A specialized interior designer is someone who is qualified through education and experience in this particular field. Part of his education includes learning and knowing the basic principles which include: light and colour, surface and textures, furniture and accessories. Light and colours are one of the major elements to liven up a room (design). Colour adds beauty while it also sets the mood. Whether it is calming, warm, romantic, or airy, colour can give any room a specific feel. In order to make use of a colour, the physical properties of light, colour sensitivity and contrast must be taken into account. Interior designers frequently use a colour wheel arranged with red, blue, and yellow designated as the primary colours. Designers use this organism and other aides to plan out the colour schemes for a room. By using this system they can arrange several different samples that they can present to their clients. Colour can have an effect on people in subtle ways, based on the understanding of physical colour and colour psychology. Grays and tans for example give off a serious or even depressing feel. To warm up these colours and give them a little more life, small amounts of red can be added to make a lovely accent. When designers understand colour psychology, they can influence colours to create a desired response. For example, in a fancy restaurant the walls may be painted in a rich colour. The colour gives a feeling of importance.
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Surface and texture are nearly as important in a room as colour. Diverse types of textures are used on ceilings and walls to reflect light. In homes these days ceilings are often interrupted by heating and air-conditioning vents, smoke alarms or even stereo speakers. All of this clutter can cause a room to look unarranged. Organizing these things in a symmetrical patterns makes the look of a room more pleasing to the eye. The addition of texture to the ceilings and walls in a room by using plaster can make a room look warmer and more attractive. Also included in surface and textures are floor coverings. Some of the interior designing styles right now include contemporary carpeting. Carpet can add striking colour to a room. Along with this trait also comes visual interest and warmness. At present vintage colours are growing in popularity as well as terra cottas, caramels, sages, mosses, khakis, taupes and other natural colours. Although contemporary carpet is the trend, there are other options for flooring such as linoleum, marble, wood, and tile (design). More particularly hardwoods such as oak, teak, maple, or birch are more expensive and need to be polished on a regular basis. Marble, clay tile, stone, and slate are sometimes used to accent the entrance halls. The more long-lasting flooring includes materials such as vinyl, linoleum, asbestos, and rubber. Not only are they durable, but these types of flooring are also easy to clean and fairly inexpensive. Rugs are also nice floor covering accessories to add to a room giving it warmth and detail.
The final fundamental principal in interior designing is to add the furniture and accessories.
Accessories comprise things such as lamps, candles, and wall hangings. Both furniture and the accessories are the most personal part of an interior. It is considered to be the most personal, because the furniture and accessories can be simply changed, or moved around to make a room look new or different. When purchasing or choosing the furniture and accessories, comfort should come first. When it comes time to put the furniture in a room, arranging it in a non-traditional way can keep a room interesting (Walsh). An interior designer takes all of these fundamental principal elements and puts them together creating a welcoming room that at the same time is a work of art.
It isn’t hard to make a beautiful home. Some things should be kept in mind when renovating and working with an interior designer. There are eight key steps to redecorating. These steps include the walls, flooring, furniture, window treatments, lighting, plants and floral, artwork and accessories. It is helpful to create an idea. Finally, one of the most important things is to keep a redecorating project organized, it will help reduce stress (decorating). One should keep these things in mind during the redecorating project and enjoy the final product, a beautiful new home.
In the history of design and style there are a number of different time periods that are of immense importance. These time periods include Eastern influences, Classical, Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Throughout history, Western traders have always been amazed by the arts of the East. People who had journeyed to China and Japan would return with silks, porcelains, and lacquer work. These pieces seemed so exotic because they were so dissimilar from the decorative objects found in the West. At present one can find oriental as well as other Eastern artifacts and decorative objects used to garnish the homes and offices of people in today’s Western civilization. Oriental objects and decorative motifs have served as inspiration for some of the Western styles. A good example of this would be the profusion of pagodas, exotic birds, and flowers that are found in the Chinoiserie of the mid-18th century and the Japonisme of the late 19th century. Many of the fundamental forms of architecture and decoration are decedents from classical Greek sources. Classical art and architecture are based on mathematical ideas. These ideas include proportion and ordered systems of detail. Well-known are the types taken from architectural orders, for example Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. The Greeks were not only famous for their architectural abilities, but also they were known for decorating their furniture with silver, ceramics, and textiles. A lot of the Roman art is based on Greek originals. More is famous about the Romans because more has survived over the years. Many of the techniques used today have been derived from the Classical time period.
