- 1. the design and coordination of the decorative elements of the interior of a house, apartment, office, or other structural space, including color schemes, fittings, furnishings, and sometimes architectural features.2. the art, business, or profession of executing this. Also called interior decoration.[1925-30]
* * *Design of interior spaces, closely related to architecture and sometimes including interior decoration.The designer's goal is to produce a coordinated and harmonious whole in which the architecture, site, function, and visual aspects of the interior are unified, pleasing to mind and body, and appropriate to the activities to be pursued there. Design criteria include harmony of colour, texture, lighting, scale, and proportion. Furnishings must be in proportion to the space they occupy and to the needs and lifestyles of the residents. The design of such nonresidential spaces as offices, hospitals, stores, and schools places clear organization of functions ahead of purely aesthetic concerns.
* * *Introductionplanning and design of man-made spaces, a part of environmental design and closely related to architecture. Although the desire to create a pleasant environment is as old as civilization itself, the field of interior design is relatively new.Since at least the middle of the 20th century, the term interior decorator has been so loosely applied as to be nearly meaningless, with the result that other, more descriptive terms have come into use. The term interior design indicates a broader area of activity and at the same time suggests its status as a serious profession. In some European countries, where the profession is well established, it is known as interior architecture. Individuals who are concerned with the many elements that shape man-made environments have come to refer to the total field as environmental design.Principles of interior designIt is important to emphasize that interior design is a specialized branch of architecture or environmental design; it is equally important to keep in mind that no specialized branch in any field would be very meaningful if practiced out of context. The best buildings (building construction) and the best interiors are those in which there is no obvious disparity between the many elements that make up the totality. Among these elements are the structural aspects of a building, the site planning, the landscaping, the furniture, and the architectural graphics (signs), as well as the interior details. Indeed, there are many examples of distinguished buildings and interiors that were created and coordinated by one guiding hand.Because of the technological complexity of contemporary planning and building, it is no longer possible for a single architect or designer to be an expert in all the many aspects that make up a modern building. It is essential, however, that the many specialists who make up a team be able to communicate with each other and have sufficient basic knowledge to carry out their common goals. While the architect usually concerns himself with the overall design of buildings, the interior designer is concerned with the more intimately scaled aspects of design, the specific aesthetic, functional, and psychological questions involved, and the individual character of spaces.Although interior design is still a developing profession without a clear definition of its limits, the field can be thought of in terms of two basic categories: residential and nonresidential. The latter is often called contract design because of the manner in which the designer receives his compensation (i.e., a contractual fee arrangement), in contrast to the commission or percentage arrangement prevalent among residential interior decorators. Although the volume of business activity in the field of residential interiors continues to grow, there seems to be less need and less challenge for the professional designer, with the result that more and more of the qualified professionals are involved in nonresidential work.The field of interior design already has a number of specialized areas. One of the newer areas is “space planning”—i.e., the analysis of space needs, allocation of space, and the interrelation of functions within business firms. In addition to these preliminary considerations, such design firms are usually specialists in office design.Many design firms have become specialized in such fields as the design of hotels, stores, industrial parks,or shopping centres. Others work primarily on large college or school projects, and still others may be specialists in the design of hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Design firms active in nonresidential work range from small groups of associates to organizations comprised of 50 to 100 employees. Most of the larger firms include architects, industrial designers, and graphic designers. In contrast, interior designers who undertake residential commissions are likely to work as individuals or possibly with two or three assistants. The size of the firms involved in nonresidential design is a clear indication of the relative complexity of the large commissions. In addition to being less complex, residential design is a different type of activity. The residential interior is usually a highly personal statement for both the owner and the designer, each of whom is involved with all aspects of the design; it is unlikely that a client who wished to engage the services of an interior designer for his home would be happy with an organized systems approach.Most large architectural firms have established their own interior-design departments, and smaller firms have at least one specialist in the field. There are no precise boundaries to the profession of interior design nor, in fact, to any of the design professions. Furniture design, for example, is carried out by industrial designers and furniture designers as well as by architects and interior designers. As a rule, furniture designed for mass production is designed by industrial designers or furniture designers; the interior designer or architect usually designs those special pieces that are not readily available on the market or that must meet specific needs for a particular job. Those needs may be functional or aesthetic, and often a special chair or desk designed for a specific job will turn out to be so successful that the manufacturer will put such pieces into his regular line. The same basic situation holds generally true in the design of fabrics, lighting devices, floor covering, and all home-furnishing products. All design activities are basically similar, even though the training and education in the different design fields varies in emphasis. A talented and well-trained designer can easily move from one specialized area to another with little difficulty.In the discussion of the general aspects of design, it is important to note that there is an important distinction between art and design. A designer is basically concerned with the solution of problems (be they functional, aesthetic, or psychological) that are presented to him. The artist is more concerned with emotive or expressive ideas and with the solution of problems he himself poses. A truly great or beautiful interior can indeed be called a work of art, but some would prefer to call such an interior a “great design.”Aesthetic (aesthetics) components of designA general definition of beauty and aesthetic excellence would be difficult, but fortunately there are a number of generally accepted principles that can be used to achieve an understanding of the aesthetic considerations in design. One must note, however, that such understanding requires exposure and learning; an appreciation of any form of art needs such a background.A thorough appreciation of design must go beyond the first impression. The first impression of the interior of a Gothic cathedral might be that it is somewhat dark or gloomy, but, by the time the visitor senses its majestic proportions, notices its beautiful stained glass windows and the effect of light, and begins to understand the superb structural system that permitted builders of cathedrals to achieve their lofty goals, he can truly begin to appreciate the overall aesthetic qualities.One of the key considerations in any design must be the question of whether a design “works” or functions for its purpose. If a theatre has poor sight lines, poor acoustics, and insufficient means of entry and egress, it obviously does not work for its purpose, no matter how beautifully it might be decorated. Such a design could be considered good only if it were thought of abstractly as a kind of walk-in sculpture. In some cases the building is meant to be sculpture rather than architecture. The Statue of Liberty, for instance, is primarily intended as a monument, despite the fact that it contains rather tortured interior spaces.To use function as the only aesthetic criterion would be limiting, but it certainly is a valid consideration to be kept in mind. Designers are often tempted to overdesign or “style” an object or interior rather than design it. Some of the most beautiful objects of the 20th century are beautiful because they were the result of purely functional considerations. It is conceivable that future art historians will consider a modern jet plane the crowning artistic achievement of the middle of this century, rather than any building, interior, or conscious art form.The aesthetic response to an interior and its furnishings must take into consideration the social and economic conditions as well as the materials and technology of the time. The elegant or ornate interiors that are usually associated with the 18th and 19th centuries were appropriate to the social and economic conditions of the nobility or the wealthy bourgeois who were the original occupants. The chairs were designed for formal living, and the elaborately carved furnishings were designed to be cared for by many servants. Such an interior is alien to the 20th-century way of life and would be totally inappropriate for a contemporary middle class family. It would also be inappropriate to use modern materials and processes to imitate earlier materials and processes. Many manufacturers try desperately to make plastic look like wood, stone, or just about anything but plastic. All aesthetic criteria have something to do with honesty. Some aestheticians have compared beauty to truth, and there can be little doubt that honestly expressed functions and honestly expressed materials and manufacturing processes are far more beautiful than fakery and imitation.All interiors, by definition, occur inside buildings and therefore have a very real relation to these buildings. The best interiors today, as well as in the past, are those that relate well in character and appropriateness to the particular building. The furnishings designed and scaled for spacious country homes or palaces would obviously be out of place in a small urban apartment or suburban home. A strong and unusual piece of architecture such as New York City's Trans World Airlines terminal (at John F. Kennedy International Airport) could not be properly furnished with standard commercial furniture and products. The building, as well as the interiors, was conceived as a total design by the Finnish-born architect Eero Saarinen. Whether the observer agrees with the architect's concept or not, he clearly senses the strong interrelationship between the exterior and the interior—and therefore the aesthetic unity and success. Another successful interior and building is the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City, the work of architects Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, with interiors by Warren Platner. The design is notable for its handsome spaces opening out toward an enclosed garden space. This obviously would not have been possible or appropriate if the view from the offices had been unattractive.The interiors within indifferent or unattractive buildings must strive to make up for the lack of design qualities in the structures. Thus, it is sometimes necessary to ignore the ugliness of the building and create an inward-looking beauty if no architectural character exists.The most difficult aesthetic consideration is the problem of appropriateness. The appropriate atmosphere or character of an interior must take all the foregoing points into consideration. The architectural character of the TWA terminal would make it inappropriate for use as an office building. The appropriateness of individual, more intimate, and small-scaled interiors is more subtle. The interior design of a discotheque would hardly be appropriate for a research library, and a college classroom would hardly provide the desired atmosphere for a kindergarten. Many of these responses and relationships are complex and have psychological as well as aesthetic factors.Elements of designOf all the component elements that together form a completed interior, the single most important element is space. Spaces can be exhilarating or depressing, cheerful or serene, all depending upon the use the designer has made of the various elements that form the whole. Space is, in modern times, a costly commodity. The beautiful space of the Gothic cathedral achieved its success through generous proportions and lofty heights. Due to the vast increase in construction costs in contemporary structures, spaces tend to be smaller and less generous; more skill on the part of the designer is required to give such limited spaces a particular atmosphere or character. On the other hand, sheer volume of space is not sufficient. There is hardly a larger space than the interior of the Vehicle Assembly Building at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, yet the aesthetic impact of that immense interior is negligible. A space need not be large and monumental to be aesthetically successful. The handling of mass and form even within a small structure can become exciting and beautiful. Frank Lloyd Wright was masterful in creating beautiful spatial sequences within residential-scale buildings. The Ford Foundation building is a relatively small structure among the huge buildings of New York City, yet the experience of that space is real and pleasurable.Space can be thought of as the raw material which must be molded and shaped with the designers' tools of colour, texture, light, and scale. The interrelationship of design elements can be clarified by visualizing the result if the interior of St. Peter's in Rome were painted in garish colours or painted all black or sprayed with a foamy texture covering all surfaces or flooded with enormously intense floodlight that eliminated all play of dark and light. Obviously, any of these modifications would totally destroy the beauty and success of that space.Colour is the quality of light reflected from an object to the human eye. When light falls upon an object, some of it is absorbed, and that which is not absorbed is reflected, and the apparent colour of an object depends upon the wavelength of the light that it reflects. The scientific attributes of colour and light in interior design are, however, less important than the skillful combination of colour values, hues, tones, shades, and above all textures. Although there can be no strict rules about colours and textures, it is well to remember the famous statement of the modern architect Mies van der Rohe (Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig) that “less is more.” His Crown Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, built in 1956, is elegant, understated, subtle, and is notable for its careful handling of textures and materials. To accept “less is more” as the sole guideline to design, however, would be a serious fallacy. Space, which is the essence of a meaningful interior, would be dull indeed if it were never varied—if there were no intimate spaces with low ceilings, in contrast to large spaces of greater height, and if spaces did not interrelate to provide the user with a sequential experience of moving from one to another. Monotony would also result if all interiors in a given building were of the same colour, material, and textural quality. Man needs variety and change.The manipulation of space is a matter of both aesthetic and functional consideration. A small entrance vestibule in a building is needed to keep out wind and cold or heat and rain, yet it is equally important in providing a visual transition from outdoors to the interior of the building. The sheltered sleeping alcoves in early cave dwellings served not only to express man's desire for smaller and more intimate spaces for personal use but gave protection from draft or cold.Much in our man-made structures is built of natural materials, and it must be remembered that these materials have natural colours and textures that usually are superior to anything man can create artificially. Competent designers are very much aware of the innate qualities and textures of all materials, especially natural ones. For instance, a sensitive designer would choose a simple oil finish on wood to bring out the beauty and quality of the grain rather than use the once-fashionable high-gloss finish that tended to obscure and change the texture. Textures are important not only for their appearance but also for their sense of touch, and for their effect on light absorption or reflection. Abrasive surfaces or very rough plaster would obviously be unpleasant to the touch and possibly dangerous in an interior, depending upon the use the interior is intended for. Textures can evoke feelings of elegance (such as silks) or informality (such as rough, tweedy materials).Light, both natural and artificial, is one of the most important design elements, but unless surfaces are appropriate in colour and texture, the control and effect of light will be lost. The beautiful quality of space in a Gothic cathedral is very much related to the handling of light. The source of daylight, high overhead or filtered through stained glass, creates exciting patterns of light and shade and a variety of intensities and pools of light. This same principle can be used in all interior spaces, and contemporary interiors often have skylights or high windows to provide variety and changing patterns of light. Artificial lighting is equally important, and, again, the same considerations of highlights, good overall illumination, and variety are important.Concepts of designThe scale and proportion of any interior must always relate to the architecture within which the interior exists, but the other important factor in considering the scale of man's environment is the human body. Throughout the ages, designers and architects have attempted to establish ideal proportions. The most famous of all axioms about proportion was the golden section (golden ratio), established by the ancient Greeks. According to this axiom, a line should be divided into two unequal parts, of which the first is to the second as the second is to the whole. Leonardo da Vinci developed a figure for the ideal man based on man's navel as the centre of a circle enclosing man with outstretched arms. The French architect Le Corbusier (Corbusier, Le) developed a theory of proportion called Modulor, also based on a study of human proportions. Yet, at best, these rules are merely guidelines. They can never substitute for the eye and judgment of the designer, and it is reasonable to predict that attempts to make the all-powerful computer a substitute for the designer's sensitivity are also bound to be far from perfect.It was stated earlier that the need for a changing scale and spatial relationship in the environment seems a natural one, almost a physiological as well as a psychological one. Perhaps the need for “personal” environment and scale can best be understood by considering some extreme examples. To a person flying at 30,000 feet in an airplane, the scale of anything seen on the ground appears so small that he loses touch with the reality of objects. People who fear heights are rarely bothered by the view out of an airplane because the distance to the objects on the ground has transcended normal perceptions of scale. In a similar manner, a person's reaction to the scale of a small house is quite different from his reaction to a large high-rise building. Details of pattern, texture, and material are accepted and expected in the small structure since they are in a meaningful scale with respect to man. By the same token, the sculptural ornaments on the tops of early skyscrapers seem absurd today.Almost all principles of design for interiors can be comprehended with clear analytic understanding and common sense, without regard to dogmatic rules. If a beautiful 18th-century breakfront (which might be more than eight feet tall) is placed in an apartment with a ceiling height just an inch higher than the piece of furniture, it would obviously look out of scale. If a space is planned so that all the heavy and massive pieces of furniture are pushed toward one end of the room, with nothing on the other side, the room would obviously look out of balance. Yet balance and symmetry applied as inviolate design principles would result in very formal, very traditional, and somewhat dull interiors. Careful symmetry was a generally accepted rule during the Renaissance, and in any classic building one can be sure to find a carefully balanced and symmetrical facade, just as most formal and classic interiors have rigidly balanced plans. It is now recognized that balance can also be based on asymmetry. Both architecture and interior design in the 20th century have consciously broken with the many rules handed down from past eras. It is more important for a building or space to be expressive of its purpose. At one time, it was traditional for a theatre, opera house, or concert hall to embody certain forms and shapes without any real consideration of sight lines, seating distance from the stage, or acoustics. On the other hand, the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall (1964) works beautifully as a concert hall and expresses its purpose and function clearly in an exciting and dynamic way (seephotograph—>).Balance and symmetry, colour, pattern, and repetition used to be a matter of adherence to a tradition. Until fairly recently, many interiors were painted in dark colours, often ignoring the fact that light reflection was adversely affected and that no real contrast or sparkling accent was achieved. In many contemporary rooms, however, most surfaces are kept in neutral or light colours, possibly with one wall accented in a strong colour or texture. An interior with uniform overhead lighting might be an efficient work space but would lack the character that can be achieved by providing some accent lights in small areas.The designer's concern for honesty of materials and textures has brought about changing attitudes toward some of the conventional practices of interior decoration, such as the use of strongly patterned wallpapers and flowered prints. Any interior that has too many different patterns, too many textures, and too many repetitive features of any kind will appear overpowering, overly busy, overdesigned, and confusing. A designer often attempts to have a dominant theme or idea, be it colour, form, texture, or some rhythmic pattern. It must be noted also that design is influenced by changing attitudes and fashions. The movements in art and architecture of the 1950s and 1960s have influenced interior design in the direction of an emphasis on pure form, the absence of superfluous decoration, and expressiveness of materials. Recently, however, a kind of countermovement in the field of painting and sculpture has been influential. For instance, the use of large-scale graphic elements (supergraphics) in interiors has become popular and accepted, in spite of the fact that its very idea often consciously denies or destroys the visual clarity of existing architectural design features. Some of the leading designers in the United States and in several European countries have also become very interested in large patterns, rhythmic geometries, and decorative surfaces, and this may point toward a new trend (see photograph—>).Most interiors consist of a series of interrelated spaces. It is important that the various spaces be designed in a sequential relationship to each other, not only in terms of planning but also in terms of the visual effect. A successful interior should be cohesive within each area and cohesive as a totality. It must above all relate to the building and to the architectural concept. A good example is the previously mentioned TWA terminal by Eero Saarinen. In spite of the extremely complex sculptural forms used, there is a sequence and clearly balanced rhythm that not only unifies the total composition but clearly relates it to the total architecture.The best examples of design are those in which no visible difference exists between the interior and the exterior, between the building and its site, and between the many parts or spaces to each other and the total building. An example is the house of the American architect Philip Johnson in New Canaan (Johnson, Philip C.), Connecticut. Johnson's home and its setting appear effortlessly united, with individual parts subordinated to the success of the whole (see photograph—>).Design relationshipsThe real and conscious relationship between art, architecture, and design is of long standing. Though mural painting was largely neglected in the mid-20th century, in the past great murals have been the planned focal points of interiors and have in a way determined the architecture. Similarly, sculpture or sculptural forms, as fixed and permanent spects of buildings, can be the most important design features if planned that way by the architect together with the interior designer and artist. Perhaps the best design is one in which there is no visible difference between architecture and interior and in which even the artwork is incorporated as an integral part of the total (see photograph—>).The design relationship of interiors to architecture can be clarified by citing an extreme example: the stage set. A set for a theatrical production is a form of interior design but, unlike all other aspects of interior design, it attempts to create its own world and atmosphere concerned only with the play and not at all related to the world or even reality. The creation of a world of make-believe is precisely the function of a stage, but in real life it is impossible to divorce a particular interior from everything else around it. Sometimes a designer may attempt to create a “theatrical” interior, but the point being made strongly and unequivocally here is that every interior must relate to the architecture and to the nearby environment.Design relationships of individual works of art (paintings, prints, or sculptures) to interiors are most significant in terms of scale and placement, rather than in terms of subject matter, colour, or style. A very old painting, if it is good, will look well within a contemporary interior; a very modern piece of sculpture can be beautiful within an interior furnished with some beautiful traditional pieces. Any work of art, if successful within itself, is “correct” with any interior if properly placed or selected to work with the total space. Certainly there is no need to match colours of paintings to interiors or to select subject matter in works of art that reflect a particular theme, such as food for dining rooms or hunting scenes for the den.Interiors as they relate to landscape or cityscape are sometimes misunderstood by architects. A crass but typical example is the ubiquitous picture window in suburban housing tracts. Often the only view from the window is the picture window of the neighbouring house. When the view is a beautiful one, it should be possible to plan the interior with the furniture plan and orientation such that seating arrangements can take advantage of the view and yet work for other functions, such as relation to a fireplace or a conversation group, as well.In many areas of interior design the field of graphics is taking on increasing importance. In every public or institutional building, signs, directories, and room identifications play an important visual part. Good architectural graphics have been stressed only in recent years, as a result of the increasing size and complexity of structures. Buildings such as airports depend upon clear and handsome graphics to make the spaces work and to make them aesthetically cohesive. A related aspect of graphics is the printed matter that is part of certain interior functions. Interior designers must be concerned with the design of menus, wine lists, napkins, and matchbooks in a well-designed restaurant. Designers dealing with stores or shops are concerned with the graphics of shopping bags, signs, and posters. Often the interior designer is the actual graphic designer, or he works together with the graphic designer, just as the architect works with the interior designer or landscape architect.Modes of compositionIt must be emphasized that there are many different moods, or