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 or empty space with something. 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? How does that make you feel?
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 again 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 the scale or where furniture needs to appear dignified, formal or commanding (and you thought interior design was all about shopping for pretty items that you love).
Massing can also be used to create emphasis or draw attention to a space that needs balance or otherwise might look empty or unfinished. Like filling your shelves with useful and beautiful stuff and arranging them in an artful way:
I think I figured out why this wasn't taught more in college.....because mastering 'mass' takes practice - not just book smarts. Some things only go from head to heart by participation.... (like my walk with Jesus).
So, let's get you in the game! I want you to 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 that function for your lifestyle within the context of your available space!
Then send me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the first of eight blog posts to dispel common misconceptions about interior design and to equip you to think like an Interior Designer - and it is also one of my most popular blog posts for a reason!
The element of individuality is being lost today in interior design and homes are becoming more cookie cutter like. That's because most design related retail stores and contractors don't have the time to listen to and focus on every client and then interpret their vision. The core of my business is custom, individual focused design. I take pride in coming to understand my clients and getting to know what brings them joy, inspiration and makes them comfortable - and then help them interpret it. After they know what they need and want it is much easier for them to shop and hire team players to help them implement their plan. This series helps you understand the rules of design - not so you can follow them but so that you can break them and create a timeless, unique home that you'll love coming home to for many, many years.
I've written additional 'think like an interior designer' posts for pattern, scale and proportion, light, texture, space and color, shape and form and line so you can break the rules like a boss!
If you have a decorating or interior design project coming up within the next year, contact me today to get started. Or join over 300 other design enthusiasts by signing up for my Homiletics for the Home Insiders club below & you'll receive mostly monthly emails filled with inspiring ideas, encouraging stories, worksheets and real life interior design stories - then make the world more beautiful by sharing this post with your tribe! Thank you!
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About this blog...
I began writing this blog in May 2016 after discovering that my mother always wanted to be a writer. She had Alzheimer's disease and never realized her dream. Sometimes in our deepest grief we are motivated to encourage others to fearlessly be themselves so that their gifts and stories are shared. I mean, how else can we change the world? So I began to record 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 legacy home and so that my family and I can remember the life we lived and created here in our home, our sacred place. I hope you're inspired and encouraged as I share my memories, my work, my mission & my life. Hugs & blessings, (Numbers 6: 24-26)