preferences.  Once the style is established, sticking to that aesthetic will help to form the atmosphere.

2.    Scale and Proportion – In designer’s terms, “scale” refers to the size of a room, piece of furniture, artwork, etc.  “Proportion” is the prominence or strength (or lack thereof) of the decoration in the space.  Think of how the proportion of the pattern on a fabric relates to the size of the sofa it covers.  Scale and proportion guide all the choices that are made in a room.

3.    Rhythm – Rhythm creates a sense of order, harmony and balance, as well as keeps things interesting.  A good example is in rooms with off-centered windows or fireplace.  Rhythm can be achieved through the proper placement of furniture, combination of colors and positioning of artwork.

4.    Light – Light allows a space to be seen, but also helps to create a mood in a room.  Whether it be electric or natural, light can change our perception of color and texture, which is crucial to creating an atmosphere we love.


5.    Color – One of the first things we notice in a room is color.  How color makes us feel depends on three things:  hue, intensity and chroma.  Hue is the color itself.  Intensity is the value or level of pigment saturation.  Chroma is the color’s brightness – the way a color absorbs or reflects light.  Successful design considers all three components and combines them to create warmth and beauty.

6.    Texture – Texture is the way materials look and feel.  Through the careful combination and layering of textures, you can create a home that will feel more comfortable and relaxed.

7.    Sound – Although it’s the last of the elements, sound should be considered at the beginning of the design process.  For example, a bedroom is going to need more sound control than a kitchen or family room.  By using a variety of materials such as carpeting, fabric, double-paned windows, upholstered walls, wood and/or drapery, sound can be controlled and the proper atmosphere created.

Combining the seven elements of design as you decorate your home will result in an atmosphere you will love, no matter where you live! If you need help determining what these elements mean to your personal style, reach out to us and we’d be happy to chat with you!

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