modes of composition, that are possible in interior design. The recognition of this fact makes it difficult to apply valid critical criteria to these modes, since many of them are intensely personal. What may appear to be picturesque to one person might be ugly or cluttered to another. Each person brings to interior design his own cultural mores and his own prejudices, and in many ways he is psychologically conditioned and influenced to accept certain things and to reject others. In discussing various modes of composition, one must therefore take into consideration the occupants and their backgrounds, the locale and site, and then try to apply the most basic design principles as general guidelines.Formal and informal compositions are relatively easily defined and classified; in fact, this distinction is useful throughout the history of furniture and interiors. Formal styles are usually associated with life at court or furnishings for the palatial homes of nobles or a moneyed elite. The informal periods usually are associated with rural living or the simpler pieces of furniture made by the local craftsmen in rural areas, where they plied their trade with limited tools, using local woods. Formal furniture, as a rule, leads to formal interior compositions. Balance and symmetry certainly tend to lead to formal compositions. Formality is not associated with any particular period. In fact, a very famous contemporary chair, the Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe, is an extremely formal and elegant piece. It would seem wrong to use that chair in a casual catercorner room arrangement.Setting strongly influences the character of a space. By its very definition, a rustic setting would be rural and informal and would seem wrong and incongruous in a formal townhouse or city apartment. Since most business and public interiors are located in urban centres, any attempt to make such interiors look rustic or homey would be an aesthetic paradox. By the same token, it would appear equally incongruous to design a restaurant located in an old mill or barn in New England in a formal and urban character with elegant furnishings, whether they were contemporary or antiques of a formal nature.Certain modes of composition are determined by the function of the spaces as much as by the location and by the architecture. For example, a cozy or homey interior is normally associated with residential interiors or similarly intimate interiors, such as restaurants that may wish to appear “cozy.” Some interiors, such as discotheques, require excitement and other interiors, such as funeral parlors, require serenity or dignity. One expects certain modes of composition for certain functions, but one's expectations are subject to many external influences, such as personal background, location, psychological associations, and changing fashions. For instance, the typical bank interior until about 1950 was expected to be solid, dignified, awe-inspiring, formal, and above all confidence inspiring. Contemporary design for business and industry has become accepted by all, and the early 1950s saw the logical extension of these firmly established design principles into the area of bank design. One of the first radical departures of traditional design for banking spaces was the Manufacturers Trust Company Manhattan office designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in the early 1950s. It was the first widely published “glass” bank, and it set a trend that has become the new mode of composition for banks.Fashion or design trends influence one's reactions to many kinds of designs. The term clutter is usually associated with Victorian design of the 19th century. Under the usual definition of the term clutter, one thinks of home interiors with collections of accessories and with an overabundance of knickknacks—the typical Victorian home. In the mid-1960s a new approach to office design, reflecting the “cluttered” approach, was developed. This office appears disorganized at first glance. Actually, the system (called office landscape; see below Kinds of interiors: Public interiors: Space planning (interior design)) is very efficient and for that reason is deemed acceptable, even if the visual impact tends to be chaotic. Traditionally, office and business interiors were pristine, orderly, and very organized, and the idea of a cluttered appearance would have been anathema to designers.The most difficult mode of composition for objective analysis is one that some people call exotic. The chances are that all exotic interiors are highly personal statements and cannot be rationally understood in theoretical design terms. To begin with, what may appear exotic to the average American could be very ordinary or even homey to another culture. Japanese or oriental design in general serves as an example. A Japanese style interior is extremely subtle, serene, and understated, yet to the uninitiated such an interior will appear exotic. Undoubtedly that same phenomenon holds true in reverse. Oriental people have often been impressed with Western-style design and have adopted it presumably because to them it appeared exotic. The increased mobility of the middle classes of many nations today has made foreign travel possible for more and more people, thereby tending to soften some of the very strong regional differences in design. The modes of composition are still discernible nationally or certainly by major geographic and ethnic divisions, but they tend to be less distinct. Many subtle differences exist within the same country, some of which are based on varying socioeconomic backgrounds, much in the manner of the traditional difference between formal styles (at court and in homes of nobility) and informal modes of composition for the country people and middle classes. The labels that one applies to these modes of composition are often only descriptive. They must not be confused with objective evaluation of design values. An interior that is by the creator's definition exotic or picturesque may or may not be a well-done exotic design.Symbolism and styleThere are many historic examples of symbolism in design, but often the symbolism is not a conscious statement so much as a more subtle reflection of style. Religious buildings, especially churches, have until recently been consistently traditional expressions of style or symbolism. The church and church architecture flourished during the Middle Ages, and the style of church architecture that became the dominant symbol was the Gothic style. Until the recent past, churches were still designed, as a matter of course, in Gothic style. It is interesting to note that a “Gothic” church designed and built in 1820 can be clearly identified as such, and a “Gothic” church from the year 1920 has the imprint of that year as obviously as the date on its cornerstone. There has been a similar symbolic or stylistic tradition in the design of public or governmental buildings. Both interiors and exteriors of city halls, court buildings, and major government structures were usually in the “classical” style, symbolizing authority, power, and stability, based on our long historic association of these concepts with Greco-Roman antiquity and Renaissance thought.Another form of symbolism in interior design has been the creation of interiors around specific themes or concepts. Among the earliest examples is the Egyptian tomb. The interior design and decoration depicted the life of the king or special events from his life, and the total interior was intended as a kind of magic to assure the occupant's journey into life after death and guarantee his happiness there. Another example of a symbolic interior created for a specific purpose is the Roman hunting lodge, Piazza Amerina, in Sicily, which has splendid murals and floors depicting animals and hunting. A more recent example of a similarly symbolic interior on the same subject is Theodore Roosevelt's home at Oyster Bay on Long Island, built in 1880. It is full of hunting trophies and mementos symbolizing his personal interests and his personality.The styles that developed in interiors and in interior furnishings (furniture) were always symbolic of the social structure of the society that created them. It is easy, for instance, to look at the graceful, feminine lines of a Louis XV chair, delicately curved and luxuriously upholstered, and to see it as a symbolic expression of the superficialities of court life. One can also look at some of the crudely fashioned early American furniture and see in one's mind the life of the settler who fashioned it. Life was harsh, time was precious, and articles of furniture were confined to essentials. The need for economical use of space was symbolized by dual-purpose, functional pieces such as dough boxes that served as tables and tables that turned into chairs and had storage compartments for the family Bible as well.As functional and efficiency-oriented as business and office design is today, it is full of unwritten rules relating to symbolism. The design of an office reflects the status of the occupant. Top executives are located in the largest corner offices with the best views of the city and invariably are on the top floors of the corporate headquarters. The size of desks is a symbolic indication of the executive's importance in the hierarchy of the firm. The very top officers may, however, do away with desks altogether and have offices resembling living rooms—to symbolize the fact that they are beyond routine paperwork and above the need for standard office furnishings. The fashions (or styles) of design vary and develop even within a brief period of 10 or 20 years. Thus, another symbol—carpeting—has become somewhat outdated. Until recently, top executives expected wall-to-wall carpeting in their offices. Today such offices may have wood or other natural floors, perhaps with beautiful area rugs. The very idea of a private office is, of course, the most important symbol in a status-conscious business community. Designers have found, however, that the need for communication between executive and staff, including visual contact, often makes private offices less than efficient.Symbolism in residential interior design occurs on many levels but again tends to be influenced by changing styles. When television first became available, the home screen became a symbol of prosperity and at the same time became the focal point of residential interiors. By the 1970s a television set had become a standard possession and was no longer a compositional emphasis; in fact, it was often concealed or casually incorporated into the total design.A homeowner is likely to be very conscious of the image his house or apartment conveys. Traditional furniture, for instance, is still associated with elegance in the minds of many laymen, a situation that can lead to the acquisition of poor reproductions or meaningless imitations of nonexistent styles. To most people a real fire in a fireplace is a delightful physical and visual experience that often has nostalgic associations. Since they are no longer needed to heat houses, fireplaces in the 20th century increasingly have become a luxury and thereby a symbol of substance to many people. These circumstances have often resulted in imitation fireplaces of the worst possible design, with simulated fires.From the designer's point of view, design symbolism in public spaces is valid at times but can and should be used in contemporary terms rather than as stylistic imitation of past eras. An example of the success of such design can be seen in the new Boston City Hall, built in 1968, which symbolizes government, authority, and dignity in totally original and contemporary terms. There is little valid reason to consciously introduce symbolism into residential interiors, unless it is the kind of cultural symbolism exemplified in Japanese interiors, such as that of the Zen tea house (cha-shitsu), where certain design features reflect a way of life and have ceremonial meanings.Physical components of designThe foregoing section on aesthetic components stressed the fact that, in design, the whole or total effect is more important than the specific device or element used. The same is true of architectural components, and this should be kept in mind in the following discussion.Ceilings (ceiling)Although ceilings are in most interiors the largest unbroken surface, they are often ignored by amateur designers and even by professional designers. The result, especially in public and office interiors, is frequently a mass of unrelated lighting devices, air conditioning outlets, and the like. Ceilings were emphasized in the Baroque and 18th-century traditions: beautiful interiors of these periods had highly ornate, decorated ceilings, with painted surfaces or with intricate plaster details and traceries.Few modern designers take advantage of the design possibilities offered by ceilings. One such possibility is the creation of textural effects with wood. Of course, one must respect the effect of a simple plaster ceiling in an otherwise well-designed interior; often the white plaster ceiling is needed to reflect light and to provide a calm cohesiveness to the space. Since most modern ceilings are low, a heavy texture or a strong colour could create a depressing feeling; hence, the popularity of a plain white ceiling. It is important for a plain ceiling to be just that: a surface without blemishes, without bumps, and without small unrelated areas of different height.In contemporary public buildings there is frequently a “hung” ceiling below interior concrete structural slabs. The space between the slab and the “hung” ceiling is needed for mechanical equipment as well as to allow for the recessing of the lighting system.An earlier section of this article discussed the variation of heights in relation to scale and space. It is important to keep such varying ceiling heights related to the plan of the room if such a device is to succeed. A lowered ceiling in a dining area, for instance, can be pleasant and intimate, but a lowered ceiling covering only part of the area can be most distracting.FloorsBasically, there are two kinds of floors for interiors: those that are an integral part of the structure and those that are applied after the structure is completed. Interior designers working together with architects have the opportunity to specify flooring such as slate, terrazzo, stone, brick, concrete, or wood, but in most interiors the flooring is designed at a later stage and is often changed in the course of a building's life. Sometimes it is possible to introduce a heavy floor, such as terrazzo or stone, in a finished building or during remodeling, but these materials, beautiful as they are, tend to be too costly as surface applications.Man-made, or synthetic, floor coverings (floor covering) are usually classified as resilient floors. The oldest of this type is linoleum. The resilient flooring materials marketed in the late 20th century include asphalt, vinyl asbestos, linoleum, cork, and vinyl. Cork, which is not a synthetic, is handsome, but is difficult to maintain and is not exceptionally durable. Basically, other resilient floor tiles (tile) are excellent flooring materials that are both economical and easily maintained. They can be given almost any appearance, which is a temptation that manufacturers are unable to resist. When the tiles are plain, in good colours or textures, they are very attractive and appropriate, but often they are made to imitate stone, brick, mosaic, or other materials, and the results are generally of a less satisfactory nature. Pure vinyls are the most expensive of the resilient floorings and have been the most tortured in terms of “design.” The vinyls are the softest and most resilient of the tiles and are very easy to maintain. asphalt tile is the least expensive and consequently the most widely used resilient flooring, although it is quite brittle and hard underfoot. Vinyl asbestos is somewhat softer underfoot and, being grease resistant, is easier to maintain than asphalt, but its cost is generally higher. linoleum, which ranges in cost between the asphalt and pure vinyl floorings, is strong and suitable for heavy-duty uses.Ceramic tiles and quarry (unglazed) tiles are made not only for such areas as bathrooms but, particularly in the case of quarry tiles, are suitable for almost any space. Installation usually requires a cement bed over the existing subfloor, making this material difficult to use in existing buildings. Like other natural materials, quarry-tile floors possess a natural beauty and have the additional advantage of easy maintenance.Wood floors still account for a very large percentage of all floors, especially in residences. In addition to the strip oak floors, the standard for many apartment houses or homes, many beautiful prefabricated parquet patterns are available in a variety of woods and in many shapes and sizes. These wood tiles can be installed, just like the resilient floor tiles, over existing floors. Wood floors have great warmth and beauty but have the disadvantage of needing more care than do some of the synthetic tiles or quarry tiles.WallsEvery wall is a material in itself; and ideally no material, if it is properly used, needs to be covered up. Some elegant buildings constructed since 1960 have used concrete in its natural texture—i.e., showing the formwork left by wooden forms as a conscious expression of the material. During the 19th century, fakery in design was very popular, and part of the concern with the true expression of materials today is a revolt against the earlier tradition. In the 20th century, for instance, interior brick walls are considered very beautiful and desirable, yet many old townhouses have layers of plaster and paint or wallpaper on top of attractive brickwork.It is not unusual for a decorative detail or device to survive long after the valid reason for it has disappeared. Wall panelling (paneling) has been popular for hundreds of years, and, indeed, a natural wood texture adds warmth and elegance. The only way the craftsmen of earlier periods were able to apply wood panelling was in frames (stiles and rails) or wainscotting, since wood panelling was made of solid wood and had to be broken up into narrow dimensions in order to prevent warping and shrinking. Out of that need developed beautiful details of moldings, carved details, and carefully proportioned panelling. A similar art developed somewhat later in plaster. Obviously, 20th-century building costs and methods rarely permit real quality in elaborate panelling or highly ornate plasterwork, nor would this sort of imitative design be appropriate in a modern building. But wood panelling and plywoods in many beautiful veneers are readily available and provide a vast range of beautiful, if expensive, wall surfacing for important spaces. Prescored, pre-finished inexpensive plywoods, on the other hand, are often used as finishing materials for basement, recreation, or utility rooms in many homes in the United States.The use of fake moldings, with printed moldings or panelling or with any of the countless imitation wall-surfacing materials from brick wallpaper to artistically poor wall murals, is the kind of decoration that a good designer avoids. Even so, not every interior should be a plain space with nothing but the natural walls. Highly decorative wallpapers (wallpaper) have long been available in bold and exciting patterns. Often in 20th-century design a strong paper is employed on one wall only, instead of having the whole space surrounded by a dominant pattern. Many wallpapers, such as grasscloth and shiki silk papers from the Far East, have natural textures. For public spaces and for any space requiring easy maintenance and special cleanliness, a number of wallpapers have been developed that are completely washable and sanitary. Most of these are vinyl-coated fabrics, and some of them are extremely strong and durable and are particularly suited for such spaces as hospital or hotel corridors. Because these vinyl-coated wall fabrics are usually specified by designers and architects, the level of design is far superior to those made for the home.There are many wall-surfacing materials using fabrics laminated to paper. These coverings provide warmth and texture, as well as acoustic properties. Fabrics in general have been used widely as wall-coverings in the past and continue to be popular.A designer's imagination and the client's budget are the only limitation on the materials that may be used for wall surfacing. Some, such as ceramic or mosaic tiles, are extremely practical; some, such as cork, have excellent acoustical characteristics. For functional or for aesthetic reasons the designer may elect to use such materials as leather, metals, plastic laminates, or glass. No wall in itself should be designed or selected without relation to the total scheme.Windows and doors in contemporary design are not placed as decorative elements or as parts of symmetrical compositions but are primarily considered as functional elements and are expressed as such. If windows are carefully designed and placed for light, for ventilation, for air, and for view, decorative treatment is often unnecessary and a simple device such as a shade or shutter will suffice to control light and privacy. Most buildings, however, need window treatments, since no particular care in the placement of fenestration was taken by the builders.The most frequently used devices are curtains (curtain) and draperies. Although semantically there is no clear distinction between the two, drapery implies more elaborate treatments with lining, overdrapes, valances, and tassels. A curtain, on the other hand, is lighter, more direct, less theatrical, and more functional. Frequently, a light material is chosen to provide privacy or light control with minimum emphasis. Curtains, however, offer only partial control over light, glare, and privacy; complete control or privacy often requires shades, blinds, or shutters. Window shades without overly ornate borders and tassels are a perfectly good device for those controls, and Venetian blinds are also a most acceptable treatment.Since the 1960s designers have tried to simplify window treatments, and, if curtains, shades, or blinds were not deemed appropriate for functional or aesthetic reasons, devices such as chains or beads on windows or very simple sliding panels were found to be more effective than more elaborate treatments.The essential considerations for windows must be based on the functional needs and on the overall aesthetic intent. If a space is well designed in architectural terms and presents a cohesive image, it rarely makes sense to feature a window or door. Poorly detailed windows in office buildings or apartment houses are often overcome or played down by using a simple curtain material covering a complete window wall. The wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling treatment of a window wall is frequently the only way to screen out unattractive details.Doors (door) must be carefully planned, relating the swing and location to the functional needs, and their heights, colour, material, or textures to the adjoining wall surfaces or design elements in the space. Most doors used in the 20th century are “flush” doors—that is, they have unbroken surfaces made of wood or metal; even where glass is used the attempt is usually made to have maximum glass area unbroken by frames and moldings. Sometimes the entrance doors to important spaces are designed or decorated as compositional focal points, but usually the emphasis is on excellence in detailing and hardware rather than on decorative surface designs.Other componentsThe detailing referred to in connection with the handling of doors is one of the most important factors in interior design. Every architectural component must be detailed well. Poor details make for poor design. The meaning of detailing in a design sense is more than the graphic explanation of certain components on a drawing. It means the way materials are put together, the way one part is fastened to another, the way parts and materials are expressed and articulated. Stairs (staircase) or ramps are architectural components of great importance, whether in stores, in public buildings, or in homes. Since these structural features represent large vertical forms in space, they often become the dominant design feature in an interior space (see photograph—>). Stairs in hotel lobbies, for example, are usually in very prominent locations. The actual stair design, however, is surprisingly restrictive and set. The height of riser and its relation to the tread is fixed, and variations for normal vertical circulation are extremely limited. Matters of detail involve such considerations as whether the stair is open or enclosed, whether it is a bold sculptural form or an airy dynamic shape (resulting from the use of open treads without risers), whether the stair honestly expresses its material (be it wood, steel, or marble), or is wrapped in carpeting. The many detailing possibilities present a real challenge to designers and, unlike mass-produced windows, light switches, or plumbing fixtures, give designers a chance to design in a completely personal or creative way.Components such as heating units, electric outlets and switches, and telephone connections offer no design choice other than the limited selection among mass-produced products and the best placement within the space. The pattern created by the placement of fixtures is as important with walls or any other surfaces as it is for ceilings. A given wall may have doors, windows, electric outlets, switches, air-conditioning registers, and heating units (radiators or convectors). It is the designer's job to deal with all of these components by design, by organization, by placement or elimination, and by detailing. Often, the more bulky components, such as radiators, can be “eliminated” by building the unit into the wall or, in existing, poorly detailed buildings, by creating a “built-in” appearance through the inclusion of some design feature. Radiators or convectors are often housed in neatly detailed enclosures that may run the whole length of a window wall and may at the same time provide an additional surface under the windowsill. Depending on the location, a continuous enclosure may contain some shelving or storage elements, thus making use of the extra space not needed for the actual heating unit (or air-conditioning unit).In large, nonresidential interiors, the mechanical components are often massive. For instance, the telephone installation needed in an office for several hundred people requires a very large space and a complex installation of conduits and other elements that affect the interior design. The air-conditioning or heating unit for a simple store may be fairly bulky, and again the designer deals with the allocation of space as well as with the mechanical function of the equipment. All of the mechanical equipment for buildings is specified or engineered by specialists, but it is essential that an interior designer have the basic knowledge and understanding to be able to coordinate the various specialties. The many pipes, stacks, and vents that go into a plumbing system, although not exposed and shown as a rule, are of real concern to the designer. Whether architectural components are expressed and detailed, whether they are concealed or built-in, they are incorporated in the design.Furniture and accessoriesTo the layman, furniture is the most important aspect of interior design. It is a significant component of design to the professional as well, since it is the most personal and intimate product relating man to a building. It is also personal because it can be moved from one home to the next and handed on from generation to generation, and often furniture takes on important sentimental value. Accessories are even more personal, but they are less significant to the overall effect of the interior, since they are by nature smaller than furniture. Almost anything that people own or collect could be called an “accessory,” including functional objects, such as ashtrays, and decorative objects, such as porcelain, glass, or ceramics.Although some quite sophisticated furniture existed in ancient Egypt, the use of furniture was rare during the Middle Ages and only became significant in the West during the Renaissance. During most subsequent periods there have usually been close interrelations between architectural and furniture styles and modes of interior design. The 20th-century pioneers of design and architecture—such as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Marcel Breuer—were not able to find any suitable contemporary furniture available in the 1920s and 1930s when they built structures without historical references. They designed much of their own furniture, and some of these modern “classics” are still very much in demand. Well-designed modern furniture developed in Scandinavian countries in the 20th century out of the long tradition of craftsmanship and design prevalent in those countries. The