These two fours don’t add up to eight.
They do, however, contribute to the final tally in a well-designed room. Most well-decorated rooms will have both of these fours incorporated into them somewhere. It seems like a stretch but like every design guideline it’s not a rule so you may well find rooms without all eight.
Shape: diagonal, circle, curve and square or rectangle.
A grouping of pictures running up the stairs creates a diagonal line. Your eye starts at the bottom-most picture and follows the line up to the top where, hopefully, there is some reason for the journey. Curves and circles make us feel comforted, surrounded, secure. Squares and rectangles define spaces, and give order to chaos. — Think of a furniture grouping in the middle of a space. Now think of that space with an area rug under it. The rug defines the space.
Pattern: naturalistic, abstract, stylized and geometric.
Pattern is found in printed fabric, carpet design, plants, paintings, lamp and table bases, wood trim, drapery — almost anywhere in a room. One definition I read says that the brain not only receives information, but interprets and patterns it. Patterns, like shapes, help us order our spaces.
A naturalistic pattern is one which is easily defined as what it represents; a photograph of a flower represents a naturalistic pattern. An abstract pattern is one which is not discernible as real objects. A wash of colors on a canvas replicates the colors of the flower in abstract. A stylized pattern is one which bears some resemblance to the real object — the original is hinted at, but is not truly represented. The flower may look like a flower, but not like any one you’d actually see in nature; a child’s drawing of a flower is a stylized pattern. A geometric pattern is a one formed of typically line-drawn shapes and is repeats, (like wallpaper) and does not look like the real thing at all. Quilts are wonderful examples of geometric patterns that can sometimes make you think of flowers.
In this room:
Diagonal : the lines in the upholstery and the base of the sofa table and side table
Circle: lamp shades, table top, table base
Curve: chair backs,
Rectangle or square: sofa, table, fireplace, rug
Naturalistic: coffee table plant and the view out the window
Stylized: upholstery fabric, fireplace
Geometric: cushion fabric
Sit down with a shelter magazine, pick a room and look for these eight elements. You may have to look for awhile to see them all, and it gets easier the more you do it, but give it a try. It’s kind of fun, too.
Shape: diagonal: table base; circle: side table, art; curve:chandelier; and square or rectangle: chair frames, fireplace, rug, art frames.
Pattern: naturalistic: art on the mantle; abstract: art in the foreground; stylized: the throw (maybe) and the art over the mantle; and geometric: art on the right, round plate beside the mantle.
Try these: ( All these room images are from Houzz)