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Emphasis Board

Main Core Tie

Interior Design 1
Strand 5

Time Frame

1 class periods of 70 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Employability




Students will be given a sample that must be emphasized in the room they design. This will provide students with a hands-on opportunity to work with emphasis.


  • overhead projector
  • emphasis notes outline transparency
  • example emphasis board
  • emphasis samples (one for each student)
  • emphasis board assignment sheets
  • interior samples--paint chips
  • flooring
  • wall covering
  • fabric, etc..

Background for Teachers

Emphasis is defined as the center of attention or interest in a design or the feature that repeatedly draws attention. Examples of typical attention holders are: a fireplace, window, work of art, or a dominant piece of furniture.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students should be aware that emphasis is a principle of design.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to identify the emphasis in a design as well as have the ability to take a given sample and create a way to emphasize that sample in a room and then describe the process in writing.

Instructional Procedures

Put the emphasis note outline transparency on the overhead projector. Go over the few lines of notes as a class. Prepare for the lecture ahead of time by finding pictures in magazines of rooms with an OBVIOUS emphasis. Show the pictures to the students, asking them to call out the first thing that they see.

Hand out an assignment sheet to each student. Go over all the directions and grading requirements as a class. Explain that you will be walking around the room giving each student the item that they must emphasize in their design.

Instruct them that even if they hate the choice that I give them, if they are going to be designers one day, they aren't going to like every thing that a client chooses to use in their interiors. So this activity is useful in two ways: they'll show me that they understand how to emphasize something effectively and they'll broaden their design minds by working with something that wasn't necessarily natural for them to work with in the first place. Show an example assignment so that the students have a clear idea of what is expected of them. Have a stack of 8 x 10 or 11 x 17 pieces of mat board scraps for the partnerships to choose from for their presentation boards. Warn students that they only get one board, so if the make a mistake, they are stuck with it--so they need to make sure they have everything well-planned before they do anything with it.

Turn the remainder of the class period over to the class to finish their assignment.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

After you have given the struggling student the sample you would like them to emphasize in a room, sit down and discuss with them specific ways that they could use that sample in the design that would make it an obvious emphasis.


Students could be required to present their designs and explanations of emphasis in their designs to the class.

Assessment Plan

Refer to the attached Emphasis Board assignment sheet for the grading breakdown.


USOE Curriculum Guide

Created: 07/23/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018