real beginning of modern furniture design in the United States came only after World War II, and much of it was first developed for nonresidential uses. Charles Eames, George Nelson, and Florence Knoll are among the distinguished American designers who have pioneered furniture design and manufacturing processes. Their furniture primarily was introduced to the public through use in public or work spaces. A large segment of furniture manufacturers, however, has still not been touched by design of any kind, and furniture under such invented names as “Mediterranean” or “Italian Provincial” (both nonexistent historic styles) is still being foisted upon the public.Whatever material or manufacturing process may be used, the important criteria that must be applied in furniture are function, comfort, and durability, together with aesthetic considerations. Architects and interior designers often prefer to build in furniture wherever possible, and, indeed, some of the best historic and contemporary interiors contain little movable furniture. An interior without any furniture or accessories would probably appear stark and uninviting, and it is clear that the personal touches possible through selection of appropriate furniture and accessories are very important.One can use a vast array of decorative objects or plants as accessories. In a way, every accessory used in a home, office, or public space is in some way a part of the total composition, and must therefore be selected with care. No rules exist on what is “proper” other than the basic principles of design that were discussed earlier.Light is one of the key elements of interior design. Most interior spaces constructed in the 20th century are used as much with artificial light as with daylight; because of this lighting has become a very significant tool for the interior designer. There are three major aspects to lighting: function, aesthetics, and health. The latter factor is often ignored, but insufficient illumination can cause eyestrain and physical discomfort. Illuminating engineers have established recommended standards of illumination for various tasks and have also provided rules and standards relating to brightness of the source of lighting and controls for shielding the eye from direct glare. Light can be diffused and can, in general, be controlled very accurately.Two basic types of lighting are used in modern interiors: incandescent (incandescent lamp) and fluorescent (fluorescent lamp). The former is somewhat redder than daylight but contains all colours of the spectrum. Since fluorescent light has an uneven spectrum, colours tend to appear distorted. A mixture of the two is often the best way to achieve colour accuracy. Some of today's fluorescent lamps are close to daylight accuracy, and manufacturers continue to improve the quality of available lamps. Both types of light can be used in “direct” or “indirect” lighting in interiors or in a combination of these methods known as semidirect or semi-indirect.Designers and architects strive to build in lighting as much as possible. Recessed lighting, lighting coves, and architectural lighting in general can be controlled much more efficiently than portable lamps.A good lighting scheme must provide some variety in highlights, shadows, and accent lights to avoid monotony. An even, overall lighting system, such as a luminous ceiling, can be highly efficient, but it lacks character and interest. Most interiors require a certain flexibility for different functions within the space at different times of day and night. In certain interiors, such as stores and shops, lighting becomes a display and sales tool, and in festive spaces, such as ballrooms or theatres, the quality of light can provide sparkle and mood more effectively than any other component of design. One can think of the potential of lighting in terms of the theatre. Some productions are staged without formal sets, yet the changing mood and setting can be suggested by controlled illumination.Most intimate interiors depend to some extent on portable or fixed (ceiling and wall-mounted) lamps. The design of lamps, especially table lamps for homes, has somehow brought forth a vast array of bad designs, together with a smaller number of good ones. Many lampshades are similarly banal in design, but a shade as such is an excellent diffusor of light and shield against glare. Some lamps and shades are designed for specific tasks, others for accent lighting.FabricsThere are three basic aspects that determine appearance and suitability of fabrics for interior use: fibre content, weave, and pattern. Fibres are either natural or man-made. The important natural fibres (natural fibre) are cotton, wool, linen, and silk. Although silk has long been considered the most elegant and desirable of all natural fibres, it does not stand up well under direct sunlight and heat and, in general, requires more care than most other fibres. Wool, like silk, is an animal fibre; depending upon its weave, it can be made into extremely strong and beautiful fabrics and is therefore very much in demand for contemporary interiors. Both cotton and linen are made from vegetable fibres and are both durable and pliable. Unless cotton and linen are interwoven with other fibres, however, they are not generally as strong as wools or man-made fibres (fibre, man-made) and tend to be restricted to light-duty interior purposes.Man-made (synthetic) fibres in the 20th century abound under a variety of trade names, and new synthetics are continuously being developed. Some of the major families of synthetic fibres are glass fibres, acetate, acrylic and modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, rayon, and saran. The chemical composition and processes used in the manufacture of man-made fibres make possible a variety of specific qualities. Some offer strength and elasticity; some offer resistance to fire, stain, mildew, sun, or abrasion; and some offer resistance to moisture and organic agents, others to crushing and wrinkling.Many fabrics are woven in a combination of two or more fibres in an attempt to improve the appearance or utility or both. Another factor in selecting or specifying fabrics is the touch of the fabric, or the “hand.” Certain fabrics made from man-made fibres seem unpleasant to the touch compared to silk or wool fabrics.weaving is an ancient art, and fundamentally there is little difference between the very early handlooms and the power looms found in major textile plants today. The three most common weaves in use are plain weaves, which include basket weaves; floating weaves, which include twill and satin weaves; and pile weaves, which include both cut and uncut weaves. Weaving techniques of lesser importance to interior design include knitting, twisting, forming, and felting.The pattern of textiles, especially in contemporary terms, is frequently the natural pattern created by the weave of the fabric, although patterns are also created by printing. In traditional textile terms, reference to pattern usually meant a historic style. The history of textiles ranges from early Egyptian and Oriental patterns to the present. Each era has developed fashionable and popular patterns. Contemporary textile designs, for instance, are usually abstract or geometric, but floral and large flowing patterns were also popular in the 20th century.Colour is one of the most important aspects of fabrics in interior design, inasmuch as the colours of fabrics are frequently the most important areas of colour in interiors. Dye colours can be added to unspun fibres, spun yarns, or woven textiles. Colour fastness is a major concern to interior designers, for faded fabrics can be quite detrimental to an interior.Natural elementsNo man-made object can equal the beauty found in nature, and it is not surprising that the introduction of natural elements into interiors has always been considered desirable. In spite of their beauty, one cannot arbitrarily introduce a plant, a tree, or rocks, or water into an interior. The foremost considerations must be the location of the space, its climate, and its relationship to the outdoors.Climatic considerations determine the kind of plant, flower, or tree that can prosper in an interior. The most beautiful plant will not survive long under adverse conditions, and a dying tree or plant certainly offers no decorative advantage.The location and orientation of interior to exterior spaces is another important consideration in the introduction of natural elements. In warmer climates, it is possible to have a gradual transition between interior and exterior, and plants providing this natural transition will look well and will prosper. In colder climates a real barrier of glass or a solid wall separates the indoors from outdoors, and at best the transition can be made visually.There are a number of simple devices that make it possible to keep delicate plants and flowers alive under controlled conditions. Greenhouses in all sizes, ranging from window size to room size can be the most delightful areas of an interior, but obviously special conditions and maintenance must be provided. The scale of plants or small trees must be considered. One large indoor tree can be a beautiful accent in even a small space. Too many trees or plants in a small space would be overpowering, unless indeed the space is designed primarily as a greenhouse space or plant room.Natural elements other than plants and flowers that can be used in interiors are water, rocks, stones, or pebbles, and planting areas in natural soil. For large spaces, usually public buildings, pools or contained areas of water can be extremely beautiful and exciting. Some interior features have been created with running water and small recirculated waterfalls. Sometimes a small area of pebbles with a few plants or carefully chosen rocks can add a touch of real beauty to an interior. Even collections of rocks, minerals, seashells, and other natural elements provide the touch of nature that can make an interior come alive.Design procedureProfessional interior-design assignments may range from the design of a small apartment to extremely large and complex jobs such as the planning and design of all of the floors in an office building or the design of all the spaces in a hotel or resort. The procedures vary somewhat from one job to the next and depend upon the size of the design organization, but the following basic outline covers the usual procedures followed by professional designers.Preliminary phasesThe first step is the interview with the client. This is often a series of conversations and must eventually lead to a mutual agreement. Clients usually have a good idea of their needs and preferences, yet an experienced designer frequently sees some needs not envisioned by the client, and often he must reeducate the client's attitude about preferences. Obviously, the interview must also convince the client that the designer is the right one for his needs. Most established professionals do not commence any design work nor engage in prolonged meetings and conversations without a retainer for their services. Depending upon the scope and complexity of the job, agreements between clients and interior designers range from simple letters written by the designers to lengthy legal documents, covering precisely the services to be rendered, as well as the procedures and responsibilities. The designer makes a survey, including an analysis of the client's present program, and he often prepares a new program. Frequently, for instance, a designer upon surveying existing facilities finds that the redesign of these facilities would be more suitable to the client's needs and more economical than the leasing of a new space or the adding of additional space. More often the situation is reversed: the client does not realize that investing in a major renovation of his space does not permit room for future change or expansion, and upon the design firm's advice new premises are obtained or built. Sometimes there is a question of whether a particular interior of some value or meaning should be restored or reconstructed, and again the experience of the interior designer is needed for those decisions.When the job involves redesigning existing spaces, at a very early stage the interior designer will require very accurate plans of existing conditions. In many older buildings, there are no up-to-date plans, and the design firm must take exact field measurements in order to obtain plans and elevations for the existing spaces. These plans must also reveal whether walls are bearing (supporting) or whether they can be demolished. The electrical and mechanical system must be carefully evaluated, sometimes by engineers.For large jobs pre-architectural planning and programming can consume many months or even years. Major corporations contemplating major building projects need precise programs, analyses of existing facilities and equipment, and a number of alternate schemes and proposals. Based upon the functions performed by the various departments of a corporation and the interrelation of these departments to each other, designers actually prepare a schematic building shape (such as a high-rise building or a series of smaller structures), including a basic system for offices or other functions.The final program outline is eventually presented to the client for approval prior to any actual design work. The budget obviously is a paramount consideration. Together with the program analysis, designers must frequently prepare an approximate budget or attempt to make their proposals based upon a budget set by the client.Among the additional factors that must be considered are availability of materials and furnishings, maintenance of the interior, and the character or appropriateness of the planned scheme. Business interiors often represent large investments for the clients, and a delay of several weeks in the completion of a job, due to the non-availability of products or furnishings, could represent a sizable loss. In public interiors, such as hotels, stores, or educational institutions, the maintenance factors must be carefully analyzed. On a smaller scale, residential interiors must be considered with similar care. Maintenance factors for the floors of kitchens or children's rooms are important.Design and presentationAfter the completion of a program and the acceptance of the program by the clients, the actual design work can begin. Designers usually work on many alternative schemes. A single space such as a restaurant or a carefully designed store takes many days of preliminary design studies. As the size of the job increases, the interrelation of individual spaces increases the complexity of these studies, and it is quite likely that the designer will need a rough study model in order to visualize the spaces three dimensionally. drawing and drafting at that stage is the designer's way of visualizing his own ideas and at the same time putting them in such a form that they can be communicated to his associates for discussion and eventually communicated to his clients. All the aesthetic components come into play at that stage of design, including colours, lighting, and textures, although at the early design stages no precise selection of materials or objects is made. Obviously, this creative phase of interior design is based on thorough research and critical analysis and is not simply the result of a sudden flash of inspiration.Once the designer or the team of designers feels that a scheme has been arrived at within the stated objectives, a preliminary presentation will be prepared. Although a competent designer will try a number of possible schemes for every job, he will, as a rule, decide which of the many ideas he explored in rough form is the most successful and that will be prepared for a preliminary presentation. For important commissions, such a presentation might consist of a number of sheets or presentation boards showing plans, elevations, sketches, and renderings, and, in many cases, models as well. Most clients are not trained to visualize space from plans and elevations, and perspective sketches and renderings are necessary to fully explain a scheme. At the preliminary presentation the specific colours, furnishings, and details are not resolved yet, since the aim at that stage is to obtain the basic approval from the client.Final drawings and specificationsIf a preliminary presentation has been completely accepted, the designers can proceed to the final design stages. If changes have to be made, another meeting (or meetings) with changed presentations may be necessary.The next stages of the design may consist of a series of drawings done by professional draftsmen or by the interior designer himself, if he works as an individual. Depending on the type of job, final drawings may consist of just a few sheets or a very large number of drawings. Plans, elevations, details, sections, and specifications are the language of architectural and design offices, and they are prepared with carefully drawn dimensions and notes for the many contractors who carry out the actual construction. Certain drawings may be done by subcontractors or related trades; for instance, the air-conditioning system is usually designed by air-conditioning engineers, and the duct work must be designed in connection with the lighting system in order to assure that lighting fixtures do not conflict with ducts. Similarly, mechanical equipment—such as heating or plumbing pipes, telephone cables, and electrical lines—must be coordinated to avoid conflicts and problems. Before outside firms or subcontractors become involved, the designer or design firm usually prepares the design drawings with sufficient information to enable various contractors to submit bids. Almost all major jobs are sent out for bid to several contractors, in order to provide the client or the designer as his agent with a series of competitive estimates.On complex and costly design commissions a final and elaborate presentation may be prepared after the acceptance of the preliminary presentation. This might include very carefully drawn perspective renderings in colour. Many presentations include scale models and may consist of nothing but carefully crafted models.Together with the preparation of final drawings, interior designers begin the process of final selection and specification of all furnishings. The process of selecting and ordering fabrics, furniture, lighting, and all other furnishings requires a thorough knowledge of available products. In large cities there are often hundreds of sources, but, in spite of the vast product choice available, it is not always possible to find just the right fabric or just the right piece of furniture. In such cases interior designers may have to design special furniture, floor coverings, lighting fixtures, or fabrics. Most interior designers are familiar with quality products and maintain within their offices samples and catalogs of furnishings that they consider of merit. The products that have been selected by the designer are usually submitted to the client either as part of the original design presentation or in a separate approval step. Methods of placing purchase orders vary. Many design firms and individual designers prefer to limit their activity to selection and specification and arrange to have the client's purchasing office place the orders. In other cases the designer places the purchase orders but then submits the invoices to the client for direct payment. In either case ordering and specifying is an exacting task. Delivery and availability is an important concern that the interior designer is responsible for. If a hotel is scheduled for opening at a specified date, it may be necessary to place orders for furniture and furnishings as early as two years before completion date in order to assure delivery on time.The actual building of the interior, be it a renovation or a new construction, needs considerable supervision by the designer, although constant on-site supervision is not always required. For an office or residence, a few visits may be sufficient. The thoroughness of working drawings and details influences the degree of supervision that is needed: the more complete the drawings and specifications for a particular job, the less time must be spent on the site during the building stage.In spite of the fact that the workers are usually highly skilled craftsmen, there are questions that can only be answered on the site, and there are always unforeseen problems that require changes or on-the-spot decisions. Many interior designers have considerable understanding of construction and building technology, can communicate with tradesmen intelligently, and are able to offer valuable advice and suggestions. The situation can also be reversed. Many construction workers are very skilled and knowledgeable and are able to offer suggestions that designers are happy to accept. The supervision must proceed through all stages of a job. Knowledgeable designers spare no effort to see that every phase of the job is done in the best possible way.As with other furnishings, interior designers select, commission, or purchase artwork, plants, and accessories. In residential interior design, clients usually own many of these things or will certainly be involved in the selection and purchasing, but in interior design for commercial or public spaces this responsibility is in the hands of the designer.From the foregoing discussion, it will be clear that the design of large interior jobs involves many detailed considerations from the inception to the completion. For this reason most large design firms dealing with hotels, governmental or institutional clients, or large business firms have developed work sheets and checklists for all aspects of the work. Each phase of a job is usually under the supervision of a job captain or chief designer, and each checklist or form is controlled and checked repeatedly in order to assure that everything has been considered and that the job is moving smoothly to completion.Kinds of interiorsAlthough the foregoing sections have mentioned different kinds of interiors, in reference to both aesthetic and physical components of design, there has been no specific discussion of different design considerations for varying interiors. The aesthetic criteria suggested in earlier sections are subject to considerable variation, depending on the kind of interior involved.Residential interiorsResidential interiors are obviously much freer and much more personal for both the interior designer and the occupants than other types of interiors. In fact, homes that have been designed unconsciously by creative occupants without any standard decorative rules are often the most beautiful ones. Certain planning and functional considerations are constant in any residence, and, although these too may be ignored by the occupant who wishes to be strongly individualistic, they can provide at least basic guidelines.The planning of modern houses or apartments must take into consideration the location of certain needs in relation to others. The dining space should be near the food-preparation area, and the food-preparation area should be accessible to the entrance used to bring in food supplies and remove waste. Access to children's sleeping areas should not be through the adults' living spaces. Access to bathrooms should be close to the bedroom areas and should not be through living or dining spaces.The furniture arrangement for a living space must take into account the occupant's life-style and preferences. If a space is planned for young people, no seating might be provided other than the floor, but, for the more conservative or older occupants, comfortable seating for conversation and other activities is essential. Open-plan houses (living, dining, eating facilities without separate rooms) work splendidly and beautifully for some people but might not be the ideal answer for a family with many children and a desire for privacy at the same time. The special storage needs that must be considered for many homes vary from bookshelves to storage areas for bicycles, from facilities for recorded music to storage of sporting equipment. Such facilities can often be added by interior designers, if not provided by the architect.There are several types of residence, and each one may require a different approach, partially based on economic considerations. The private house owned by the occupant warrants not only built-in designs and other permanent design features (lighting, flooring, etc.) but, in general, lends itself naturally to anything within the imagination of the designer and the budget of the owner. Cooperative apartments are prevalent in larger cities, and those that are bought outright by the owners can be designed and changed as long as the structure of the building is not tampered with. A different approach is usually called for in rented apartments or houses. Major changes and special furniture and other built-in features would be considered a poor investment by the client and would, as a rule, be frowned upon by the landlords.In the past, professional help for residences has been basically reserved for wealthy clients. The residences involved were often status symbols, and the furnishings were to a large extent traditional furnishings and antiques. The best of such ornately designed homes are authentic, museum-like interiors, which indeed only the very affluent can afford. (Most status-conscious interiors, however, consist of reproductions and imitations and have little to do with good design.)Today, instead of being limited to the service of the wealthy, the designer has a widening and important opportunity in a totally different aspect of residential interiors: mass housing and low-income housing. Although only in recent years have some designers involved themselves in this area, with an increasing concern on the part of both government and private enterprise for the effect of environment, the field should offer a growing opportunity for challenging creative work. Such designers, as well as helping to create more liveable spaces for those with limited housing budgets, can also be of great help in assisting occupants to choose simple, sturdy, attractive, and functional furnishings. A major problem for many people, on a variety of income levels, is the high cost of furnishings; mistakes in judgment are too costly to be discarded and thus must be endured. The help of professionals can minimize this problem and also protect low-income families from being induced to buy installment-plan furnishings of poor quality and design.Public interiorsSpace planningAlthough many designers are engaged in residential interior design, there has been a marked shift away from that field since 1950, and more designers than ever work in the design of public, institutional, and commercial spaces. Space planning for business firms, governmental agencies, and institutions is a significant aspect of office design and is concerned primarily with planning, allocation of spaces, and interrelations between offices, departments, and individuals. The aesthetic or design phase varies with the degree of importance attached to offices by the clients. In a large firm, the clerical, accounting, or filing areas tend to be well designed in terms of lighting, efficiency, space, and function but have few frills or design features. The executive offices, reception areas, and conference rooms, on the other hand, are frequently elaborately and luxuriously designed, since they serve as images for the corporations as well as status symbols for their occupants. Decisions relating to size of offices and their furnishings are basically arrived at through functional considerations. An executive frequently must seat groups of people in his office. A department manager or clerk will rarely need more than one or two extra chairs.Pre-architectural planning has taken on such importance that many design firms provide this service. Through careful study and analysis, standards of typical offices, relationships of offices and departments to each other, the need for flexibility and storage, and many other aspects of work within a given business can be arrived at, and such a study then becomes the program for the actual design of a new building or premises. When truly large firms or governmental agencies are involved, space studies preceding the actual design may take several months or even years.A rather recent innovation in office design is known as office landscape (from the German word Bürolandschaft). Above, in Modes of composition (interior design), it was noted that the appearance of a “landscaped” space might seem chaotic. Actually, however, the system was developed in the 1960s by a German team of planning and management consultants who made intelligent use of computer technology to arrive at predictable relationships between persons and departments in a given organizational structure. Office landscape also takes into consideration the high cost of building and the continuous need for change in large corporations. The solution offered