There actually isn’t much known about the decor of homes and public buildings in the Middle Ages. There is just small evidence of influence on interior decoration and design. However, the one exception is great European cathedrals that began construction during the later Middle Ages. These cathedrals have served as a source for building soaring arches, remarkable interior spaces, clustered columns, carved leaves, rosettes, and colourful stained glass windows. The castles of the Middle Ages may have also had a small influence on interior decorating, partially from the elaborate furnishings and accessories which reflected the wealth of the owner. However, very little of these castles have been preserved. A few surviving pieces of furniture, pictures, manuscripts, and woven tapestries are what is left to provide a concept of what the interior of the castles and manor houses of the late Middle Ages looked like. From what is famous about the Middle ages is that the furniture really wasn’t comfortable. Chairs were for the privileged and acted as a sign of honour. Most people either stood or sat on stools. It is known that the insides of the manor houses were crowded and smoky, noisy, and malodorous. In the 14th century the manor houses changed, the people had cushions for the furniture and they were allowed privacy with the lavishness of heavy curtains which also kept them from the cold. In Europe at the end of the Middle Ages some of the Cathedrals that are well-known these days began to undergo construction. These beautiful buildings had a huge impact on the evolution of style. With the astonishing architecture, astonishing murals and floor coverings, the interior of these buildings is incredible.
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The last time period which had an impact on the history of style was the era of the Renaissance. In the 14th century the first revival of Classic architecture took place. Ancient forms of rules and ornaments were being used in the buildings and in private houses. This is a point in history when people actually started to look back and take ideas from the past into consideration when decorating their homes and buildings. These structures had elaborate plaster decorations, colourful painted murals, carved wood panelling and marble floors. Many of the Renaissance architects were influential from their publications as well as their buildings. Andrea Pallidio would be a fine example of one of the influential architects. The renowned architects’ work was frequently mimicked in the 18th as well as the early 20th centuries. This era is so influential because it is the first period in which style was revived from the past and used in their society. It was a time of revival.
Throughout history, designing has made a number of advancements, such as effects of the Industrial Revolution, the Arts and Crafts movement, and many of the styles which have come to relive today through a revival. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on homes of the middle class. Along with the revolution came the ability to mass produce products. For the first time the middle class could afford wallpapers, dishes, furniture, glass, and textiles. Before the machine age, craftsmen were hired to design the furniture for homes. The middle class typically couldn’t afford to buy furniture from the craftsmen. With the coming of the new machines and mass production, came latest styles and lower prices. The craftsmen couldn’t afford to lower their prices and most of them didn’t know a thing about style.
The Arts and Crafts Movement took place in the mid 19th century. It was fundamentally a movement lead by William Morris. His goal was to return to a time of pure and honest craftsmanship. Morris established workshops where handmade furniture, wallpaper, and textiles were commercially sold. Morris and his followers’ work was widely imitated and therefore caused a revival in the late 20th century.
Design has developed in a big way since the Industrial Revolution. Although all design movements have been dissimilar in many ways, they are all bright in their own way. Design has its roots in England. It started in 1700s before the Industrial Revolution. But designers at that time were familiar with only mechanical designs. At this point in time Morris stepped in and launched a design movement known as The Arts and Crafts Movement in 1860. Morris was not in favour of the way the Industrial Revolution shaped the world, because the machines were hideous and all of the products they were producing were too, so he looked to the past for inspiration. He wanted to get rid of mass production and revive the crafts and skills of an older, pre-industrial period. Morris pledged himself to decorative arts, and remained against the use of machines. He was an upper class artist and poet, well-educated and fairly wealthy. He started a company known as Morris and Co. He designed cloths, carpets, chairs, book covers, stained glass windows, and wallpaper, which were all hand-made, and hand-painted with natural dyes. The company’s designs were curved (no straight lines) and often carved by hand and therefore complicated. A lot of his work was floral, and illustrated nature, as can be seen in his Tulip & Lily Carpet to the right. Tulip & Lily is one of the famous Arts & Crafts Movement carpets, designed in 1875 by William Morris.
Originally Morris designed his products for the common middle class people because he despised the class system. But his designs were very expensive to buy because they were handmade, so only rich upper class people could buy them. Although Morris hated the machine and industry, his company ended up using machines to produce his designs, and was very profitable. Morris failed to go back to the past; and, therefore, moved on to the future.
Another movement Art Nouveau (or New Art) started close to the turn of the century (1875) and had its base in England and France. It was a global movement with a decorative style. Morris was involved with Art Nouveau because yet again he was looking to the past. Art Nouveau, like the Arts and Crafts Movement, confronted the machine and looked back to homemade craftsmanship, simplicity and nature. Its inspiration also arrived from Japanese, Egyptian and French designs. Art Nouveau produced furniture, posters, glass, pottery, textiles, book illustration, architecture, interior design, ceramics, jewellery, coffee pots, lamps and cutlery. These products were nature-orientated, feminine, and had an aspect of fantasy. The designs featured plant forms that appeared to be growing, women and their hair, flowers, blossom, peacocks, natural vegetation, twisting smoke, lettering incorporated into the design, lily’s, and running water. It is described and stylized by long curving lines, decorative line, stylized forms, flat space, whiplash lines, waves, controlled lines and lines that begin parallel but then converge and finally contradict each other. The style was very full on as we can see from this example of a Belgium home in Brussels to the right.
