Elements of Design - Unity

When Interior Designers use the word unity, they are talking about the harmony in the space, achieved when all elements of design have been carefully considered. You will hear this word used a lot amongst Interior Designers, especially during client briefing and concept development. When unity is achieved, the outcome is a cohesive floor plan that expresses the design language desirable to both the client and designer. In this article I’ll explain how designers can apply colour, texture, line and form in a variety of ways to achieve unity. 

Image courtesy of http://www.deroseesa.com/project/the-courtyard-house/ 

In ‘The Courtyard House’, a white, black and timber colour scheme has been used throughout. All walls and cabinetry are white allowing for a smooth transition from room to room. The black metal framed doors and smaller accents like the matte black tapware, door handles and hinges add contrast against the white, and help link the dark furniture pieces (like the aged leather armchairs) to the rest of the room. Aged materials like wood and leather and textured furnishings soften the ultra-modern, formal feel of this home. Without these elements of contrast the home may appear monotonous.

Image courtesy of http://www.deroseesa.com/project/the-courtyard-house/ 

The signature vertical red cedar cladding seen on the front façade has been incorporated into the interior, to the walls surrounding the courtyard, the cloak room, study and utility. Here the designer is reusing materials, and revisiting line types and form to express an overall design language.

To help balance out the strong sense of verticality in the space are the diagonal lines in the herringbone floor.

Image courtesy of http://www.deroseesa.com/project/the-courtyard-house/  

In the Jaffa House by Pitsou Kedem Architects, a similar colour scheme has been used. Walls and ceilings are plastered white and free from decoration. In contrast to the white walls, black iron is repeatedly used in the furniture, the lighting fixtures, joinery and openings. These black accents as well as splashes of bright colour bring interest and modern touches into this historic home.

Image courtesy of https://www.designboom.com/architecture/pitsou-kedem-old-jaffa-house-3-modern-cave-israel-05-23-2017/ 

Image courtesy of https://www.designboom.com/architecture/pitsou-kedem-old-jaffa-house-3-modern-cave-israel-05-23-2017/ 

To retain the sites true character, the architects have uncovered the original stone ceiling and applied raw, earthy textures like concrete aggregate flooring. The curves to the historic archways and vaulted ceilings have been repeated in the lighting fixtures and furniture to create a unified composition and to further enhance the design language. Linear forms as seen in the lighting fixture above the island bench and to the entry window add variety and interest.

The absence of doors not only maintains views of the sea throughout the floor plan, it allows for a smooth transition between each space, more in touch with modern living.

Image courtesy of https://www.designboom.com/architecture/pitsou-kedem-old-jaffa-house-3-modern-cave-israel-05-23-2017/ 

As you can see it is more complex than it seems to achieve unity in Interior Design, but the key lies in balance and variety.

Kelsey x

Lena x

Lena Gatti
T +61 404 649 773
E lena@gattidesign.com.au

PO Box 101
Coorparoo Qld 4151

Design Studio located at Manly by appointment only