by these planners was not to build the traditional permanent walls and private offices but to arrange a large open space in a purely functional plan. Divisions between people and departments are created by free-standing screens, and plants are often used to divide and enhance space. Office landscape has been used in several major installations in the United States, following considerable popularity in Europe, but there are skeptics who question the basic claims of office-landscape supporters that less space is required and that the resulting democratization creates a better spirit and working relationship among staff members.It is interesting to note that even in conventional office planning there is controversy about whether or not the occupant of an office should be involved in its design. Designers tend to insist on making all decisions, and management usually supports that point of view, yet psychologists, among others, counsel that a greater involvement of the individual with his own personal environment would be desirable.Governmental interiorsA notable characteristic of interior design for public buildings—such as court rooms, assembly halls (on all levels of government including the United Nations), city halls, and cultural buildings—is that the consumer is excluded from participation in decision making. Another is that in all cases the interiors try to present a very definite image or symbol. Governmental buildings, especially in the past, were designed to present a solemn, awe-inspiring, majestic, and even slightly ominous look, both in their architectural composition and their interior treatment of spaces. For centuries, marble, stone, lofty ceilings, and imposing architectural elements have been traditional.Institutional interiorsSchools, hospitals, and universities are examples of institutions now extensively using the services of interior designers and architects. Many universities have staff designers dealing with the institution's many design needs, from office spaces to dormitories. Certain institutional needs, such as operating rooms in hospitals, are strictly functional, yet the patients' rooms and many other hospital facilities are very much within the scope of interior design. Until recently, however, such involvement was not prevalent, and it has been common to refer to a sterile, dull-looking space as “looking like a hospital.” A greater recognition of the influence of the environment upon human behaviour has brought about increased emphasis on interior design for all kinds of institutional interiors. Indeed, even though up to now little work has been done by designers in penal institutions, it is a safe prediction that in a short time there will be considerable concern for the environmental qualities of these institutions, as well.Commercial interiorsContemporary designers are much involved with commercial spaces—such as stores, hotels, motels, and restaurants. Many designers and design firms specialize in highly specific spaces such as restaurants, and others may become specialists in the design of showrooms for the garment industry. Frequently, the design of a restaurant, shop, or hotel must be keyed to a theme. It might be a nautical theme for a yacht club or a theme based on the artifacts of the particular region in which a hotel is located. Obviously, all commercial spaces must be designed in a highly functional way. A store with a beautifully designed interior will fail if it does not work for circulation of customers, for display, for storage, and above all for sales. Some of these functional needs create difficult design problems. A hotel or motel room, for instance, must be designed for use by individuals, couples, and family groups. Maintenance is also an important factor in the design of commercial spaces.Religious interiorsReligious architecture is heavily influenced by symbolic concepts as well as by the ritual and traditions of a particular faith. Designers of religious interiors must, therefore, base their approach on a set of rules preceding all other design considerations. The simple and modest Quaker prayerhouses, for instance, express the tenets of that faith as clearly as some of the richly appointed Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.Industrial interiorsIndustrial interiors do not usually involve interior designers. There are, of course, many industrial spaces, such as workshops, laboratories, and factories, that have been planned by architects and designers, and there are a few that have stressed some aesthetic considerations. By and large, however, industrial interiors are created as strictly functional spaces. For this very reason, some of these spaces are quite beautiful. This may sound paradoxical, but, like the modern bridge or airplane, they can be extremely handsome without the conscious attempt to create beauty.Special interiorsAlthough an attempt was made to classify the kinds of interiors that are the prevalent concern of interior design, there are many kinds of special interiors that at times fall within the larger field of environmental design and that do not fit into a particular category or even a professional subspecialty. Transportation design may be part engineering, part industrial design, part architecture, and part interior design. Interiors of ships are certainly interior design, but the interiors of automobiles, aircraft, and trains are often a combination of many specialties. The advent of large commercial aircraft has taken the aircraft interior out of the area of the strictly functional, and, indeed, the introduction of these large planes has seen an intense competition among the airlines to create spaces that go beyond the concept of mere seating. Also included in transportation design are the terminal buildings associated with air, road, and water transportation systems.A less spectacular example is the field of exhibition design, another area of design having interfaces with other fields, including, in this case, graphics and advertising. Related to this field are museum design and exhibition and the preservation and restoration of historic buildings.It is clear that any man-made interior or exterior space is influenced by design or its absence. More important than a listing of the various kinds of special interiors is the underlying fact that designers are becoming involved in all aspects of the environment.Arnold A. FriedmannOrigins of interior designThe art of interior design encompasses all of the fixed and movable ornamental objects that form an integral part of the inside of any human habitation. It is essential to remember that much of what today is classified as art and exhibited in galleries and museums was originally used to furnish interiors. Paintings were usually ordered by size and frequently by subject from a painter who often practiced other forms of art, including furniture design and decoration. Sculptors in stone or bronze were often goldsmiths who did a variety of ornamental metalwork. The more important artists had studios with assistants and apprentices and often signed cooperative work. Many architects also designed interiors, including the accessories—furniture, pottery, porcelain, silver, rugs, and tapestries. Paintings often took the form of cabinet pictures, framed to be hung on a wall in a particular position, such as over a door. Murals were painted on a diversity of subjects; during the period of the Baroque style in the 17th century, murals sometimes were painted to look like an extension of the interior itself, making it appear more spacious. Mirrors were employed for the same purpose of adding space to an interior.The deliberate use of antiques as decoration was unusual in most periods. Generally, in older houses elements of the previous decorative scheme were relegated to less important rooms when new decoration was undertaken to bring an old interior into line with current fashion. In this way many antiques have been preserved. The art market has existed from the earliest times for the purpose of providing both new and antique works for the decoration of interiors, but in early times the market in old work was usually limited to paintings by admired masters and goldsmith's work.Only within the recent historic past have any interiors but those belonging to the rich and powerful been considered worthy of consideration. Still more recent is the collection of the interior furnishings of the past by museums and galleries, where they are studied in scholarly isolation. The segregation of such objects in galleries, however, has led to an increasing misunderstanding of their original purpose; and the division of the arts by museum curators into the fine arts and the decorative (or industrial) arts has helped to obscure the original functions of interior furnishings.To some extent the present attitude has resulted from the rise of the specialist collector since the 1840s. Porcelain and silver, for instance, no longer fulfill their original purpose as part of the household furnishings but are collected into cabinets, since they are so precious. Similarly, the small porcelain figures of Meissen, which were originally part of a table decoration and an integral part of a service, are now too highly valued to be so used.The notion of interior design historically has arisen as part of a settled agricultural way of life. The tents of nomadic peoples were hardly suitable for the more permanent forms of decoration. Among Central Asian nomads, however, carpets and rugs (rug and carpet) have been employed to decorate and provide comfort in tents and portable dwellings, usually taking the form of coverings for floor and bed, and these have been the principal form of art of the peoples concerned. The oldest nomadic carpet, found in Central Mongolia, dates to the 5th century BC, but geometrically patterned stone reliefs from Assyria in the 7th century BC are thought to be based on earlier carpet patterns.Hunting peoples living in caves decorated the walls with paintings as early as 20,000 years ago, but these were almost certainly votive paintings rather than decoration, and no trace of movable furniture has survived.Primitive peoplesAlthough the practices of present-day primitive peoples sometimes shed light on the historical origins of those practices, there is too little art and decoration in such communities today to illuminate the beginnings of interior decoration. No clear-cut progressions of styles, like those that occurred in Europe, can be identified except among peoples who could hardly be regarded as primitive, such as the former civilizations of South America or the Benin culture of Africa. Nevertheless, even the poorest and most primitive peoples devote some time to the production of works that give them pleasure, and these works often are employed to decorate interiors. Primitive painting often consists of a series of abstract patterns, such as that on the pottery of the Pueblo Indians. Furniture, such as wooden stools, usually has some ornamental carving. Basketwork, wooden vessels, and pottery are decorated with abstract geometrical patterns, and an insistence on symmetry is the rule. Since most of these patterns—especially those to be found in basketry and textiles—bear no resemblance to natural forms, they probably arose from the nature of the techniques employed in making the objects in question.Ornament based on natural objects more or less realistically depicted probably had a magical connotation; animals, for instance, are intended to promote success in hunting. Even the most abstract and geometric of motifs have a symbolic meaning, which can be interpreted by those who know the key, and this meaning is almost always magical. There are few objects or motifs that do not have some meaning, and the making of objects that have no other purpose than the pleasure taken by their creator in executing them is very rare.Origins in Western antiquityExcavations in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt suggest that the earliest equivalent of furniture consisted of platforms of bricks, which served as chairs, tables, and beds, no doubt spread with textiles or animal skins. There is also good reason to think that walls were painted and, in the case of more important buildings, decorated with mural paintings. Movable furniture first occurred only in the most important residences, such as palaces, and in public buildings. Furniture is of considerable antiquity, though it is known, for the most part, only from wall paintings, sculpture, and vase paintings. Some furniture survives from ancient Egyptian tombs from about 3000 BC in the form of beds, chairs, tables, and storage chests. It is in such furniture that decoration is first seen—in the leg of the bull and the lion employed as a furniture support, especially for beds. It is from this point in the ancient past that the development of interior design can be traced historically.Interior design in the WestAncient worldIn contrast with the monumental tombs and temples of stone, many of which remained intact to the 20th century, Egyptian houses were built of perishable materials, and, therefore, few remains have survived. Sun-dried or kiln-burnt mud bricks were used for the walls; floors consisted of beaten earth, and a thin coat of smooth mud plaster was often used as an internal wall finish.In its simplest form the applied decoration was a plain white or coloured wash, but, in larger houses, patterns in varying degrees of elaboration were painted on the plaster. Rush matting was hung across most internal door openings and used as screening inside the small, high windows. It is probable that decorative wall hangings and floor coverings were made of rushes or palmetto woven into a pattern, since painted representations of such hangings have survived from 5th-dynasty tombs at Saqqārah. In the workmen's village of Kahun, built in the 12th dynasty (c. 1900 BC), some of the more well-to-do houses contained rooms decorated with brown-painted skirting, one foot (0.3 metre) high, then a four-foot (1.2-metre) dado (the lower portion of wall that is decorated differently from that above it) striped vertically in red, black, and white. Above this the walls (mural) were buff coloured with brightly painted decorative panels in the more important rooms, and ceilings were also often of painted wood. It may be assumed that the lavish tomb decoration of all periods was basically derived from the domestic interiors of their time.Many Egyptian decorative motifs are stylized from natural forms associated with the life-giving Nile. The lotus bud and flower, the papyrus, and the palm appear constantly with borders of checkered patterns or coiled, ropelike spirals, giving an air of space and elegance. The palace of the pharaoh Akhenaton and other large houses at Tell el-Amarna (c. 1365 BC) reflect a tendency toward naturalism in their ornamentations. Akhenaton, his queen Nefertiti, and their daughters are frequently represented, usually grouped affectionately together. Other painted panels show animals and birds with twining borders of vegetation. Molded, coloured, glazed ware was introduced to give a brilliant inlay of grapes, poppies, cornflowers, and daisies, all in natural colours. The use of square ceramic tiles as a wall surfacing was uncommon but not unknown. Primary colours were the most common, a brilliant yellow being among the most frequently used, but terra-cotta, gray, black, and white were all added to give contrast. Even floors were delicately painted to represent gardens or pools. One of these at Tell el-Amarna shows a rectangular tank with swimming fish and waterfowl, bordered with lotus and papyrus marshland, with an outer band showing more birds and young cattle in the meadows beyond. Furniture ranged from the simplest benches and ceramic pots to beautifully designed chairs, small tables, and beds in the homes of the rich, where many vases, urns, ceramic, wood, and metal utensils evince a fastidious, luxurious way of life.Very little furniture survives from ancient Mesopotamia (art and architecture, Mesopotamian), principally because climatic conditions are not conducive to the preservation of wood. What is known has been learned principally from reliefs and cylinder seals. Furniture mounts of bronze and ivory have been excavated, however, and fragments of furniture were uncovered in the royal tombs at the city of Ur, in ancient Sumer. In quality of craftsmanship and decoration, Mesopotamian furniture was comparable to that of Egypt.The mud-brick houses of the Sumerian and Old Babylonian (Babylonia) periods in the Tigris-Euphrates valley resembled their modern counterparts in their rectangular outline and the groupings of rooms about a central court, which was either roofed or open. In most houses, decoration probably was confined to a wide black or dark-coloured skirting painted in diluted pitch with a band of some lighter colour above. Door frames were sometimes painted red, probably as a protection against evil influences, and where doors were used they may have been of palm wood. The poorer houses were simply whitewashed.In the most elaborate Assyrian (Assyria) palaces the main decorative features were panels of alabaster and limestone carved in relief, the principal subjects being hunting, ceremonial, and war, as in the palace of the warrior king Sargon II at Khorsabad (705 BC). Panels and friezes of ceramic tiles in vivid colours decorated the walls inside and out, and it is evident that this brilliance of colour was a feature of much Assyrian and Babylonian decoration (see photograph—>). Carved stone slabs were used as flooring, with typical Mesopotamian rosette and palmette (stylized palm leaf) borders. Occasionally, Egyptian lotus motifs also appear.Vigorous and warlike figures characterize both Assyrian and Babylonian work, and the standard of execution was extremely high. Naturalistic detail was often engraved on the surface of the figures and animals, which themselves were in relief. After the Persian conquest (539–331 BC) this vigour declined. The palaces built by the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes I at Persepolis show a lighter use of animal figures. Glazed and enamelled tiles were used on the walls, while timber roof beams and ceilings were painted in vivid colours.The most important buildings of the pre-Hellenic Minoan (Minoan civilization) and Mycenaean periods were the citadel complexes, housing the entire court of the ruler. The palace of King Minos at Knossos in Crete (c. 1700–1400 BC) gives evidence of a small but sophisticated society with a taste for luxury and entertainment and a corresponding skill in applied decoration. Frescoes (fresco painting) (paintings executed with water soluble pigments on wet plaster) and some panels of painted relief decorated the walls of living rooms and ceremonial rooms, which were grouped asymmetrically round a series of courtyards (see photograph—>). Many aspects of Cretan life were depicted, the recurring theme being the acrobatic bullfighting on which a religious cult was probably centred. Even the backgrounds of friezes and panels, which depicted many-coloured painted birds, animals, and flowers, were given an effect of movement, being divided into light and dark areas. Plain dadoes and borders provided an effective foil and gave articulation to the interiors.As seafarers, the Cretans could import a rich variety of materials for building and decorative purposes; a wealth of ideas can be seen in the fine pottery, carved ivories, and beaten gold, silver, and bronze with which their palaces were ornamented.The pottery and metalwork of the Minoans was technically in advance of other Mediterranean peoples of the time, and they were especially expert in firing such large pottery objects as storage jars and baths. Some furniture, especially storage chests, was made of terra-cotta. A chalice made of obsidian, a volcanic glass about as hard as jade, could only have been shaped by grinding with an abrasive such as emery procured from Cape Emeri on the island of Náxos; the form was apparently based on metalwork. Excavations have proved the existence of an advanced sanitary system, with baths either of marble or terra-cotta.A period of so-called dark ages in Greece followed the destruction of Knossos in c. 1400 BC, but Cretan civilization had already influenced the mainland before then. Small terra-cotta models of furniture and fragments of tables and chairs dating from as early as 1350 BC have been found. Homer's epic Odyssey, dating from the 9th–8th century BC, speaks of a chair inlaid with ivory and silver, and sheet copper was used to sheathe beams and architraves. The description of a bed reveals it to have been a rectangular wooden frame with coloured leather thonging, like the usual Egyptian bed, and inlaid with silver and ivory. At this time also, wooden vessels were decorated with sheet-gold ornament with repoussé work (ornament in relief made by hammering the reverse side).Little or no Greek furniture survives from the classical period (5th century BC), but there is ample evidence that it was well constructed and elaborately decorated. The large number of surviving painted vases are a valuable source of information about many aspects of Greek life, and furniture of all kinds—chairs, tables, day couches used for dining, and a large number of accessories—can be identified. These paintings, in fact, were among the major influences on the French Empire style of the early years of the 19th century. Egyptian influence can be traced in some of the early pieces of furniture, an example being a type of chair having a single leg with a lion's head at the top and a single paw at the bottom. This also was to be a favourite theme of the Empire style.In the Hellenistic period (323–30 BC), domestic comfort and decoration were considered once more. mosaic floors were an important decorative device, originally made of pebbles as at Olynthus but later developing into the black-and-white or coloured mosaics that were widely used throughout the Roman Empire (see the article mosaic). A central, finely designed panel with realistic motifs and a wide, more coarsely executed border of scroll or key patterns acted as a focus for the arrangement of furniture, which was still limited in quantity.Much more is known about Roman interior decoration, and Roman furniture was based on earlier Greek models. From the beginning of the Christian era the predominant Western style was that derived from ancient Greece by way of Rome. Classical styles were based on mathematically expressed laws of proportion that were applied not only to buildings as a whole but also to much of the interior decoration.Roman interior decoration is known both from literary sources, such as Pliny's Natural History and the Histories of Suetonius, and from excavations, such as those that uncovered the remains of the Golden House of Nero soon after 1500 and those at Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy in the 18th century.There are many misconceptions about the decoration of the period, most of which date from the 18th century and the classical revival that began soon after 1750. Many excavated bronze objects, including statues, and any bronze that remained above ground, such as the roofing of the Capitol, were melted during medieval times for new work, since bronze was a scarce and expensive metal. This led to the assumption that marble predominated, which is not necessarily true, especially in the case of statuary. Time and exposure to the weather has removed the colour from much of the marble that has survived, but in classical times it was commonly painted and sometimes gilded. Wall paintings at Pompeii and Herculaneum are ample testimony to this. Wall decoration began there about 150 BC, and, by about 80 BC, plastered walls were being made to look like masonry. Such decoration was combined with the true architectural features—e.g., doors and pilasters (flattened columns attached to the wall). The panels are painted variously in yellow, black, magenta, and red, with some imitation marbling indicating an earlier custom of applying marble veneers. Rich colour was also supplied by superbly executed mosaic floors, elegant couches with coloured cushions, and bronze tripods and lamps, such as in the cubiculum of a villa at Boscoreale near Pompeii preserved in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.Roman wall painting depicted columns, niches, and open windows with elaborate imaginary views and figures beyond. Painted ruins, such as those in the Villa of Livia, Rome, were the precursors of the 18th- and 19th-century Romantic taste in western Europe.It has been said that Augustus, who was emperor from 27 BC to AD 14, found Rome of brick and left it of marble, and certainly the interior decoration of imperial Rome expressed the emergence of the city as a world power toward which flowed much of the wealth of the empire. Exotic marbles began to be imported, and brick walls were faced with polished slabs of white and coloured stone. In the more luxurious interiors or for special purposes, obsidian, a natural volcanic glass dark green or purplish-brown in colour, and copper-green malachite were occasionally to be found in the capital. A limited amount of window glass—mostly small, thick, and discoloured panes—was used, for sheet glass was difficult to manufacture. Large translucent crystals of selenite (a kind of gypsum) were sometimes employed to admit light.Some of the large houses contained a picture gallery, known as the pinacoteca, for the display of easel pictures. These have now virtually disappeared, but mural paintings are fairly common. Pictorial decoration for floors and walls was supplied by mosaics, the picture built up of small fragments (tesserae) of coloured stones, mostly marble, or of small pieces of coloured glass backed by gold foil to increase its reflective power. The subjects are very diverse. Floor-mosaics in dining-rooms were sometimes decorated with simulated fragments of food, as though they had dropped from the table.Roman furniture was made of stone, wood, or bronze. Villas were largely open to the air, and stone benches and tables were common. Wooden furniture has not survived, but bronze hardware for such furniture is well-known. Buffets with tiers of shelves were used to display silver. Tables were often made of exotic woods and veneers, with ivory, bronze, or silver trim. Tortoiseshell veneers were popular. The dining couches, which replaced chairs, were richly decorated, often with gilded silver or bronze. Chairs followed earlier Greek forms, and while no fixed upholstery was provided, cushions were plentiful.The art of tapestry came to Rome from Egypt, where the craft was an ancient one. Few Roman textiles have survived, and those have mostly been found in Egypt and were probably made there. Rugs woven on a linen foundation were imported from Egypt, and fabrics, including rugs, were imported from the Near East. The richest carpets came from Pergamos, in Asia Minor, and were the most highly valued. They were probably woven with gold and silver thread. Nothing survives of these rich textiles because they were all burned long ago to extract the metal. Roman walls were hung with tapestries, and pillars were decorated with textiles. Silk was imported from China until the time of Justinian, in the 6th century, when silkworms were clandestinely brought from East Asia and the industry was established in Europe.The Romans were highly skilled glassworkers. Domestic glass was made in large quantities, both utilitarian and decorative, and factories were established for the purpose. Mirrors, however, were normally made of polished bronze or silver; if glass mirrors existed at all, they must have been very small.The amount of bronze (metalwork) employed in household equipment of all kinds was vast. Small pieces of furniture, such as stools, were made wholly of bronze, and a few specimens have survived. Saucepans were made in factories, some bearing what appears to be the trademark of a swan. Lighting fixtures were also made in quantity, of prefabricated parts, and they played a large part in the decoration of the interior. By the 1st century AD enormous quantities of silver went into the making of such objects as large and heavy platters displayed on the buffets. Bowls and similar pieces of hollow ware were commonly decorated with repoussé ornament, less often with engraving, which is usually to be found on the backs of bronze hand mirrors. Antique silver commanded a high price.Statuary in bronze, from Etruscan sources or looted from Greece and the Greek colonies, decorated the more important interiors. The theatre of Scaurus, for instance, housed 3,000 bronze statues. Some Roman statues have been excavated at Pompeii and elsewhere, but most were remelted. Only one Roman bronze statue has remained above ground in Italy since it was made—the equestrian Marcus Aurelius in Rome.pottery was not among the luxuries of ancient Rome. Vessels such as storage jars (amphorae), lamps, bricks, pipes, and architectural ornament were made in factories. Pottery for the table was usually