Interior Design Essay

Interior and Spatial Design 2010 My interest in space, design and architecture led me to choose this slightly more unique and diverse essay title. In this essay I chose to look in depth at the connection between pieces of interior or spatial design with more traditional pieces of art such as paintings. I wanted to explore how a space or room can be seen as art and how it can create moods and feelings just as strongly and easily and traditional pieces.

A particular piece of spatial design that greatly inspired me was Mike Nelsons ‘The Coral Reef’ that I saw when I went to Tate Britain, it was a series of small confined rooms showing what goes on behind closed doors and under the surface. The first part of my essay I aim talk about how the trends of interior design has changed dramatically over the years, I want to look at what effect and reaction they intended on getting from the rooms atmosphere and I also want to look at what people may of intended on achieving from a certain room or style of house, for example, what it to impress?

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In the second section of my essay my aim is to try and explore how interior and spatial design is represented though art, I will be looking at early designers such as William Morris and Macintosh compared with modern day artists such as Mike Nelson, I will be trying to find a connection between their work and how their use of space and design is represented as a piece of art. In the today’s world, our life experiences are largely played out in interior spaces.

We may love the out-of-doors for the sense of open air and freedom, for the escape it offers from being inside, but the very joy of being outside reflects the reality that so much of our life is spent enclosed. Buildings and their interiors are planned to serve the purposes and styles of the times of their origins. The study of interior design, its development and change through history is a useful way both to explore the past and to make sense of the spaces in which modern life is lived.

Professional interior designers are expected to study design history, to know the ‘trends and styles’ and to know the names and the nature of individuals who generated the most interesting and influential approaches to design. There have been many styles that have lived throughout the decades. One is the old world designs, the rounded archways, elaborately textured wall surfaces, with Spanish tile roofs that are of exotic grandness. As oppose to the middle ages with its gothic sense f style and designs where buildings were taller, ceilings were much higher, and hallways emerged endlessly. It was gothic endurance and inspiration that this form of lifestyle had lived throughout the ages. By the time of the renaissance it was a time of gothic arts, European influence and Greek and Roman architecture. The renaissance produced some of the world’s greatest artists, architects, and designers that really emphasized beauty. Renaissance trends did not expand popularity, nor was there any understanding.

It took a great deal of achievement for renaissance designs that could take place. French style in the 17th and 18th centuries had cherished the meaning of love and romance. Their particular styles came from their influences and adaptation of the Italians, and begin to make the style into their own. The wall coverings and textiles were darkly coated, but furnishings were delicate and represented femininity. French elegant and formal pieces were hand-painted with delicate charm which shows that the 17th and 18th centuries was a time of sophistication.

This of course would all change going back to when Europe was on its way into crossing into the new world, its style and culture would be changing to American. Europeans became furniture makers and had limited choices of resources and needed materials to make the furniture. Crafters and designers had to depend on their own means because of isolation from the European trend and were to create a new trend in their new environment. American interior was though not as fancy as European, there had to be new kinds of trends suitable for the new world.

The government encouraged designers to create furniture that everyone can use. But free thinking people like artists and intellectuals were longing for the need of something new and different. The craftsmen, designers, and the artist made pieces that were associated with modern and contemporary. Modern and contemporary started in the late 19th century and emerged into the 20th century creating mode like furnishings, and the styles were mixed together in one piece. Throughout the years we’ve embraced all kinds of interior design, from exotic, gothic, elegant, patriotic, or modern.

History has given us something to use to our advantage and options, we can live how we want to in the comfort of our homes and choose any basic of style we want. History of interior design lets us look back on cultural differences and how it has influenced us today. A period of interior design that I am particularly interested in is the Victorian period. The Industrial Revolution had a dramatic impact on interior design in the Victorian Age, increasing the identity of the middle class and allowing them, along with other new opportunities, the chance to change the decoration and style of their homes.

Some, unsure of how to best portray their new status and wealth, chose to use architecture and furnishings that had previously been used only by aristocracy and the upper class. In these homes, the owners crammed in as many pieces of furniture, fabrics, and knickknacks as possible, due to both an attempt to showcase prosperity and their new status, as well as the fashionable belief that bareness in a room was a sure sign of poor taste.

Colour schemes in the period varied depending on the location of the home. For example, houses in the city were generally not painted with light colours, because of the pollution. Colour choices were also limited by the availability of pigments available as paints were mixed on location. Taking these two limiting factors into consideration, the colour schemes of the era could be divided into two periods. In the first half, walls tended to be light, the exception being dining rooms and libraries.

The second half saw the emergence of more vibrant, earthy colours like dark green and mahogany. Popular wallpapers in the early and mid-Victorian period had backgrounds of red, blue, and green printed with intricate scrolled floral patterns. Later, rich, earthy tones with stylized plants became common. William Morris was the most well known designer of wallpaper and at the time. He was renowned for mixing strong, pure colours harmoniously, and giving a flat pattern a narrative quality.

Decor in the dining rooms passed through three notable stages: the Georgian tradition of restrained, and dignified ornamentation; a heavier, more masculine based on Francois Premier and the Renaissance Revival; and a lighter, brighter, more feminine style. Walls were dark panelled with mahogany, walnut, or stained oak up to a dado rail, above which papers patterned with tangled lilies, brambles, or vines like those designed by William Morris were popular. Tapestries and fabric were also used as wall coverings. Ceilings were unobtrusively stencilled or panelled with wood. Drapes were heavy velvets, often looped back with gold tassels.


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