The foundation of an interior, space is a fundamental concept to understand, ensuring you’re best equipped to take advantage of what is available to you. The available ‘space’ usually can’t be easily changed (though sometimes a designer may have the luxury of doing so), so you need to work with what you have within the physical boundaries of the room.
In interior design we have the luxury of working within three dimensional space (length, width and height). This three dimensional space can be filled or left empty, depending upon what you need to achieve from a functionality and design perspective.
Space can be split into two categories: positive and negative space. Positive space is space containing objects, whilst negative space is the open/empty space (including any space between objects). Striking a balance between the negative and positive spaces of a room is essential to avoid overcrowding, or on the other end of the spectrum, sparseness.
This balance will be influenced by the client’s needs in the specific area/room and its required functionality. For example, negative space is required for traffic paths. It is also crucial to consider the scale and size of the furniture and objects placed in a room, as this can be used to make the space appear larger or smaller given the desired outcome. A tall object such as a book case can give the illusion of height.
Different design styles will lend themselves to different uses of space – for example, a minimalist design will have far more negative space than your average eclectic design. However, no matter what your design brief, how you use and balance the space available to you can be the difference between hitting the mark with your design concept or missing out on your next commission.