of the so-called Samian ware, although it was made in many other places than Samos; this had a red polished surface and, often, molded relief decoration reminiscent of contemporary silver. Tableware, too, was made in factories and often marked with the name of the potter. Pottery vases of fine quality were made in imitation of those of Greece. They include most of the familiar Greek types, especially the krater (with a large round body, large mouth, and small handles), although the form often varies. The decoration is principally of the red-figure type (black with decorations in red) but is usually much more elaborate than on the Greek originals.Themes of decoration are many, and most come from Greek sources. They became part of the vocabulary of classical ornament that was employed during later classical revivals, such as the Renaissance and the Neoclassical movement of the 18th century. The acanthus leaf is by far the most common, and it was in almost continuous use from the 5th century BC in Greece to the 19th century in the West. The Greek and Byzantine acanthus leaf is inclined to be stiff and formal; the Roman and Renaissance form is much more natural. The vine-leaf and grapes motif is also common, and the palmette occurs especially on painted vases. The ivy, laurel, olive, and honeysuckle (anthemion) are usually to be found as frieze ornament, sometimes in stylized form. Festoons, garlands, and swags of laurel were common decorative elements in relief sculpture. “Cable,” or “twisted rope,” a kind of plaited ornament, was often used for the same purpose. Rosettes—stylized simple roses with equally spaced petals—were widely used. Originally an Assyrian design, they have continued in use to the present. Egglike forms alternating with tongue- or dart-shaped ornaments originally were a carved stone architectural ornament; they were taken over in later times as part of interior plasterwork.The lion was very popular, especially the mask and paws, and was employed over a long period, as late as the 19th century, as a furniture ornament or as a door knocker or handle. Mythological animal forms included the griffin and the chimera, both of Mesopotamian origin, and the sphinx, from Egypt and Corinthian Greece. The head of the ram, a sacrificial animal, commonly ornamented altars and candelabra. The ox skull and horns occur during Roman times, but not often thereafter. The eagle, representing Jupiter, was the symbolic motif of the Roman legions. The human mask surrounded by foliage was common and is usually derived from the masks employed in the theatre or from the head of Medusa, which was especially used as a shield ornament. Atlantes and caryatids, male and female human figures, respectively, were originally used instead of plain columns on building exteriors but were later employed for a variety of ornamental purposes—for example, as part of the decoration of some Renaissance cabinets of architectural form. Trophies (trophy) were always popular. Weapons arranged in a pattern were carried in the Roman triumphs and later sculptured on monuments. This classical form of ornament was later extended to other groups of implements: in the 18th century, for instance, rustic trophies were formed by grouping agricultural implements, such as spades, beehives, and rakes, into a decorative pattern, and musical trophies were made of musical instruments for the same purpose.A common type of decoration surviving especially in Pompeii is the frieze of small putti, or cupids, in a variety of guises and at work at a large number of different tasks. These persisted in popularity until well into the 18th century, when porcelain figures of putti in disguise or in an allegorical pose became common. They were also painted on furniture or as part of wall decoration.Equally popular, but remaining virtually unknown till the discovery of the Golden House of Nero c. 1500, are the ornamental motifs known as grotesques (grotesque) (because they were found below ground in a “grotto,” a word that strictly means an excavated chamber containing murals). Roman grotesques were fantastic figures, human and animal, that terminated in leafage (usually the acanthus leaf) or in a fishtail, in conjunction with floral and foliate ornament and arabesques. Revived by Raphael about 1517 for the decoration of the loggia of the Vatican, these motifs became widely popular, in many different forms, from the first decade of the 16th century until late in the 18th.From the fall of Rome, when the city was finally sacked by Odoacer in 476, to the 15th century, when the Renaissance was already well advanced, information about the decoration of interiors is scarce. Its history has to be pieced together from surviving objects and illuminated manuscripts.The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople (formerly called Byzantium, later Stamboul, presently Istanbul) was a convenient meeting place for East and West. It felt the influence of Persian art and transmitted it to early medieval European Christian styles. Most surviving Byzantine (Byzantine art) interiors are ecclesiastical, although secular wall paintings and especially mosaics continued to be popular. The Iconoclasts of the 8th century, however, not only proscribed the making of images but destroyed most of those already existing. Ivory carving was highly developed, and furniture was inlaid with ivory plaques and decorated with carvings. Goldsmith's work, which had existed in large quantities in ancient Rome, was equally popular in Constantinople. Decoration was usually of the repoussé type, with subjects from classical mythology. Very few gold objects have survived, and most bronze work has also been lost. Decorative textiles of fine quality were common, and a few fragments have survived. It is in some of the rare fragments of patterned silks of the 7th or 8th century that the Persian influence is most often to be found. Silk at one time was imported in vast quantities from China.Constantinople tended to become increasingly an Oriental city as the Greek influence introduced by Alexander the Great waned in the Near and Middle East and the new civilization of Islām was established.George Savage Ed.Early medieval EuropeIn the constant warfare that was waged in Europe in the early medieval period, material possessions dwindled to a minimum: a man did not own for long anything he could not defend and had little use or opportunity for interior decoration. If he possessed more than one house, his furniture and possessions would go with him from place to place. During this time, the arts came to be monopolized by the church, which grew to dominate all aspects of the medieval world.By the 9th century the Romanesque style was well established in northern Europe. It made far greater use of the semicircular arch and vaulting than had the Imperial Roman style. Much of the sculpture decorating buildings was influenced by the Middle East. The court of Charlemagne in the 9th century was in communication with that of the caliph Hārūn ar-Rashīd, in Baghdad, and the Arabs had opened up a sea route between the Persian Gulf and China. Oriental textiles, imported through Venice and Genoa, began to be found in the more luxurious European interiors, and in the 13th century the first piece of Chinese porcelain, brought back by Marco Polo, found its way to the West and is still preserved in the treasury of St. Mark's, Venice.Late into the medieval period, the larger houses, generally called castles (castle), were designed according to military rather than aesthetic principles. The main room was a spacious hall with timber or stone walls (sometimes plastered), an open-beamed roof, narrow slit windows (as yet unglazed), and a floor of stone slabs, tiles, or beaten earth. In the earlier houses the fire burned in the centre of the floor, and the smoke either drifted through a central hole in the roof or dispersed among the rafters; but wall fireplaces soon replaced this unsatisfactory system. Furniture was probably limited to plain stools, benches, and trestle tables, made of local timber, and some heavy chests in which personal possessions were stored. The feudal lord and his lady sat on more elaborate chairs on the dais (raised platform), and a coloured hanging of plain fabric sometimes decorated the wall behind them. Wall hangings and tapestries became more common in Norman times (1066–1189), when stone carving on doorways, fireplaces, window openings, column capitals, and arcading superimposed on the inside walls was also introduced. Such hangings can still be seen in the Norman castles of Rochester, Kent, and Chepstow in England. The whole community often lived and slept in the one hall, but as time went on, two main rooms—the hall and the chamber—were provided. At first, rooms were divided by woolen hangings, hung from iron rods or from the rafters. The houses of the poor were simple, timber-framed shelters with bare earth floors and undecorated walls. Such conditions, with variations according to local circumstances, were generally prevalent in western Europe until the end of the 12th century.Late medieval EuropeDuring the 12th and 13th centuries those who had taken part in the Crusades learned something of luxurious living in the Near East, and as a more secure way of life was becoming possible at home, they began to improve their own living conditions. The castle slowly evolved into the manor house. Household equipment became more elaborate and important, no doubt partly because the women had played a greater part in household management since the absence of the men on the Crusades.Curtains of finer texture began to replace wooden window shutters or heavy homespun hangings. Tapestries relieved the bareness of the walls and gave additional warmth to rooms, and other textiles and tapestries were draped over chairs and tables, and brightly coloured woven or embroidered cushions were used. The fine wood ceilings of the large rooms were sometimes coffered and often painted in bright colours, particularly in France. The disappearance of much of this colour with the passage of time lends a false austerity to surviving medieval interiors.A greater number of rooms, serving special needs and giving increased privacy, came into use, although the house was still not planned as a whole. The kitchen, buttery, and pantry were placed at the lower end of the hall beyond a carved timber or stone screen, which, in larger houses, supported a minstrel's gallery. At the opposite end, there was a chamber, or withdrawing room, perhaps with a solar (upper room) above it, used as a bedroom or as a special apartment for the ladies. A guest room was occasionally provided. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the wardrobe was a room with presses for storing curtains, hangings, bed and table linen, as well as the clothing and materials needed by the members of the household. Here sewing and tailoring were carried on, and the room became a combined workroom and storeroom, furnished with heavy, plain tables and chairs.In the kitchen, rotating spits and adjustable hooks for suspending cooking pots were fixed into a vast hooded or recessed wall fireplace. Plain but pleasing utensils of wood, copper, and iron were kept on hooks on the walls, and enormously solid tables stood on the stone or tiled floor, which was strewn with sawdust or rushes. In the hall the rushes were mixed with fragrant herbs and helped to absorb some of the dirt, smells, and grease. By the 15th century plaited rush mats were common. The introduction of linen tablecloths resulted in a great improvement of manners and cleanliness at meals.Ornaments and various luxuries, which had become more common during the time of the Crusades, proliferated in subsequent centuries as commerce with the Near East increased. Household plate, of gold or silver, was frequently displayed on dressers or cupboards as decoration and to impress visitors, and it was not unknown for these possessions to be roped off to prevent pilfering. Indoor arrangements for washing and bathing were considered a luxury. A flat-sided metal bowl was sometimes fixed to the wall of a living room with a swinging ewer or a small cistern with a tap over it and a towel on a hinged rod. Small convex mirrors were hung in the walls as early as the 15th century, such as the one in the background of Jan van Eyck's “The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami.”The Gothic style first made its appearance in the Ile de France, toward the end of the 12th century. It derived originally from Middle Eastern sources and was developed by Islāmic builders. It came to be widely employed in western Europe, where, for uncertain reasons, it gained the name Gothic by the 17th century. It is characterized by the extensive use of the pointed arch, by spacious interiors, and by walls pierced with numerous windows, often of stained glass. The style had no fixed rules governing proportion, and decoration, generally, was the free expression of craftsmen within the limits of current fashion and the purpose of the building.Knowledge of Gothic interiors derives from illuminated manuscripts and panel paintings from the few surviving objets d'art. Much use was made of textiles for covering walls, especially tapestries; the principal medieval centres of tapestry manufacture were Paris and Arras (see the article tapestry). European courts at this time were very mobile and moved from place to place: tapestries were remarkably versatile, for they could be taken down and rehung elsewhere. They were employed to partition rooms, and were sometimes suspended under a high roof to act as a ceiling. Rugs and carpets had been brought back from the East by the crusaders and were at first employed as a covering for a divan or, in the case of the finer varieties, as bed and table coverings. The carpet for the floor was introduced comparatively late. Weavers of Saracen origin had settled in Sicily and on the Italian mainland, and they produced all kinds of rich fabrics, such as silk and velvet.Furniture was not present in such quantities as in later centuries, chairs especially being fairly rare. Tables were long and rectangular, laid on trestles, with benches for seating. At the head of the table, for the principal person of the household, was a straight-backed chair. Chairs, generally, were the subject of a certain etiquette, being reserved for the most important people, and they were often surmounted by canopies. Retainers had to stand; less important members of the household were sometimes supplied with stools. Folding chairs, like the old Roman curule chair, appeared in the 14th century. Although a few chairs had seats and arms stuffed with rushes, it was more common to drape them with textiles and put cushions on the seats. Buffets, often superbly carved, were used as a stand for silver and for serving food.Medieval bedsteads, with highly carved posts and canopies, were often of great size, and they were customarily occupied by several persons—as well as the favourite dogs, who slept on top. The Great Bed of Ware in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is reputed to have held six couples in comfort.Goldsmiths' work was often decorated with enamel, and bronze was similarly treated. The usual technique was the champlevé type, in which the metal is engraved or carved and the spaces then are filled with powdered coloured glass, subsequently fused by firing. At Limoges and in the Rhineland a wide range of objects were executed: quite large works, such as tombs, as well as smaller pieces, such as chasses and reliquaries. Lighting appliances were made of bronze or wrought iron. Those for suspension were usually intended for oil lamps, and standing candlesticks and candelabra were provided with spikes onto which the candle was forced (pricket candle sticks).Very little decorative pottery was made, although the colourful dishes and vases of Moorish Spain are an exception. Tiles (tile) were extensively employed for both walls and floors in houses of the better class, and there was a proverb in Spain to the effect that a poor man lived in a house without tiles. The technique of manufacture was often quite complex and included inlaying with clay of a different colour. The vogue for tiles was imported from Islām by way of Moorish Spain. Chinese porcelain was known in western Europe by the late 14th century but was, of course, extremely rare; indeed, specimens were often mounted in silver in the same way as the semiprecious hard stones such as amethysts, garnets, and peridots.The Gothic style lingered in England and northern Europe much longer than it did in the south, and many more examples of it escaped destructive wars than on the Continent. The panelled room characteristic of the style and the period has survived more or less intact in England, where panelling with traces of paint can still be found.Gothic ornament sometimes makes use of motifs similar to those of classical interiors, such as the acanthus leaf and the rosette, but the treatment is very different. The Gothic craftsman liked to abstract certain features of his model and emphasize them in a stylized manner, as in the heraldic eagle, especially as it is used on the reverse of dishes from Moorish Spain and in coats of arms like that of the Holy Roman emperor. It no longer bears any resemblance to the naturally depicted Roman eagle but is stylized, with a geometrically drawn tail. Similarly, the lion has its open mouth, tongue, mane, tail, and claws treated in the same way. Compass work is a marked feature of much Gothic ornament. The cross, for instance, is never a plain cross but is ornamented with geometric motifs; it may represent a reemergence of some old Celtic motifs, which were often based on compass work. Much Gothic ornament is floral and foliate, freely and naturally treated in some cases but stylized in others. Like interiors, paintings were in bright colours. Some of the ornamental motifs to be found in objects intended for interior furnishing are architectural, like the crocket (projections in foliate form), the panelling of chair backs, and the doors of buffets.The Arab conquest in the 7th century AD and, in the 8th century, Muslim expansion into India and Spain had profound influence on the decorative arts throughout the known world, especially as most of the long-distance trading routes passed through Arab lands. The skills of the conquerors fused with the traditional skills of their subject peoples, and because Islām forbade the portrayal of human or animal form, whether for religious or artistic purposes, and encouraged the incorporation of Qurʾānic texts into design, religion played a considerable and direct part in the development of design. As with nearly every other society, the finest and most lasting buildings were of a religious nature, and, unfortunately, few domestic dwellings have survived.Architectural quality and form were subordinated to intricate and richly coloured surface decoration. Perhaps the finest results were achieved in Persia (art and architecture, Iranian), where a high level of technical ability already existed in combination with great lyrical sensitivity. There the principal decorative features were the ceramic tiles and tile mosaics that encrusted floors, walls, roofs, and domes both inside and out. The mosques of Isfahan, Meshed, and Tabriz, ranging in date from the 13th to the early 17th centuries, demonstrate a completely satisfactory use of colour in architecture. Lustred tiles with a combination of floral and geometric design date from the 10th and 11th centuries, and naturalistic flowers frequently give a gardenlike effect to the tile decoration. Iris, rose, carnation, tulip, pomegranate, pine, and date are depicted, always with delicately interlacing stems, and contained within plain or patterned borders. Blues of all shades, from turquoise to a deep ultramarine, are characteristic.Patterns for tilework and patterns for the Persian carpets are frequently interchangeable. Carpet designers soon managed to circumvent the Muslim ban on the use of animal forms: lions, deer, leopards, ornamental birds, and, occasionally, even mounted huntsmen were depicted, the figures always judiciously placed to give the maximum decorative effect. Artistic achievement reached its peak under Shah Abbās I (AD 1588–1629), but well before this time Persian carpets, silks, and pottery were known and valued among Europeans, as they still are in the 20th century.In Egypt and Sicily one of the results of Muslim domination was the introduction of a high degree of ornamentation on wall surfaces, once again principally by means of vividly coloured ceramic tiles. The patterns are more solid than those of Persia, filling up the areas between the containing arabesques and with less open backgrounds. Moorish design in Spain shows even more complex interlacing geometrical framework, which is filled in with formalized leaves, flowers, or calligraphic inscriptions. Ceilings and the upper parts of walls were modelled in flat relief with coloured and gilded arabesques, while the lower wall areas were tiled. The decoration was partly hand chiselled and partly molded. Such decorations may be seen in the Alhambra, built at Granada in the 15th century, a pleasure palace whose arcaded courts and halls are embellished with stuccoed decoration in honeycombed ceilings, stalactite vaults and capitals, tiers of horseshoe-shaped or stalactite-fringed arches, and pierced or latticed windows.In the mosques of Turkey (Ottoman Empire), walls were veneered with marble, and ceramic tiling was introduced only in small areas. Colours, too, are less exuberant in the large mosques, where a sense of space rather than of overwhelming decoration is preeminent. Domestic buildings were largely of wood, looking inward to secluded courtyards and gardens, but with elaborately latticed windows projecting at upper-floor level over the street. As in most other Islāmic countries, the wealthy furnished their houses with velvet and silk hangings, couches, and innumerable cushions.Islāmic influence in India appears at its finest in the interiors of mosques, tombs, and palaces built during the Mughal period (1556–1707).Renaissance to the end of the 18th centuryThe Renaissance was a revival of the old classical styles, and it is not surprising that it first showed itself to a marked degree in Italy. The Gothic style had made comparatively little headway in Italy, where it was regarded as barbarous except in some of the more northerly towns, such as Milan and Venice. The style had more or less coincided with a period of primitive commerce. With the Renaissance the complex commercial organization of ancient Rome began to be revived by the towns of Tuscany, especially Florence. Feudalism disappeared, and the bourgeois merchants and financiers of the town rose to power and influence. Money began to circulate, banks were established, checks and bills were honoured over long distances, factories were opened, and men grew rich enough to buy and commission works of art for interior furnishing from those who owned their own workshops, employed assistants, and were no longer reliant on a system of patronage. With the rise of the town and the invention of gunpowder, the fortified country house became obsolete.In and around Florence the new commercial civilization was most highly organized. The old Greek and Roman manuscripts had been preserved, not only by the Christian monasteries but to an even greater extent by the Muslims, and soon after 1350 these began to find their way into northern Italy. Men became increasingly dissatisfied with the spiritual outlook of medieval Christianity, and the old Greek curiosity and philosophical speculation began to revive.The Renaissance was, in fact, a return to the mainstream of Western art after what could fairly be described as the Gothic interregnum. Nevertheless, a thousand years lay between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, and the classical styles of the Renaissance bear the same kind of resemblance to those of Rome as modern Italian bears to Latin. They are similar, but by no means the same thing.The Renaissance brought back the Roman vocabulary of ornament, although the emphasis was now sometimes in different places. The classical orders (columns with base, shaft, capital, and entablature) were borrowed, and adapted to dress the new architectural style. Architects became highly skilled in the treatment of space, and decoration often played a major part in defining and enriching their vigorous spatial effects. Classical architectural forms were used in plasterwork, inlaid woodwork, and painted decoration as well as for staircases, doors, windows, and fireplaces, which formed increasingly important and elaborate features of interior design. Decorative details inspired by the antique were also used, executed in a wide variety of techniques; garlands, caryatids (statues of women used as supporting pillars), lion masks, grotesques, reclining amorini (cupids), cornucopia (horns overflowing with flowers or fruit), arabesques (entwining scroll and plant motifs), and trophies of arms are among the most familiar. Floors of coloured and patterned marble paving are frequently integrated with the overall decorative scheme. Modelled stucco, sgraffiti arabesques (made by cutting lines through a layer of plaster or stucco to reveal an underlayer), and fine wall painting were used in brilliant combinations in the early part of the 16th century.In Venice the transition from Gothic to Renaissance building came less abruptly, as demonstrated in the Doge's Palace (Doges' Palace), where a Gothic exterior is found in combination with a late 15th-century facade on the east of the courtyard and a series of High Renaissance council chambers, famous for wall paintings by the Venetian painters Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto. Wood panelling (paneling) with flat pilasters and a molded frieze forms the lower part of the interior wall decoration, with the fine series of historical and allegorical paintings, above, divided into panels between painted and gilded moldings and pilasters. The ceilings of a later date are particularly richly painted, their heavily scrolled carved and gilt cornices and framing introducing a touch of the Baroque style. Windows with twin semicircular headed frames surmounted by a lunette (a semicircular wall area) and fitted into a third, larger round-arched opening are a typically Venetian feature of the waterside palaces. In these, as in all the great Italian houses of the time, the works not only of the finest painters of the period but of the sculptors, goldsmiths and silversmiths, wood-carvers, bronzeworkers and ironworkers were used to embellish the principal rooms. Silks, embroideries, and cut velvets were used as hangings and upholstery, together with elaborately cut and framed looking glasses and carved gilt pendant chandeliers, as in the Palazzo Corner-Spinelli, Venice (1480). Costly carpets were imported, and much fine linen was in use. Trompe l'oeil (realistic) effects of perspective were achieved in the painting of walls and ceilings and also with intarsia (inlaid wood) decorated panelling such as in the study of Federico da Montefeltro, formerly at Gubbio, Italy and now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York City or in the Palazzo Ducale, Urbino (completed about 1500), where a startling effect is created simulating open cupboards full of books.During the Renaissance, Venice became a glass-making centre and introduced many new techniques. Blue glass with fine enamel painting dates from the end of the 15th century. Excellent engraving was done with a diamond point as soon as glass of sufficiently good colour was produced, by using manganese to neutralize the colour introduced by impurities in the raw materials. Such glass, which was called cristallo from its fancied resemblance to the hardstone known as rock crystal, is the origin of modern crystal glass. The Venetians also imitated coloured hardstones in glass. Glass made white and opaque with tin oxide was sometimes used for enamel painting in the style of porcelain, and clear glass with opaque white threads embedded in it in lace-work patterns was called vitro di trina. The Venetians also made mirror glass of excellent quality; in the 17th century they supplied the mirrors for the Galerie des Glaces of the palace of Versailles. Large sheets, however, were not practicable until the French discovered a method of making plate glass late in the 17th century, when the national factory of Saint-Gobain was founded.During medieval times, Italian wood-carvers had achieved a high level of skill in the decoration of churches; now they turned to secular furniture, for which they employed oak, walnut, cypress, and a new, rare, and expensive wood—ebony. (In 17th century France, the craftsmen skillful enough to be entrusted with this wood—who were also makers of cabinets (cabinet)—came to be called ébénistes, a term that remains the French equivalent of the English “cabinetmaker.”) Many ancient Roman furniture-decorating techniques were