Interior Designer Elkhart Goshen Indiana
In my humble opinion (and feeble and fading memory), mass and massing were not adequately taught in design school (probably because it is hard to understand--just check out the definition on wikipedia to see what I mean) but it is fundamental and hugely important in creating a successful design! Massing (verb), in interior design, is the act of arranging and manipulating 3-D forms into a unified, coherent composition. I'd say that's pretty important stuff. Mass (adjective) is the solidity, matter or density of an object that is defined by shape, form or color.
Now let me do what everyone else has failed to do.......teach you how to use them.....
First, think about your empty space as both positive and negative. Mass is simply filling in the negative space with all the other design elements. So, in furniture, mass is actual density where the material is filled in, such as a solid block of wood. But mass can also be optical density where the material instead appears heavier or more solid using color. Mass makes furniture pieces look larger than furniture with the same overall dimensions but with empty areas instead of solid areas. Great examples include sofas, chairs and ottomans with skirts to the floor or the use of wicker or iron instead of wood, Even bookcases styled full of books compared to bookcases with more empty space uses the principle of mass and massing to create beautiful compositions using both negative and positive space strategically.
Did you get that? Here are more visuals to help:
Massing means grouping together components such as accessories, furniture or blocks of architecture to create a unified "group mass." Massing gives a weighted, more solid or imposing appearance when you don't have one large beautiful piece of art. This is why gallery walls are so popular today.
Heavy mass is used relative to scale and is desirable when the room is large and furnishings need to visually take up as much space as possible to correct scale or where furniture needs to appear dignified, formal or commanding.
Massing can also be used to create emphasis or draw attention to a space that needs balance or otherwise might look empty or unfinished.
I hope you've found this information incredibly helpful in understanding mass and composing your space -maybe a light bulb even turned on. I know it did for me. I think I figured out why this wasn't taught more in college.....because mastering 'mass' takes practice and not book smarts.
Now, go practice on your coffee table or your shelves (before you tackle that gallery wall) and learn how to visually manipulate your positive and negative space into beautiful compositions.
Then send me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can hardly wait to see your masterpiece!
Keep sharing your beauty!!
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Welcome to my personal design notebook. If you already know me, then you know my mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. During this journey with her, I realized how important it was to keep a record of the things that reflect who I am and what is important to me, because one day my memories too, may be gone and what would that mean to the people God gave me to care for and the good works He gave me to do? So here is where I share the important stuff so that you can learn real design, not decorator tricks, but fundamental and salient concepts to apply so that you can create your own exemplary home and so that my family and I can remember the life we lived and created here in our home, our sacred place. Because my work is important, this is also where I share my favorite design projects and how good design enhanced their lives as well. I hope you're inspired and encouraged as I share my memories, my work, my mission & my life. Many blessings, (Numbers 6: 24-26)