The movement is a lot more stylized than the Arts and Crafts Movement and, therefore, less rural looking. It is also alive with movement, lively and active, and because of this it is sometimes very curvy and ornate, even overdone. Again a lot of Art Nouveau’s products ended up being mass-produced, or manufactured with the aid of the modern technology of the time, so again the movement failed to go back to the past.
In the early 1900s, a new design style was emerging out of France; that of Art Deco. This movement was entirely different from the previous two, for its style was a lot more stylized and developed. Another main development from Art Nouveau was the fact that Art Deco embraced the machine and technology and like The Bauhaus (the first design school in the world) combined art with industry, and followed the ethos that form follows function. By celebrating technology, Art Deco’s products were made of new materials such as plastic, Bakelite and chrome. Art Deco’s pieces were bold, simple, bright, colourful and playful. There was lots of negative space, aerodynamic lines, perfectly straight lines, long radiating lines and repetition of pure shapes such as arches, squares, rectangles, triangles and circles as we can see here in this design of the hover building in Briton to the left.
Since Art Deco was clean and had a bold style, a new text known as sans serif was designed by Edward Johnston in 1918 and was featured prominently on Art Deco’s poster designs. Art Deco was powerfully influenced by the consumer age and promoted or even designed important new consumer items like the telephone, radio, automobile, airplane, ocean liner, cosmetics and household appliances. The movement used features of machine design such as the wings of an airplane, the bow of a yacht, the porthole of the new ocean liner’s cabin windows, or the cogs and wheels of a sewing machine, or a car engine, as inspiration. Art Deco designed an entire range of different things from industrial design, to graphic design, to architecture.
In German city Weimar, Walter Gropius started the first design school of the world in the year 1919. The was known as The Bauhaus. It later becomes one of the most dominant design styles in the whole world of modern design. Although The Bauhaus came about around the same time as the Art Deco movement it was not entirely alike. As Art Deco was to Art Nouveau, Bauhaus design was a more developed form of Art Deco. Bauhaus’s design elements were: simplicity; no decoration, therefore geometric purity; Appropriateness (shape and materials are appropriate to the design); Truth to Materials (the original materials are not covered up so their qualities are used); Aesthetic Sensitivity (the design looks good, has contrast and, therefore, visual interest); and Technical Skill (products were made to a very high quality). The very significant element, though, was that Form Follows Function. Bauhaus’s philosophy, which has influenced designers right up to the present day, is to unite art with industry. It is based round the idea that functional, ‘honest’ design should be combined with simple, good aesthetics (form follows function). To the Bauhaus everything had to be purely functional, so its graduates produced a whole range of material from all aspects of Design (graphic, industrial and architectural) that was pure form, very simple, and geometric. In this example of a teapot to the left, we can look at most of these design elements at play.
Bauhaus design featured different shapes and primary colours, or pure shapes, and was obviously designed by students with considerable skill. Walter Gropius Designed for the people and once again combined art with industry by looking to the future instead of the past. That was the reason that the Bauhaus worked as a Design style.
Memphis Design started in Italy in the year 1981 after Ettore Sonttsass and friends left the traditional design company Studio Alchimia because they found the designs too old fashioned and depressing. Drawing inspiration from Art Deco, Ettore and friends started the Memphis Design group. There were no decorations in their work, but sometimes appeared to be one big decoration. The products were made chiefly from plastics and wood, and a whole range of other materials. The furniture was designed for mass production, although their designs were sometimes not super functional. They were, therefore, influenced by the past, especially Art Deco, but they also reflected the images of their time, and were part of the world of industry.
- Archimon, P.J.H. Cuypers (1827-1921).Web.
- Baldwin, Daniel. Greek Proportional Systems. New York: Dutton, (1998). Explains in depth how and why mathematics were used by Greek artists/designers.
- Bayer, Herbert, Gropius, Walter and Ise, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. (1975). Bauhaus 1919-1928, New York: New York Graphic Society.
- John, E. Findling, editor. (1990) Historical Dictionary of World’s Fairs and Expositions: 1851-1988. New York: Greenwood Press, 78-79.
- Mattie, Erik. ( 1998) World’s Fairs. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998. 59-65.
- Smith, Paula. Ancient Rome. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, (2003). Roman craftsmanship, esp. as used on temples.
- Weale, Mary Jo, Weale, Bruce W., Croake, James W., (1982). Environmental Interiors, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc.
- White, Edmund. “Ancient Statuary Revisited.” Ancient Arts 8 (1998): 45-69. Reevaluates what was important about Greek statuary and how it relates to buildings.
- World Expositions in Amsterdam: 1883. World Expositions in Amsterdam.