revived. Inlaying with a variety of coloured woods, with ivory, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell, with a mosaic of coloured stones known as pietra dura, and with painting and gilding in addition, ornamented the finest furniture. The chest (cassone), often commissioned on the occasion of a wedding, was decorated with elaborate painting and gilding, sometimes with a large pictorial subject and sometimes with elaborately carved work, which was later coloured. Italian furniture in its design often made use of architectural motifs. Cabinets were often exceptionally luxurious, with such elements as caryatids flanking central doors, arcades of semicircular arches, and triangular pediment tops. The interiors were sometimes small models of architectural interiors, with mirrors inset to give an impression of spaciousness. Silver furniture, no longer extant, was used in considerable quantities in late Renaissance times, usually crafted from plates of silver beaten over wooden formers.An innovation in Italy, which rapidly spread throughout the rest of Europe, was tin enamelled pottery, known in Italy as majolica and farther north as faïence or delft. Colourful dishes were often painted in a style known as istoriato (history painting) with mythological and biblical subjects. As some of the subjects were taken from engravings of Raphael's work, this pottery became known during the 18th and 19th centuries as Raffaelle ware. The majolica potters, the best of them located in Tuscany, made extensive use of grotesques, which show the style at its best.The old Roman fashion for small bronze (metalwork) figures was revived during the Renaissance, and the fashion for these in interior decoration continued almost to the end of the 19th century. The earliest were fairly exact copies of excavated classical bronzes and may have been forgeries intended for sale at the time as genuine Roman work. The art developed rapidly. Before the 16th century, bronzework was done by the goldsmiths, and, as in most goldsmiths' work, general effect was subordinated to meticulous detail. After 1500, when bronze became popular for lamps, candlesticks, sconces, inkstands, small freestanding decorative figures, and furniture mounts, treatment of suitable subjects developed along the lines laid down for full-sized sculpture. Many small bronzes were made, some of them in the grotesque style.At the beginning of the 16th century, the revived classicism of the Renaissance began to be modified, and eventually the style divided into two distinct paths. One remained faithful to tradition. The architect Andrea Palladio (Palladio, Andrea) took ancient Roman works as a model, basing his designs on the theory of proportion laid down by Vitruvius in the 1st century BC in the Ten Books on Architecture. The second path was initiated by Michelangelo and led by way of Mannerism to the Baroque (Baroque period) style. In both these latter styles, a deliberate exaggeration of forms displaced the strict logic and precision of the High Renaissance and aimed to convey freedom of movement and to involve the spectator in the drama of the design. Mannerism had only a limited influence on interior furnishing, as in the bronzes by Cellini and by Giambologna. Poses are often strained, the torso twisted, and the musculature emphasized; the favourite Mannerist subjects are violent ones, such as the rape of the Sabines and Hercules slaying Antaeus.Baroque was the style of the Counter-Reformation and was intended by the Jesuits to express the temporal power and riches of the Catholic Church in contrast to the austere doctrines of Protestantism. The theatricality of the Baroque style soon attracted the attention of princes, who wanted it to be used in the palaces they built. Coloured marbles were used extensively, frequently in combination with bronze and rich gilding. Coloured glass windows were often used for lighting special features. Walls were sometimes painted to appear to be a continuation of the interior, giving an impression of spaciousness. Certain materials were often simulated by others: scagliola, for example, is a mixture of marble chippings, gypsum, and glue that was widely employed to imitate brecciated marble. What appeared to be richly coloured marbles were often no more than painted wood. Drapery was frequently imitated in carved marble, and wooden columns, the purpose of which was purely decorative, were painted like marble or some other exotic stone. Marble or stucco was made to imitate brocaded hangings, as in the Sala Ducale, Vatican, where an effect of space from limited means is created. Basic techniques were unaltered, but all restraint in their use vanished in bold theatrical effects and sensual luxuriance of modelling. Walls became curved, pediments were broken (i.e., with central part omitted), columns and pilasters twisted until the buildings seem to come alive with movement. Bernini exuberantly combined rockwork, figures, and draperies with columns, panelling, and vaulting.From Italy these styles spread across Europe, where they were absorbed in varying degrees and tempered by the national or local taste and genius. Many Italian designers and craftsmen travelled and worked abroad in France, England, Austria, and Spain.From the middle of the 15th century, ideas from Italy began to change the face of French buildings; this change came gradually, first in the applied decorative detail superimposed on basically Gothic designs, then extending to a symmetry and regularity of the whole. Indeed, one of the basic differences between the Renaissance in France and in Italy is that in the latter the revolution in style involved, from the very outset, the whole conception of design. The centralization of power and the brilliance of French court life was consolidated under Francis I (1515–47) and had already resulted in patronage of artists and craftsmen from Italy. Since the need for churches had been fulfilled in the great age of Gothic building, the king and his court rivalled one another's magnificence in building new châteaux in the early Renaissance style. Stone and timber were readily available, with masons and carpenters skilled in their use.Among the earliest attempts in the new manner are the additions made by Francis I to the Château de Blois. The spiral staircase, with its own open stonework tower, may have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci, who died nearby at Amboise in 1519. Even at this early stage, the decoration of the staircase ceiling with carved bosses (an ornamental ceiling projection) featuring the monogram and heraldic (heraldry) device of the king shows a typical French contribution to Renaissance decoration. Such shields and monograms formed an important element in many decorative features, being used in wall and ceiling panel design or on the large carved stone chimneypieces. The fine galleries of Francis I and Henry II (1547–59) in the royal Palais de Fontainebleau illustrate the increasing elaboration of applied decoration and colour. The flat ceilings are of wood, coffered, coloured, and gilded in a variety of geometrical forms outlined with fine moldings. Molded panels enclose paintings on the upper section of the walls, and molded or carved wood panelling the lower parts, as in Italy. Floors are of hardwood strips, sometimes repeating the pattern of the coffered ceiling above. Benches supported on consoles (ornamental brackets) are designed as part of the overall scheme of wall panelling. Italian artists had been employed at Fontainebleau and elsewhere, influencing the contemporary French architects toward a more Italian conception. Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio decorated the Galerie de François I, while the hexagonal coffered ceiling in the Galerie de Henri II was designed by the French architect Philibert de l'Orme. The architects Sebastiano Serlio and Giacomo da Vignola, together with the goldsmith Benevenuto Cellini, all worked for a time in France, and much of the decorative work in the châteaux of the Loire valley was executed by Italian craftsmen.In the early 17th century and during the long reign of Louis XIV (Louis XIV style) (1643–1715), formality and magnificence became paramount in the life of the court. Suites of large rooms elaborately decorated provided an opulent background for the King and his courtiers; such suites usually consisted of a vestibule, antechamber, dining room, salon, state bedroom, study, and gallery. Staircases were stately and spacious, offering a fitting approach to the main rooms. Decorative schemes incorporated the fittings, hangings, and furniture with that of the room.The Baroque style was admirably fitted to express ideas of luxury and pomp. It inspired the building of some of the finest palaces erected in Europe since the days of Imperial Rome. The palace of Versailles (Versailles, Palace of) built in the mid-17th century and widely imitated, led to the French court style in interior decoration and furnishings. Versailles was intended to be the outward and visible expression of the glory of France, and of Louis XIV, then Europe's most powerful monarch. His finance minister, Colbert, set up a manufactory that made works of art of all kinds, from furniture to jewellery, for interior decoration. A large export trade took French styles to almost every corner of Europe, made France a centre for luxuries, and gave to Paris an influence that has lasted till the present day. The vast initial cost of Versailles has been more than recouped since its completion. Even Louis XIV's most violent enemies imitated the decoration of his palace at Versailles. In 1667 Charles Le Brun (Le Brun, Charles) was appointed director of the Gobelins factory, which had been bought by the King, and Le Brun himself prepared designs for various objects, from the painted ceilings of the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) at Versailles to the metal hardware for a door lock. (It should be noted that at the Gobelins, as elsewhere in France, furniture was designed by artists or architects who had no practical experience of manufacture, whereas, in the great age of furniture making in England, most designs were made and executed by the cabinetmaker himself, who had an intimate knowledge of his material.)Though the Baroque trend is well established in the Versailles interiors, generally speaking it was regulated in France by an underlying restraint that seldom permitted decoration or movement to dominate entirely. Besides the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles, the Galerie d'Apollon at the Louvre is an example of magnificence in decoration. The vastness of these rooms and the lavish use of marble, plasterwork, and painted ceilings (with the addition at Versailles of mirror glass panels) created an effect of overwhelming grandeur.Among the architects and artists working at this time were Jean Berain, André-Charles Boulle, Jean le Paultre, Robert de Cotte, and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Their work continued in the later period in which Baroque ornament was transformed into the airy, delicate Rococo (Rococo style) of the mid-18th century. The beginning of this more fluent treatment can be seen in the work of Robert de Cotte at Versailles and the Hôtel de Toulouse, Paris. An immense variety of materials was used for the inlaid and decorated furniture; in a piece by Boulle, for instance, the designer employed—in addition to the tortoise-shell and brass inlay—ebony, copper, lapis lazuli, green-stained ivory or horn, and mother-of-pearl.Despite its freedom from onerous restrictions, the Baroque style had preserved the classical idea of symmetry. Not until the early decades of the 18th century were there marked departures from the notion that an object divided vertically should consist of two halves that are mirror images of each other. The Louis XIV style embodied a passion for symmetry, but with the Regency of the duc d'Orléans, which began in 1715, asymmetry became one of the features of contemporary decoration and one of the major aspects of the Rococo style. The principal designer in this style, who was largely responsible for its development, was Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (Meissonier, Juste-Aurèle), a goldsmith and ornemeniste. It is no accident that many objects in Rococo style, including furniture, look as though they had been designed by a metalworker. It has been said that Rococo began when the scrolls stopped being symmetrical. The influences that brought about this revolutionary concept are worthy of consideration.Beginning in the early decades of the 17th century, Chinese porcelain and lacquer were imported into Europe in ever-increasing quantities. Porcelain, especially, attracted many distinguished collectors, including most of the royalty of Europe. This increasing use of Chinese art objects in European decorative art provided a powerful influence with no trace of classical tradition. Soon after 1650 the Dutch began to import porcelain from Japan, at first decorated in blue, but toward the end of the century in polychrome, painted either by, or in the manner of, Sakaida Kakiemon (Kakiemon ware). This was widely sought, and even more highly valued than Chinese porcelain. When Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and king of Poland, bought a palace early in the 18th century to house his collection, for instance, he called it the Japanische Palais, and in France Louis-Henri de Bourbon-Condé, duc de Bourbon, established a factory at Chantilly to imitate Japanese porcelain. The decorations of Kakiemon were markedly asymmetrical, as were the painted lacquer panels that were imported to be made into screens and furniture, and there seems no doubt that this feature also influenced European Rococo art.Despite the quantities in which it was imported, the demand for Oriental porcelain could not be satisfied, and European potters sought desperately to discover the secret. The first factory to make porcelain in the Oriental manner was at Meissen in Saxony, patronized by Augustus the Strong, but soon many small factories began to spring up in Germany, Austria, and Italy. France had several factories making a modified type of porcelain, the most important being the Sèvres factory, owned by Louis XV and patronized by his mistress, Mme de Pompadour. The first English factory, at Chelsea, was established as late as 1745. Porcelain was probably the most important expression of the Rococo style in the first half of the 18th century, with bronze and goldsmiths' work closely following in second place; indeed, this period might well be called the age of porcelain. Rooms entirely decorated with porcelain still exist. These included not only vases and figures, but also mirror-frames, scrollwork, cornices, and even small console tables. A very fine example still survives at the Palazzo di Capodimonte (Museo e Gallerie Nazionale di Capodimonte) in Naples.The French style developed, in the 18th century, into a very skillful synthesis of materials in which bronze and porcelain played an important part. Furniture was elaborately mounted in bronze with a marble top and was often decorated with porcelain plaques, as well. Clocks were made from porcelain vases. Jardinieres and vases were filled with porcelain flowers with bronze stalks and leaves. Veneering with rare woods reached its height, and decorative marquetry, often elaborately pictorial, was practiced. Much sought at this time was the marquetry of brass and tortoiseshell, which began with Boulle, although it was a revival of an Imperial Roman fashion. Tapestries covered the walls when these were not decorated with carved wood-panelling known as boiserie. Another form of wall-decoration, also employed in the making of furniture, was vernis Martin (Martin's varnish), an imitation of Oriental lacquer that was extremely popular after 1730. The large salon de reception of the 17th century gave place to smaller, more intimate rooms, and more of them, and the furniture and decoration of the period are also on a smaller scale.The Rococo style is remarkable for its flowers and its curves. Furniture legs were gracefully curved, and tops were cut into serpentine shapes. It is easy to see when the Rococo style ends, because chair legs at once become straight.Typical Rococo features are seen in the interiors of the architect and decorator Germain Boffrand (Boffrand, Germain) for the Hôtel de Soubise, Paris (begun 1732), where architectural form has been subordinated to the demands of the decoration; the cornice has disappeared, and walls curve into the ceiling, appliquéd with ragged C scrolls, garlands of flowers decked with ribbons, sprays of foliage, trellising, and shell motifs. The reduced scale of rooms and the reaction from monumental design result in elimination of the classical orders. Relatively small painted panels, idealizing peasant life, were enclosed in flattened moldings, silvered or gilt; pastel-coloured backgrounds prevented the smaller size of the salons from becoming too evident. The use of Chinese motifs typifies the search for novelty and blends well with the general lightness of style. The Cabinet de la Pendule (Room of the Clock) at Versailles (1738), designed by J. Verberckst, is another excellent example of French Rococo interior design. Gilles-Marie Oppenordt and François de Cuvilliés also were distinguished designers who worked with the best artists and craftsmen of the time.The Rococo fashion spread across Europe to the courts of minor royalties, where many Frenchmen were employed to provide up-to-date buildings and schemes of decoration. In France the Gobelins factory became restricted mainly to the output of tapestries; equally fine work is seen in Aubusson and Beauvais carpets and tapestry. Improvement in glass manufacture resulted in larger mirror panels and brilliant crystal chandeliers.The Louis XVI (Louis XVI style), or Neoclassical, style began, in fact, to take root before the death of Louis XV in 1774; Mme de Pompadour and her brother, the Marquis de Marigny, were among the first to be attracted by the new classical style in the 1750s. From 1748 onward the characteristically French regard for formality was stimulated by the archaeological discoveries at the sites of the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii and by the other surveys of classical remains published at this time.It is sometimes forgotten that contemporary English styles also had influence in France, mainly through the published works of the architects Robert and James Adam. The asymmetrical, sinuous lines of the Rococo were slowly replaced by a more restrained form of decoration based once again on straight lines, right angles, circles, and ovals, arranged symmetrically. The lightness and fine moldings were retained, but the decorative forms were once more contained by the architectural framework. New motifs, many of them selected from antique Roman wall painting, decorated the panelling, in paint or in flat relief; palmettes, husks, urns, tripod stands, sphinxes, trophies of arms or musical instruments were frequently combined in the decorative schemes. Gilt bronze was used with wood and plasterwork for moldings and ornamental fillets, emphasizing the rectilinear character of the design. The work of J.-A. Gabriel (Gabriel, Ange-Jacques) in both the Chambre du Conseil at the École Militaire (begun 1751) and the Galerie Dorée, Ministère de Marine (begun 1762) may be cited as Parisian examples. The keynote of colouring, as well as design, is refined simplicity. Silk tapestry wall hangings with fine flower and ribbon motifs appear in pale blues, greens, rose, and lilac. Similar colourings were used for satin and velvet upholstery. The fine wood carving of the brothers Rousseau, gilt bronze work by Clodion (Claude Michel), and furniture pieces by David Röntgen, C.E. Riesener, and Jean Oeben show Louis XVI decoration at its highest. Apartments for Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles and her boudoir at Fontainebleau are full of this extravagant delicacy, soon to be obliterated in the French Revolution.In Spain, Moorish influence mingled with subsequent Western classical styles to produce a unique flavour in decorative design. The style known as Mudéjar (Mudejar) (c. 12th–17th century) was the early outcome of these blended Christian and Arab ideas and consists in essence of tiled floors and skirtings in polychrome, plain white walls, carved stucco friezes, and intricately decorated beamed wooden ceilings. The Duke of Alba's palace, Sevilla (Seville), contains fine interiors decorated in this style.Yellow tiles decorated with freehand motifs in blue became common in the 16th century. Tiles were often used on the ground floor of summer living rooms. Since fireplaces were seldom used in southern Spain, these rooms were vacated in the winter for the upper rooms.The discovery of the New World, with the riches Spain subsequently drew from Mexico and Peru, created a period of Spanish ascendancy in the 16th century that encouraged building and coincided with the spread of Renaissance ideas throughout Europe. The influence of decorative craftsmen from Italy, together with the abundance of precious metal, encouraged the development of Plateresque (“silversmith-like”) decoration. This type of Renaissance decoration was first seen in church interiors, in the form of tombs, retablos (a decorative structure behind an altar), and ironwork screens. The Italian motifs were used in a totally non-Italian manner, encrusting the surfaces as in the late Gothic or Mudéjar style.This unique Spanish blend of widely separate styles produced the fine interiors of the late 15th-century Panteón de los Duques del Infantado, Guadalajara, by Vazquez, and the Palacio de Peñaranda de Duero (c. 1530), probably by Francisco de Colonia, where interlaced ceiling beams and timber panels were supported on honeycomb cornices and finely ornamented friezes. (Unfortunately, much of this work is now damaged or destroyed.)Smaller houses as well as palaces were built around a patio, usually colonnaded and with modelled or carved friezes, columns, and bracket capitals.Window grilles, or rejas, often form an important part of the decorative scheme, the ironwork being traditionally of a high degree of excellence. Love of closely patterned decoration, enveloping all surfaces that could easily be carved or modelled, is an important characteristic of early Renaissance work in Spain, and of the contemporary Manueline style in Portugal. Similar, if rather coarser, work in this style flourished in the American colonies.High Renaissance decoration in Spain was influenced deeply by the austere character of Philip II and his vast combined palace and monastery, El Escorial (1559–84), near Madrid. This was built for him by Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera. Much of the granite of which the monastery is built is left unadorned, and frescoed vaulted ceilings are the main decorative features of interior design.A revival of decorative arts took place in the late 17th century under the influence of José Benito Churriguera, his family and followers. The Churrigueresque, which also remained a peculiarly Spanish style, expressed the Baroque feeling of the 17th century in extravagant polychrome. Surfaces were broken into scrolls, rosettes, volutes, and fantasticated moldings; bunches of fruit and flowers hung from broken or inverted cornice moldings; and the whole interior—for example, the Sacristy of the Cartuja, Granada (1727–64)—appears to drip with ornament. Here, even cupboards and doors were inlaid with silver, tortoiseshell, and ivory, and the only plain surface is the checkerboard tiled floor. Remarkable among domestic examples of this style is the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, Valencia (1740–44).Under the Bourbons, French and Italian influence increased, as can be seen in the interiors of the Royal Palace at Madrid (1738–64), with its handsomely painted ceilings and brocade wall hangings. Here, also, subsequent changes of taste are echoed in the lighter Rococo treatment of the Gasparini Saloon. Toward the end of the 18th century the Neoclassical movement gained a limited footing, though regional styles continued to incorporate the Baroque and older forms.Fine examples of Spanish colonial work exist in Mexico, Peru, and other South American countries where the Baroque was allied, as in Europe, with the Jesuits. Churches are painted and gilded with an exuberance equal to or even greater than that found in the mother country. Sometimes the churches are encrusted with tiles, and they always possess elaborate retablos.Northern EuropeAfter spreading from Italy to France, Renaissance influence began to filter to Belgium and Holland, later reaching the various Germanic states and finally dying out in Scandinavia and Russia.In the Low Countries and northern Germany during the 16th-century Renaissance, ornament was adapted to form an entirely individual style, which can be seen in the pattern books of the artists Hans Vredeman de Vries and Wendel Dietterlin. strapwork (interlacing bands) and raised faceted ornament were widely employed, together with muscular, grotesque masked caryatids and distorted architectural features arranged in undisciplined designs. Chimney pieces, with overmantels carried to the ceiling, were embellished with marble columns and elaborate strapwork patterns, while similar ornaments flanked the doorways and enriched the ceilings. The great tapestries for which the Netherlands (Netherlands, The) had long been famous were still in use, and Oriental carpets were spread as table covers and not used on the floors. Many town houses and civic buildings were comfortably appointed, yet without spectacular extravagances, and give an impression of modest prosperity. In Belgium the Musée Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp (1550), is unusually richly decorated, showing the influence of Spanish rule in the use of embossed leather as a wall covering. Large windows, with rectangular leaded lights, are again typical of a northern climate. Ceilings are beamed or plastered, and floors most frequently are of tiles on the ground floor and timber on upper floors.The later styles of Baroque and the 18th-century tastes are copied from French models, particularly in Belgium. The Dutch, after achieving independence in the latter part of the 16th century, developed their decoration on more individual lines. Typical domestic interiors on a small scale are familiar through the paintings of the 17th-century artists Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch. The fine series of town houses by Daniel Marot (Marot, Daniel) and his sons in The Hague illustrate the cross-currents of the various styles; built at the turn of the 17th century, they were conceived in the Louis XIV, or Régence (Régence style), manner, yet could be set down in 18th-century London without incongruity (and Marot did, in fact, work for a time in England). Fine stuccoed ceilings and overdoors, largely uncoloured, and wrought iron balustrading are characteristic.In Germany the general trend was similar, but in southern Germany and Austria fresh impetus and individuality were given to Baroque and also Rococo design. French and Italian craftsmen worked throughout the 17th century on the many Catholic churches built in south Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia. The use of colour, fresco, and stucco that they introduced has its own particular flavour when seen in cool northern light.Secular building from the early 18th century, in the hands of such architects as Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt (Hildebrandt, Johann Lucas von) and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, makes use of much sculptural detail. Windows are round or oval, figures strain to support capitals, balustrades are carved in sculptural manner, and modelled niches contain larger than life-sized figures; all these give a feeling of movement reminiscent in its impact of Bernini's work in Rome. Another characteristic was the enormous staircase hall, or Treppenhaus, which was one of the most notable interior features of German and Austrian Baroque and Rococo architecture. In the halls, colour was frequently confined to the painted ceilings, giving increased force to the novel and delicious colours of the rooms beyond. A vermilion dado or olive-green panels may be contrasted with white and gold. In the Nymphenburg Palace, near Munich (1734–39), by the Frenchman François de Cuvilliés (Cuvilliés, François de, The Elder), the Rococo reaches its crowning achievement: mirrors are framed in freely scrolled moldings, which in their turn are interspersed with trellising, garlands, baskets of fruit and flowers, cupids, birds, and fountains in silvered stucco on a pale blue or yellow ground, the whole evoking the essence of pastoral Romanticism.Mingled influences from France, Holland, and England reached Sweden and Denmark in the mid-17th century and are seen in the Baroque and Louis XIV interiors of the Riddarhuset and Royal Palace in Stockholm