The History of Interior Design
The interior of your home is central to your day-to-day living, with a large amount of time spent in indoor spaces, the style and feel of every room is paramount, it can affect your mood, productivity, the ambience created and the activities that take place in the area. But where does the art of interior design come from? When did it begin and where did it originate?
The birth of interior design is thought to date back to the Ancient Egyptians, when mud huts were decorated with murals, sculptures, animal skins and vases. Ornaments made from gold that would have decorated households have been found as far back as this time.
The Romans and Greeks followed on from here, ornamentation made from ivory and silver were popular in Ancient Greece, whereas the Ancient Romans favoured comfort and attractiveness combined in their interiors, Romans homes were a reflection of their wealth and status in society.
After Roman and Greek civilization interiors became more simplistic, austerity was more prominent due to wars been fought across Medieval Europe and in the Church, muted colours and minimal decoration was the fashion of the time when it came to households.
In the 12th C the gothic style evolved, with an emphasis on open interiors and increasing light. Later in the 15th C and 16th C the French Renaissance saw beauty and art at the forefront of interiors. Decoration was elaborate, with woodwork, marble, paintings and antique furniture made from expensive materials. The Renaissance interior design can still be seen in many historic buildings throughout Europe.
After the Renaissance the Italian Baroque style was popularized through Europe, with stained glass and coloured marble featured in buildings and homes, following from this in the mid 18th C the Rococo style influenced many home interiors, with floral motifs and Asian art appearing in designs.
By the late 18th C the Neoclassical movement emerged, this was largely influenced by Ancient Rome, bronze, velvet and silk became part of interior design. From the 19th C onwards, a sense of freedom in interior design developed, with a variety of styles at the forefront of design, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus and Minimalism. It was during the 1800’s that interior design became more wide spread and it was by the 20th that the focus was on functionality as well as appearance.
There were numerous influential designers throughout the times including Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), his work developed on from the Arts and Crafts movement, with Art Nouveau prominent in his style. One of the greatest artists of this movement was Antoni Gaudi, who embodied the epitome of Art Nouveau in his works; exaggerated flowing lines and curves were apparent in his works, namely those in Barcelona. Other names worthy of note include the works of Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) and Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) were central to the Modernist movement.
Interior design is an art: designing a space, coordinating and managing the layout and overall look. The concept of decorating one’s house is apparent throughout the ages; it has always been a means of creativity to plan ones home with function and purpose in mind as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The Industrial Revolution played a huge part in the evolution of interior design, as furniture became more accessible and increasingly manufactured. Today there are hundreds of design styles in existence, with an extensive historical foundation to decorate ones interior; combining the history of design and the antique pieces from these times means you can create whatever style you wish.
Image Credits: http://modales.co/famous-interior-designers-in-history/famous-interior-designers-in-history-modern-ideas-nice-famous-interior-designer-design-famous-interior-designers/ Ancient Greek interior- http://anthonylingwood.com/history-of-interior-design/7/ Basic Interior design- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Interior_design_karst_area_dinaric_coastal_zone_Ethnographical_museum_Belgrade.JPG
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