Take a look at the pitcher on the bookshelf above. This is a three dimensional object that has a geometric (man-made) shape. The clear glass jar (in the picture above) is also a geometric form.
The plant right next to the pitcher , has an organic or natural form. Another example of a natural form would be a shell.
Form will have length, width and depth (height). It will also have weight or mass and can be defined by shadows, color, texture and pattern.
An open form is one that you can see into and a closed form is enclosed. An example of a closed form in the picture above is the rock that is on top of the bottom shelf books. An open form is the glass jar.
A room’s overall appeal can be enhanced by having the form of the focal piece repeated throughout the room in smaller decor, furniture or art. For example if you had a round mirror on the wall as a focal piece and then you find a circular tray and circular lamps, there is a repetition of form in the room.
Lastly, notice how the bookshelf form looks thin and delicate even though it may be made of quality, sturdy materials. It is the form that creates a feeling of sleekness, not the material itself. Large forms, like large furniture pieces or heavy accessories create a sense of stability and solidarity in a room design.
Now that you understand the basics of form, here is your to do list:
- Are there any repeating forms in your room?
- Describe the form of your focal point in the room. Is it a fireplace? A piece of art? Furniture? Whatever the focal point is, observe its form and see how you can use the shape somewhere else in the room.
- Is there a mix of natural and geometric shapes in the room? If you notice that one is dominating, consider adding more of the other.
- Do you have a lot of heavy, large items in the room and not enough smaller, lighter forms? Having a lot more of one or the other will throw off the room’s harmony.
- Consider the feeling you want to create in the room. If you are going for a minimal look, you will want thinner, lighter-looking forms and just less objects in general. If you are going for a more traditional look, you will have a nearly perfect balance of heavier, large forms and lighter, smaller forms.
- Once you have observed the room with an eye for form, you will be able to create a more detailed shopping list or find ways to switch items that you already have into different rooms based on form and the other elements of interior design.