and in the chinoiserie (Chinese-influenced decoration) of the Royal Palace of Drottningholm. Scandinavian (Scandinavia) interiors, however, largely continued to be of the traditional exposed timber boarding, hung perhaps with painted linen panels and brightened by woven chair and cushion coverings.Russia imported foreign designers and styles in the late 17th and 18th centuries for the palaces built under the westernizing influence of Peter I the Great, his daughter Elizabeth, and Catherine II the Great. In the mid-18th century the Italian Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli designed the Tsarskoye (Detskoye) Selo (now called Pushkin), Peterhof, and Winter palaces in or near St. Petersburg, and A.B. Kvasov, S.I. Chevakinsky, and Rastrelli designed the Hermitage, also in St. Petersburg. Each worked largely according to his own current national styles. The same is true of the work of the British architect Charles Cameron at Tsarskoye Selo Palace and Pavlovsk Palace.In many areas of Europe, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo had little effect on interior decoration. In the Alpine lands, where wood was cheap and plentiful, traditional medieval methods continued for a long time. Wooden floors and ceilings and panelled walls, or partly panelled with plain plaster above, were the general rule. The moldings were bold, but carving was usually in low relief and often the woodwork was painted in bright colours.The breakup of the feudal system during the Wars of the Roses and under Henry VII in the late 15th century had far-reaching effects on the social structure of the time and consequently on domestic buildings and their decoration. The new conditions necessitated a larger number of rooms, and a great hall, though still an important apartment, was no longer the focus of indoor life. Wider distribution of wealth gave rise to numerous country houses, and for the next 400 years the English excelled in their building and decoration.The Italian style reached England in the early 16th century; the earliest example is the tomb of Henry VII (Tudor style) in Westminster Abbey, designed by Pietro Torrigiani of Florence at the command of Henry VIII and completed in 1518. For the next 40 years or so, English craftsmen borrowed from the repertoire of Italian ornament, at first inspired by and imitating the Italian artists and craftsmen employed on royal works at Hampton Court Palace, Middlesex, and the Palace of Westminster, London, who used arabesque decoration, medallion heads, and amorini on panelling and plasterwork, often mingling them with the traditional Gothic motifs. The great hall at Hampton Court (1515–30) shows a combination of Renaissance carved and gilded detail with the traditional type of open timber roof, known as the hammerbeam roof, and windows divided into sections by vertical posts (mullions). In spite of Henry VIII's example, however, the Gothic style died hard in England, lingering in the remoter districts well into the 17th century.During the second half of the 16th century, as a result of the break with Rome, the Italian style was largely replaced by the distinctive Renaissance style of the Low Countries and Germany, fostered by the close religious, political, and economic relations between England and the Low Countries, the influx of immigrant workmen, and the circulation of Flemish and German pattern books. This new manner became the dominant influence in the decoration of panelling and plasterwork, characteristic features being intrinsic strapwork patterns, pyramid finials (sculptured ornaments used to terminate roof gables), raised faceted ornament, masks and caryatid figures, scrolls, and pilasters. Both the Italian and Flemish styles were adapted and naturalized to some extent by the English craftsmen, producing a new style that is peculiarly English.At this time, also, the internal porch was introduced into many houses; this device excluded drafts from the room and also in some cases made it possible to reach a second room without passing through the first.The frescoing of walls continued; of the few remaining examples, some show scenes from biblical and classical sources and incidents from local folklore. A good Elizabethan example depicting scenes from the story of Tobit was found at the White Swan inn at Stratford-on-Avon. Embossed, painted, and gilt leather was less used in England than on the Continent, but tapestries and such woven fabrics as velvet and damask for the wealthy and “says” (fabrics resembling serge) and “bayes” (baize) for people of more modest means were widely used as wall coverings. The inventories of Henry VIII's palaces show the vast number of tapestries and various hangings possessed by kings and great men. Hangings of painted cloth were widely used as a cheaper substitute for tapestry; these, too, depicted incidents from biblical and classical sources and employed decorative motifs ranging from Gothic to Renaissance subjects. Nearly all of this “counterfeit arras” has perished. The plaited rush matting continued to be used as a floor covering in Elizabethan interiors.Great chambers and long galleries, usually on the upper floors, are distinctively Elizabethan or Tudor and were used in many cases for work and recreation in bad weather. Barrel-vaulted ceilings occupying the roof space often increased the height of the rooms, as at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire (c. 1603 (Jacobean age)). The plaster ceilings were treated elaborately; narrow interlaced bands formed geometrical patterns, with semistylized floral, arabesque, or heraldic motifs in the panels between.The steep medieval winding newel stair (stair with central pillar from which steps radiate) in wood or, more often, stone was abandoned for the more spacious staircase with straight flights of stairs, easier in gradient and planned round an open well. This was most frequently constructed of oak, with carved newel posts (the upright terminating a flight of stairs) and balusters (individual columns in a balustrade) making the most of the opportunity offered for decoration and enrichment.Toward the middle of the 16th century, a feeling for classic reserve was spreading and the late Renaissance period might have flowered under Charles I had not political upheaval checked the zest for fine building. The architect and stage designer Inigo Jones (Jones, Inigo) twice visited Italy and was one of the few north European architects completely to absorb the spirit and decorative repertoire of Italian Renaissance classicism. He introduced the new style in the Banqueting House at Whitehall, the Queen's House at Greenwich; and with his associate and kinsman, John Webb, built Wilton House, Wiltshire.At Wilton the Double Cube Room (c. 1649) shows the nobility of effect Jones was able to achieve in a small compass, for the dimensions of the room—60 by 30 by 30 feet (18 by 9 by 9 metres)—are not large, comparatively speaking. The basic influence is Italian, but the final result—with wide oak-boarded floor, and white- and gold-plastered and panelled walls designed to accommodate portraits by Van Dyke, the white marble fireplace, and the Corinthian doorcases—is truly English. The coved and painted ceiling, executed by Edward Pierce and Emanuel de Critz, plays a vital part in balancing the proportions of the room. Though Renaissance principles are demonstrated in design such as this, they were not fully developed in the country at large until the 18th century and the advent of the Palladian school of architecture and decoration (influenced by the 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio).After the unsettled period of the Commonwealth, the Restoration introduced new Baroque influences from the Continent. These were fused with the restraining classicism (which was still considered to be a new style) to produce a successful balance of contrast. The designs of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren, though mainly for church and monumental buildings, relied for a great deal of their embellishment on the work of the fine artist-craftsmen such as Grinling Gibbons (Gibbons, Grinling), sculptor and wood-carver, and Jean Tijou, ironworker, whose work can be seen in close association in St. Paul's Cathedral. In the many country houses, large plain-surfaced oak wall panels provided the perfect foil to the grace and liveliness of Gibbons' carved limewood swags (festoons), garlands, and picture borders, which incorporated flowers, fruit, musical instruments, cherubs, and monograms. In the words of the 18th-century writer Horace Walpole, Gibbons “gave to wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers, and chained together the various productions of the elements, with the free disorder natural to each species.” At Petworth house, Sussex, Gibbons' genius may best be seen in the series of perfectly executed picture borders, which date from about 1690. Chimney pieces and doorcases were also decorated in Gibbons' manner, and similar floral motifs can be seen on the plaster ceilings at Ham house, Wiltshire. This house, relatively modest in size, represents without ostentation or extravagance the height of luxurious interior decoration in the late 17th century and incorporates many of the decorative innovations of that time. Among these are the practice of painting wood panelling in imitation of marble or wood graining and of gilding the moldings. Wall hangings include tapestry, gilt and painted leather, and silk damask; there is elaborate parquetry (floors inlaid with woods in contrasting colours).Paintings of allegorical subjects by Sir James Thornhill and Antonio Verrio ornament some of the more important buildings of the age, including the Painted Hall at the Royal Hospital in Greenwich, Wren's additions to Hampton Court, and the great chamber at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. The intricate work of Daniel Marot, a French Huguenot architect who had worked for William III in Holland (see above Northern Europe (interior design)), had a modest influence on the design of many small fittings and shelved cabinets to display china—the collecting of which was a favourite pastime of Queen Mary II. Imported lacquer panels were sometimes used for the panelling of rooms, in accordance with the Chinese taste of the period. In the last years of the 17th century and in the early 18th century the woodworker found his domain contracting. Through the influence of the grand tour and under the patronage of Lord Burlington, Italian influence predominated, the work of Inigo Jones was studied, and stone and stucco became more widely used, particularly in larger houses. The influence of the architect spread from the outside of the house to the interior decoration and even to the design of the furniture itself. Where wooden panelling was used, it was set in a simple framework. Pine largely replaced oak, and it was painted green, blue, brown, and other colours; walnut and mahogany were occasionally used for panelling. The increased use of stone and marble began with Sir John Vanbrugh (Vanbrugh, Sir John), playwright turned architect, who, in his first commission at Castle Howard, Yorkshire (1699), showed an individual and masterly interpretation of Baroque, sculptural and yet with a certain grim epic quality. Applied decoration was kept to a minimum, a practice that he followed later at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, where the severe and spacious entrance hall, with marble-paved floor, ashlar-faced (i.e., faced with thin slabs of hewn stone) walls and columns, wrought-iron gallery railing, and frescoed dome, is the most impressive apartment in the building.Stone staircases with wrought-iron balustrading came into common use, and by the latter part of the 18th century had almost entirely replaced the earlier, heavier timber stairs such as those at Wolseley Hall, Staffordshire, or Eltham Lodge, Kent, which had carved openwork balustrades or heavy timber balusters. In the smaller houses of the early 18th century, woodwork continued to provide the main decorative features (United Kingdom). Wall panelling, moldings, window shutters, and many chimney pieces in simple painted pine echoed the comfortable elegance of the tall sash windows and well-proportioned rooms. Wealthier classes still employed Italian craftsmen, particularly for stuccowork, and the now familiar repertory of garlands, masks, and putti (cupids) was applied not only to the designs of Nicholas Hawksmoor, James Gibbs, and other architects of the quasi-Baroque group but also to the interiors of William Kent and the Palladian architects, whose influence became dominant toward the middle of the century. In such houses as Holkham Hall, Norfolk, designed in strictly classical manner by Kent in 1734, can be seen the results of extensive travel by both architect and owner. The magnificent entrance hall is again one of the most important rooms, designed on the general lines of a Roman basilica with apse (recess) and side colonnades. At Houghton hall, also in Norfolk, Kent designed fine suites of furniture for Colin Campbell's interiors; these pieces are usually gilt, with acanthus scrolls, consoles, heads, and sphinxes; with feet and legs scrolled or of ball and claw type; and with upholstery in velvet or silk. The plaster ceilings are by Italian craftsmen, with gilded and painted ornament; the walls are dressed with classical plinth, pilasters, and frieze; and pedimented marble chimneypieces contain bas-relief panels above the mantelshelf.Wall hangings were of tapestry, cut velvet, or watered silk and damask. Elsewhere, hand-coloured, wood-block-printed papers and papers with flocking (pulverized cloth) were coming into use as an economical substitute.Although the Rococo style never fully established itself in England, many interiors were influenced by the asymmetrical motifs (rocaille) found in the designs of such French decorators as Nicholas Pineau and J.A. Meissonier. The stucco (stuccowork) and carved decoration became lighter, more fanciful, and more tortuous in design. Though many Baroque motifs were still used, they were more delicately modelled, and the Rococo style was characterized by elaborate patterns of interlacing C scrolls combined with such naturalistic ornaments as flowers, foliage, shells, and rocks, arranged subtly in asymmetrical yet balanced patterns. The plasterwork and carved panelling were often painted in light colours and the detail picked out in gold.Closely allied to the introduction of the French rocaille was the revival of the Chinese taste, or chinoiserie, for architects and designers, in search of further novelty, turned again to China for inspiration. Books on travel and topography, notably Jean-Baptiste du Halde's General History of China, published in Paris in 1735 and translated into English in 1736, gave added stimulus. Pagodas, mandarin figures, icicles and dripping water, and exotic foliage and birds reached the height of Rococo invention. Chinoiserie was particularly popular for bedrooms, where elaborate chimneypieces and doorcases were set against the background of imported or imitation Chinese wallpapers, and the beds and windows were hung with Eastern textiles. Window hangings, with carved and gilded pelmets (valances), were becoming increasingly important, and at Harwood House, Yorkshire, the furniture designer Thomas Chippendale executed a series of pelmets with mock draperies also carved in wood and coloured to deceive the eye completely.The Gothick taste, a further variation of the Rococo, was peculiar to England at this time. The Gothic Revival, engendered by antiquarian scholarship at the turn of the 17th century, later spread to literature and during the 1740s appeared in the more concrete forms of architecture and interior decoration. By the middle of the century the fashion was widely popular, and many houses, large and small, were in part Gothicized, both inside and out. As with chinoiserie, the products of this 18th-century vogue bore little resemblance to the original medieval models. Gothic details, originally worked in stone, were borrowed, adapted, often mingled with rocaille and Chinese motifs, and were executed in wood and plaster. At Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Middlesex, Horace Walpole, leader of the “true Goths,” borrowed the designs of medieval tombs and turned them to designs for fireplaces and bookcases. Though this vogue fell out of general fashion in the 1760s, a few enthusiasts remained who carried the Gothick taste through until it was vigorously revived again in the 19th century.About 1760 the Rococo style, with all its vagaries of taste, began to give way before the Neoclassical style, largely inspired and introduced by the architect Robert Adam (Adam, Robert), whose work reflected the newly awakened interest in classical remains. Adam returned from Italy in 1758, and, strongly influenced by both Roman architecture and interior decoration, he evolved a new style based on classical precedent, using as ornament a medley of paterae (plate-shaped motifs), husk chains, the ram's head, the formalized honeysuckle, and other elements. His style of interior decoration was deeply influenced by the gay and delicate patterns of arabesques and grotesque ornament that he had seen in various classical remains in Rome and that had already been copied during the Renaissance by Raphael and others. Adam strongly criticized the Burlington (Palladian) school for using heavy architectural features in their interiors and replaced them with delicate ornament in plaster, wood, marble, and painting, against which, in its turn, criticism was levelled. Much of his work, it may be said, is applied decoration—pretty but without basic architectural quality. With Adam, the despotism of the architect over the craftsman was complete. No detail of decoration or furnishing escaped him; his rapid and precise draftsmanship covered the whole scheme, from the overall treatment of the walls and ceiling to the decorative details of the pelmets and grates. Even carpets were made to order, and often they repeated or echoed the design of the ceiling, bringing the whole room into harmony, as in the green drawing room in the manor house of Osterley Park in Middlesex or in the dining room at Saltram House in Devonshire (seephotograph—>). Wood was not often left unpainted, and, although the joinery was still admirable, the enrichment was frequently in composition or metal inlay. There were especially designed templefronted bookcases, and the plasterwork was often made a frame for the decorative paintings of such artists as Antonio Zucchi or Angelica Kauffmann.At this time, cheaper and quicker methods of decoration began to be introduced; a considerable amount of the plaster decoration was cast from molds, and a composite imitation marble called scagliola was sometimes used for floors and columns, while cheaper woods were disguised by marbling and graining.At the close of the century the Neoclassical style was further refined, the plaster relief decoration being simplified and lightened. The best of this style, strongly influenced by French decoration, can be seen in the work of the architect Henry Holland, who enlarged Carlton House, London, for the Prince Regent and built Southill in Bedfordshire. Holland, like Adam, was inspired by the classical monuments in Italy, where for some time he maintained a draftsman whose drawings of classical detail Holland incorporated in his plasterwork.The story of the domestic interior and its decoration in the United States is inseparable both from its own architectural development and from the story of English architecture and decoration, from which it was largely derived even long after the American Revolution. Any discussion of United States decorative design, therefore, must refer constantly to the architectural ideas that prompted change on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.Contrary to popular legend, the log cabin was not the earliest shelter of the first English settlers. The turfed-over dugout hut of mud-chinked saplings, not unlike the Indian wickiup with the addition of a clay-daubed wooden chimney at one end, was probably the first home of the settlers in both Jamestown and Plymouth.These primitive dwellings were speedily replaced by frame structures, copying the traditional small house of southeast England. At first a single room was flanked by a massive chimney (where brick quickly replaced wood and clay), but a second room was soon added on the opposite side of the chimney. The attic, later expanded into an overhanging second story, was reached by narrow winding stairs between the central entranceway and the chimney stack.This development in New England is well represented by such vestiges as the Capen House, Topsfield, Massachusetts (1683) or the Old Iron Works (ironmaster's) House, Saugus, Massachusetts (1636). The interior clearly reflects the structure, with its massive exposed oak corner posts, beams, and joists and its huge open fireplace, which served as the cooking and heating centre of the household. Inside walls were usually of undecorated lath and plaster, covering the studs and their clay or brick filling. Windows were small and originally of casement type, with small leaded panes in a wood frame. Small windows with low ceilings conserved heat in the severe winters. Floors of wide riven boards of pine, smoothed and sanded, replaced the beaten clay of the first shelters.The furniture, with few exceptions, was simple and sparse. It was decorated with simple carved and turned ornament and touches of earth colours.By the end of the 17th century, homespun textiles were supplemented by imported woven materials in the houses of the more affluent; these were used for curtains, table covers, bed hangings, and seat pads. Richly coloured damasks and velvets, enhanced by the unpainted wood and plaster surfaces, were found in Puritan New England and, probably to a greater extent, among the less austere New York Dutch and the comparatively wealthy tobacco planters of Virginia.In houses south of New England, brick and stone tended to replace wood as a building material, though there were many smaller timber structures that have largely disappeared. In the Hudson River region, the traditional cottage of the Flemish and Huguenot settlers, long and low with steep pitched roof and extended eaves, became the typical farmhouse. At the same time, the narrow Dutch town house of brick with its stepped gable ends gave New Amsterdam, even after the English occupation, an appearance completely different from that of the English settlements to the north and south.In the Dutch houses, windows tended to be larger and ceilings higher. The early fireplace, with its tiled border, surmounted with a deep hood, was flush with the wall instead of deeply recessed. Dutch features such as the horizontally divided door, the monumental cupboard, or kas, the built-in bed, and tiling and dishes of delftware gave the early New York (New York City) interior an individuality that withstood English influence until well into the following century.Similar national characteristics must have distinguished the early Swedish settlement on the Delaware, where, later in the century, the log cabin of the pioneer may have first appeared. The Swedish contribution was only temporary, for the settlement was absorbed by both the Dutch and the English. The early settlements of the English in east New Jersey were founded by migrants from New England who at first designed typical central-chimney houses but before the end of the century largely abandoned them for the Flemish type of house in the neighbouring Hudson River region. The first settlers in Pennsylvania, arriving in Philadelphia at the end of the century, built the type of town dwelling devised for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666.In Virginia and the South, scant evidence remains of the early 17th-century house. Bacon's Castle in Surry County, Virginia, with its projecting two-story porch in front and rear stair tower, built in brick about 1665, is all that remains of a colonial version of the small English Jacobean manor, though there must have been several other examples. From surviving evidence and deduction it is believed that panelled walls, carefully designed beamed ceilings, and ornamental plasterwork in colour were employed in larger Virginia houses. Yet, while the milder climate made loftier ceilings and larger rooms possible, it is unlikely that the ordinary early dwelling differed from its Northern contemporary except in its greater use of brick and in placing chimneys at the ends instead of at the centre of the structure.Among the wealthy the principal articles of furniture were undoubtedly English imports; the more humble settler probably had to make do with articles of the simplest sort, but since few articles survive from this period, little is known about it. Certainly the scattered or rural character of the Southern settlements and their concentration on tobacco planting failed to encourage the early development of skilled crafts found in villages and towns of the Northern communities. By 1720 the design innovations of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren, as reflected in the Queen Anne style with its strong mingling of Dutch and Flemish elements, had already crossed the Atlantic. Wren's influence is increasingly evident in the tendency to employ symmetrical design around an accented central feature and, particularly in the interiors, in the greater insistence on classic arrangement in the positions of openings and of panelling. Panelling, usually of pine in the north, was generally painted. Relatively deep and strong tones—red, blue, green, brown, and yellow—were used either singly or in combination, producing an effective background for the walnut furniture of the period.Additional colour was introduced by more elaborate use of woven and embroidered textiles, in upholstery as well as draperies. Though woven carpets for floor coverings were rare even at midcentury, frequently their effect was achieved by stretched canvas painted with allover repeat patterns.Throughout the colonies, furniture (Early American furniture) became more plentiful and varied. Chairs without arms took the place of stools, the cabriole (curved leg) largely replaced the turned leg, and small drop-leaf tables replaced the fixed-frame type. Bedroom furniture became differentiated with the development of the high chest (highboy) and the dressing table (lowboy), and later the case-top desk or secretary became the principal ornament of the living room. Tall mirrors with crested tops replaced the small, square, Jacobean style looking glasses of the 17th century, and portraits and prints came into more general use, sharing the wall space with bracketed candle holders or sconces. Artificial light still came mainly from small wick and grease lamps, but tallow and wax candles held in sconces, in adjustable metal and wood floor stands, or in candlesticks of brass or pewter (and occasionally in brass chandeliers) were used by the wealthier.Though domestic comfort was improving, north of Virginia the large formal house or mansion remained a rarity until about 1750. In the South the wealth of the slaveholding planter made it possible for him to copy the early Georgian (Georgian style) type of manor house in England. Great houses of two or three stories with side dependencies (outbuildings) became numerous. Stratford in Westmoreland County and Westover in Charles City County, Virginia, built about 1735 by the Lee and Byrd families, are early examples of the type. The elaborately panelled rooms of these mansions were furnished according to the latest London fashion. Probably only later in the century were these English pieces mingled with those from the cabinetmakers of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Between 1750 and the Revolution this Georgian phase reached its highest development. Though generally smaller and lacking the forecourt and dependencies of the southern mansion, the larger houses of the north, such as the Wentworth house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, mark perhaps the most distinctive achievements of colonial design and decoration by their apt translations into wood of brick and stone Georgian forms.In the Middle Atlantic colonies, particularly in Philadelphia (which by 1760 had assumed urban leadership in the colonies), a type of domestic design midway between that of New England and Virginia had developed. There the English Rococo decorative style publicized by Thomas Chippendale received its most competent and original interpretation. This is well seen in Philadelphia interiors such as those of the Powel House (1765) and Mount Pleasant (1762) and in the work of cabinetmakers such as Thomas Affleck and Benjamin Randolph. By this time mahogany, with its fine grain, so receptive to carving and high finish, had largely replaced walnut as the principal cabinet wood. Inspired by this material and the challenge of London design, these Philadelphia craftsmen and their northern contemporaries, particularly John Goddard and Job Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, brought their art to the highest level of perfection.During the third quarter of the 18th century, the panelled interior reached its most elaborate form in the colonies. North of Virginia a fully panelled room was exceptional; wood panelling was reserved for the chimney breast and its flanking recesses or cupboards. In Virginia and the South, full panelling remained the rule. (At colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, surviving houses have been carefully restored and furnished, giving a complete picture of the comfortable panelled rooms dating from the middle decades of the 18th century.) In both North and South, however, the mantel and its overmantel were emphasized as a decorative unit, and the Baroque broken pediment became the usual crowning feature of both overmantel and doorway. Painted woodwork remained popular, but with softer and lighter tones, tending toward white and gray. Plaster wall surfaces were also painted. Block-printed and painted wallpapers were frequently used in the main rooms of these houses, and there are indications that fabric wall hangings were used also.Plaster ceilings completely concealed the floor beams by the second quarter of the century, and after 1750 these were frequently decorated with ornament in low relief in the French or Rococo manner and hung with many-branched chandeliers of crystal. Floors of hardwood, occasionally parquetry, were more frequently covered with patterned rugs of European or Oriental origin.During the 18th century imports of printed cottons or chintz in the Indian taste, and silk brocades and damasks, largely replaced the linen and woolen weaves of earlier days. Upholstered furniture, wing chairs and sofas, and elaborate draperies increased still further the richness of the fashionable interior.As in Europe, the growth of tea and coffee drinking encouraged production of suitable silverware and the import of English and Oriental porcelains, which required corner and wall storage cupboards. Demand was also created for a variety of small movable tables and stands for tea and coffee services.During this century the German settlers in Pennsylvania added their traditional styles of design to the dominantly English tradition of the colony, the effects being more evident in folk arts than in formal decoration. It was to this style and its development after the Revolution that the first American decorative glass of Henry William Stiegel and Frederick Amelung must be credited, as well as most of the decoration on early American pottery.19th and early 20th centuries in EuropeNeoclassicism predominated in France till the rise of Napoleon, when to Roman styles were added Egyptian motifs from his Egyptian campaign of 1798. This was known in France as the Empire style, after the First Empire of France (1804–14), and in England as Regency (Regency style), for the period (1811–20) when George III was too deranged to rule. Furniture design, for the most part light and graceful during the early part of the Neoclassical period in France, had become more consciously luxurious as the Revolution was approached. During the Empire period it became massive, imposing, dark, and pompous. The usual vocabulary of classical ornament is to be found in both Empire and Regency, with some modifications from earlier times. The cabriole leg of the Rococo style became straight, and curves tended to disappear in all furniture. Symmetry of ornament replaced the asymmetrical curves. In England, in the latter part of the 18th century, porcelain became less and less fashionable, and its place was taken by the cream-coloured earthenware (creamware) of Josiah Wedgwood (Wedgwood ware), and by his jasper and basaltes stonewares, all admirably adapted to the new style. Greek vase-shapes and classical ornament were commonly used in the decoration of Wedgwood wares of all kinds. In England, the work of Thomas Hope (Hope, Thomas), a wealthy amateur architect, gained much attention through the publication of his Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807). He enlarged and decorated his London home in Duchess Street, Portland Place, and also his country house, Deepdene, in Dorking, Surrey, with somewhat heavy and pedantic design that was at variance with the general trend of the time but influenced later work.In Germany the solid bulk of the Biedermeier style, with its thick curtains, draperies, antimacassars, and padded upholstery, gave evidence of material prosperity. Many of these features were to become commonplace in Victorian England, but in the meantime, the Regency style was prevalent and contributed many masterpieces of design. Brighton Pavilion (begun 1815) was built by John Nash for the Prince Regent. Much lacquered and bamboo furniture was used, blending with Chinese wallpapers, fanciful treatments of palm trees as columns, and the most extravagant of crystal chandeliers. In general, however, the Regency style strove for elegance without extravagance; innumerable smaller houses were built and decorated with fine wrought-iron balustrades on curving stone staircases, pleasing carved wood or marble mantelpieces of modest sizes, and plain or panelled walls of light colouring, on which the use of wallpaper was becoming more common.By the latter part of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was slowly developing, particularly in England, and machinery was increasingly producing many objects of interior decoration, modifying their form to suit the new methods and reducing the price to make them available to new markets, a situation envisaged by Wedgwood. The less affluent of the middle classes became the largest section of consumers, and manufacture was increasingly directed toward catering to their tastes. In the early years of the 19th century a new concept was beginning to take shape—the notion of eclecticism, which propounded that any style was as good as another. This led to the idea that styles could legitimately be mixed together. In this way Horace Walpole's nightmare of a garden-seat—Gothic at one end and Chinese at the other—became, in principle, an accomplished fact: one firm, for instance, made a classical urn on a Gothic base.In the early decades of the 19th century, in addition to the Empire and Regency styles, there was a Greek style of marked simplicity, and an Italian style described as ‘picturesque with Palladian detail' (a contradiction in terms), as well as an “Elizabethan” style, a “Tudor” style, a “Baronial” style (under the influence of Sir Walter Scott), an “Abbotsford” style (also resulting from Scott's influence, based on his house of that name), and a revived Gothic style, far removed from Walpole's modest and amusing essay. The revived Gothic was at first inspired by James Wyatt's pseudo-cathedral built for the author William Beckford at Fonthill Abbey, with interiors of cathedral-like amplitude and about a 300-foot (90-metre) tower.This Gothic Revival produced a small number of houses in which the pointed arch together with fan vaulting and crocketed (carved with foliated ornament) or deeply undercut moldings were used with some taste and discretion. Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire (1829), by the architect Charles Barry (who, with A.W.N. Pugin, designed the Houses of Parliament), and Hughenden Manor, the house of British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, exemplify a style used later in the century with greater ostentation and coarseness of detail.In the principal European countries, interior decoration grew increasingly heavy and elaborate. Ornament came to be considered synonymous with beauty, and pattern covered every possible surface. The products of industrial manufacture were mostly very crude, and their use resulted in loss of refinement; for example, aniline dyes, which are harsh in colour, were first made in 1856 and soon replaced the softer, more harmonious colours. Architects decked out their buildings according to whim in a variety of styles.In less ambitious schemes of decoration brightly coloured wallpapers with bold patterns were widely used, and the white plaster ceilings were relieved by modelled cornices and often also by some central feature, frequently in a coarsened Rococo design, which made a background for the elaborate light fitting. Rooms became crowded with furniture, and fireplaces were often mounted with elaborate overmantels, fitted with mirror panels and a multitude of shelves and brackets for the display of knickknacks. Both furniture and fittings were draped in dark-coloured plush with heavy fringes. Varnished pitch-pine dadoes, stained-glass windows, and encaustic-tiled floors were also popular.By the 1830s there was a revival of Rococo, to be seen in the porcelain of the period and the chairs of John Belter of New York, and there was something called the “Louis XIV” style, which that monarch would have found difficulty in recognizing. Throughout this period there was a limited amount of pseudo-Chinese decoration, principally on pottery and porcelain and papier-mâché. After 1853, when Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy reopened Japan to Western trade and influence, a new kind of Japanese art began to be exported, such as the vases of unprecedented ugliness decorated in Tokyo and called Satsuma, or enormous, grossly over-decorated vases from Seto in Owari (presently Aichi Prefecture), none of which would have found a buyer in the Japanese home-market.The 19th century was an age of eclecticism. Decorators introduced the custom of having a different style for each room—“Gothic,” “Elizabethan,” or “Old English” for the dining-room; “Queen Anne,” “Chippendale,” or “Louis XVI” for the drawing-room; with pseudo-Elizabethan furniture for the library. Design reached its nadir with the Great Exhibition of 1851, in London, the low-water mark in the history of European taste in interior decoration, from which there was no conceivable direction except upward.In France, where there was a sounder tradition and Gothic had not been influential for centuries, 19th century taste was not quite so debased as in England. A light and amusing version of Gothic known as the Troubadour style made its appearance in the 1830s, perhaps an international tribute to the contemporary fame of Sir Walter Scott. Rococo was revived as the Pompadour style, and there was a neo-Renaissance period, with furniture designs based on 16th-century Italian work. On the whole, the furniture of the second empire (1852–70) was very acceptable in design, although these pieces were based largely on the 18th century; these styles harmonized well with the contemporaneous music of Jacques Offenbach and the brilliance of the court of Napoleon III.In England there were a few people who recognized the depths to which taste had fallen. The designer and writer William Morris (Morris, William) advocated a return to fine craftsmanship in furniture, textiles, and wallpaper, and started his own firm in 1861. Under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, artists who advocated a return to medieval principles, his furniture designs were based on actual surviving specimens instead of on Gothic architecture of the most florid periods. Morris's productions were well-made and well-proportioned, often with painted decoration in the old style. He helped to organize the Arts and Crafts (Arts and Crafts Movement) Society with the object of improving design. His influence was limited, however, because, like his contemporaries, he looked backward for inspiration and in doing so refused to accept the possibilities of machine production.The 1870s and 1880s saw a fashion for reproductions of 18th-century furniture, especially the designs of Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton, in which a few minor crudities, of a kind thought to be inseparable from hand-work, were added to machine-production. Much of the “18th century” furniture that decorates today's interiors is no older than this vogue. A fashion arose in the 1880s for Japanese fans and screens and blue and white porcelain, in conjunction with bamboo and lacquer furniture, a taste to some extent influenced by the paintings of James Whistler.The influence of Whistler, Morris, and others may be seen in the Art Nouveau style of decoration, which was developed in the 1890s by the Belgian architect and designer Henry van de Velde and the British designer Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo. This was a style in interior decoration which went under various names at the time—Art Nouveau in England, Modern Style in France, the Jugendstil in Germany, and the Stile Liberty in Italy, in reference to the influence of the London firm of Liberty & Co. in promoting the style. Art Nouveau was most reminiscent of Gothic, with overtones of the Japanese art imported during the last quarter of the 19th century. Its ornament is markedly asymmetrical, and principally floral, particular use being made of the lily. It is strongly curvilinear, and there is hardly a straight line to be seen. It often derives its effect from an incongruous juxtaposition of decorative motifs. In furniture, for instance, the asymmetry of Rococo is to be found in its ornament, but in Art Nouveau the whole piece of furniture in some cases is asymmetrical, one side being higher than the other. Although the style created much interest at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, it never became very widely established but was one of several leavening agents in the sphere of design. Nonetheless, its influence extended beyond World War I into the 1920s, when the Art Deco style from Paris became current (see below 20th century (interior design)). Its influence can also be found in such relatively modern designs as the Barcelona chair of Mies van der Rohe of 1929.Reaction against overcrowded, fussy interiors gathered strength. Plain interior walls in white or very light colours, natural woods, and simple doors and fireplaces were among the changes introduced by the more advanced designers in an attempt to create an original style suited to the changed circumstances of life in the first part of the 20th century.Late 18th to early 20th centuries in the U.SClassic movement after the Revolution, 1785–1835Even after the American Revolution, English decorative influence predominated in the United States, in spite of greatly increased contacts with French thought and ideas. Although many leaders like Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson, Thomas) wished to see a complete break with English traditions, the Georgian forms of colonial days persisted in common usage till 1800 or after. By 1785, however, the reaction in Europe against the rather heavy classic style called free Palladianism and its Rococo and Baroque elaborations began to affect design in the United States.Jefferson, largely under French influence, became the leader of one aspect of the new movement in the South that combined practical planning with a literal classicism based on the direct study of ancient monuments. While Jefferson's interest in strict classic form was felt particularly in architecture, the decorative phase of the movement, both North and South, was dominated by the freer and more personal interpretation of classic motifs based on the work of the Adam brothers in England, before and during the American Revolution. This was the principal influence in the designs of the Boston architect Charles Bulfinch (Bulfinch, Charles) and his followers and was popularized about 1800 in the builders' pattern books of William Pain and Asher Benjamin.The houses of Boston, Salem, and Portsmouth that were built around 1800–10 by or under the influence of Bulfinch and Samuel McIntire (McIntire, Samuel), an architect of Salem, are the best examples of the changes wrought by the fine scale and delicate precision of their Adam-inspired designs, producing what has become known as the early Federal style. In the houses of the time, the circle, the ellipse, and the octagon were introduced as occasional variations in the plan, and the flying or freestanding staircase became a characteristic of the entrance hall.In interior decoration, wood panelling was practically abandoned or was restricted to the area below the chair rail—i.e., the wall molding at the height of the chair back. Decorative emphasis was concentrated on the mantel and overmantel, the doors and window frames, and the cornice, all usually of wood and enriched with delicate repeat ornament (either carved or applied). Rich colour in draperies and upholstery was set off by wall surfaces and decoration in light tones, grayed tints, or white. Block-printed wallpapers with classical motifs were frequently used, as were stencilled decorations in the simpler homes.In general, geometric forms and the urn, swag, patera, and wreath were employed. The taste for lightness and attenuation verging on dryness was reflected in the furniture. The designs of the English furniture manufacturers George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton, influenced by Louis XVI and Directoire forms, found American versions around the turn of the century in the work of Samuel McIntire of Salem, John Seymour of Boston, Duncan Phyfe of New York, Henry Connelly of Philadelphia, and the cabinet shops of Baltimore and Charleston. At first, light woods and finishes and decorative inlays were preferred, but by 1820 French Empire influence substituted dark reddish mahogany, carved and gilded ornament, and heavy, often ill-proportioned forms considered more in keeping with classic taste.After 1820 the early Federal style waned, and Jeffersonian classicism was modified by the introduction of Greek and even Egyptian detail, constituting the so-called Greek Revival. Accompanied by furnishings and draperies in the heavier Sheraton-Empire taste, the classic pattern established in the 1820s became the basic style in building and decorative design. Stimulated by the Greek struggle for national independence, it lasted until about 1850 and constituted for the time a national style without parallel in Europe. In its later decorative aspect, however, the Greek Revival became a fashion rather than a style. As such it marks not only the end of the 18th-century Neoclassicism but the beginning of the Romantic movement.The Romantic movement and the battle of the styles, 1835–1925The ordered symbolism of the Roman classic style had been envisaged by Jefferson as a proper expression of the American national ideal; but by 1835 its restraints had grown tedious. Social and economic changes already initiated by the Industrial Revolution encouraged reaction. This found more or less romantic and emotional expression in a series of style revivals ill-adapted to actual conditions.The Greek Revival was diluted almost immediately by the antiquarian Romanticism of the “Gothic,” “Tuscan,” and “country cottage” fashions. These offered opportunity to the undercurrent of practical utilitarianism, repressed or thwarted by the classic formula, and also gave a fertile field for the novel or exotic in decorative taste fostered by a wealth-induced appetite for comfort and display. By the middle of the century the last vestiges of order in early Victorian Romanticism had disappeared under a plethora of decorative motifs and objects easily and inexpensively produced by machine. Colour became confusedly drab or brilliant and generally out of character, as a result of the introduction of uncontrolled chemical dyes and the magic of the Jacquard loom, which permitted the weaving of intricate patterns. Increased travel and ease of communications made American styles hardly distinguishable from those of Europe.This decorative salad of classic and medieval motifs was supplanted by the revival of the 18th-century forms which temporarily triumphed in the “second Rococo” of the 1850s, when rosewood and walnut took the place of mahogany. This was succeeded by fashions based on the 17th century and the later Renaissance, until the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 brought to America the “craft” medievalism and a new series of more literal style revivals including that of colonial times. These in turn absorbed the exotic Eastern influence of the Aesthetic movement of the later 19th century.In the first quarter of the 20th century this confusion culminated in antiquarianism for the wealthy and, for most people, period reproductions provided by the wholesale decorator and manufacturer. These 90 years of enormous technical and financial development are too confused and complex for further analysis here. Almost from the beginning, however, a body of criticism and rational experiment was developing both in Europe and America that was to find effective expression in the early 1920s amid the social and economic upheavals following World War I.20th centuryThe principle behind a great deal of 20th century interior decoration was first expounded in Chicago in 1896 in a magazine entitled the House Beautiful. This journal opposed both the perpetuation of vulgar display and the excess of ornament that had characterized most of the 19th century. Other American magazines like The Ladies Home Journal soon followed House Beautiful's lead and published articles on modern decorating. In Europe a group of architects and designers whose thesis was that “form follows function” started the Bauhaus, a school of design founded in 1919 at Weimar, Germany. With such pioneers of modern art and design as Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, and others on its staff, it sought to teach the combining of art with craft, and to combat the dehumanizing effect of the machine.The struggle between the desire to cling to tradition and the necessity of accepting a society based on mechanized industry came into the open between World War I and World War II. The aim of the Bauhaus group was to adapt industrial techniques to meet the needs of a society impoverished spiritually and materially by war. Their work was the culmination of the numerous reform movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; cathartic and analytical in its methods, on one hand it shocked the conservative into immoderate fury and on the other converted its radical adherents into equally uncompromising iconoclasts. Many of the “functionalist” ideas they employed were inspired by the subtle simplicities of the Japanese tradition and by the innovations and writings of the Chicago architect Louis H. Sullivan. Functionalism demanded a complete break with the ornamental motifs of the past and a quickened response to form, proportion, line, and texture. It also aimed at a scientific study of human behaviour, correlating psychological responses to physical stimuli of all kinds. The acceptance of its thesis ran parallel to the growth of interest in abstract art, and, although the uncompromising application of so intellectual a program proved immediately impracticable, its bold challenge to convention resulted in notable changes in interior design.The style that emerged from the Bauhaus, called the International Style, was felt by many to be lacking in human warmth. Its boxlike forms, its hard and glassy surfaces, its use of metal tubing and plywood, and its lack of colour and of ornament were received with mixed feelings. The French architect Le Corbusier adhered to similar principles. His famous dictum that the house is a machine brought the retort that most people do not like living in machines. Functionalist thinking, however, led to an increasing use of the materials the machine is capable of producing, such as plastics, synthetic fibres, acrylic paints, and so forth, but these materials were still too often used to simulate other materials.German Functionalism was slow to establish itself in Europe and hardly affected American design until its leaders found refuge in the United States from Nazi oppression. There the movement was brought to public attention in the mid-1930s by the need for new stimuli in the trough of economic depression, by the educational campaigns of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and by the reestablishment of the Bauhaus teachings in the Institute of Design of the Armour Institute (now part of the Illinois Institute of Technology) in Chicago.In the decade following the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held at Paris in 1925, progressive Western design was influenced principally by the less radical productions of the French luxury crafts, based on a modified Art Nouveau, and by the Swedish success in combining and developing craft traditions in cooperation with industry. These influences, which developed the Art Deco style, were, however, confined to relatively small and semiprofessional coteries, while the market as a whole continued to concentrate on traditional forms, producing and adapting them at various levels of quality and taste. By 1935 the Functionalist movement, led by the disciples of the Bauhaus program, had gained a substantial following among the younger architects and designers. During World War II, development virtually ceased in most European countries, and subsequently attention turned again to the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, where strict consideration of function led to simple furnishing schemes which relied on natural wood grains, clear colouring, and texture for their effect. Pattern was subdued and, where used, uncomplicated in outline.Meanwhile, in the United States, during and after World War II, the Functionalists, still with the help of the museums and the more progressive schools and periodicals, had gained the interest of a considerable proportion of both the wealthier members of society and the manufacturers who catered to them.The most obvious changes resulting from the Functionalist movement were mechanization, redistribution of interior space, and elimination of formal barriers between indoors and outdoors. These developments, most prevalent in the United States but disseminated throughout much of the world, were accompanied by radical changes in decoration and the design and use of furniture and fittings. Equipment for heating and lighting, sanitation, and food preparation, all derived from inventions of the 19th century, were brought to a high degree of mechanized efficiency, taking full advantage of advanced production methods. Since convenience and economy became principal considerations, utility units were fitted into living space instead of being hidden in otherwise unused areas, as in the traditional room arrangement. By insisting on simplicity of form, colour, and texture, they were made to obtrude as little as possible. In particular, the appearance of the kitchen was studied carefully, especially in smaller houses.Under the influence of electric power, liquid fuels, flexible controls of temperature, ventilation, and lighting, and countless labour-saving devices, the mid-20th-century house began to fulfill Le Corbusier's dream of an efficient “machine for living.”Reconsideration and correlation of the space needed in living areas broke down traditional room divisions. The new interior, with its invitation to movement, both actual and implied, was in harmony with the times. Decoration became concerned with function, and, because a living area served more than one purpose, it was frequently irregular in plan and impossible to treat as a unit in the traditional formal manner. Changes of colour, texture, and materials consequently became the chief resources of decorative design, taking the place of ornament. Earlier attempts at the functional mode suffered from too much anxiety over simplicity and unity and thus became monotonous and cold.The demands of space made it necessary to keep movable pieces of furniture to a minimum and encouraged the use of built-in units. An earlier overemphasis on straight lines and angles was countered by greater use of curved and molded forms in furniture design. As the average house became smaller and more efficient in its use of enclosed space and as the desire for outdoor living grew, there was a tendency to replace at least one of the enclosing walls of both livingroom and bedroom with glass. With a well-arranged plan, this gave each room an everchanging mural and better light, and it also extended the apparent size of the interior. The illusion of bringing the outside indoors gave a feeling of freedom, but it also created practical and psychological problems (see photograph—>).Despite the reaction that developed against it, the functional modern movement had served an important purpose. Although it produced no recognizable themes of ornament, it did eliminate the horror vacui that afflicted the Victorians and Elizabethans alike. It cleared the way for a fresh look at the art of interior decoration as a whole, and for the fresh inspiration that came in the 1950s from Scandinavia and Denmark, which retained the human qualities that much of the work of the Bauhaus was felt to lack. At the same time there was a revival of interest in true Japanese art in interior decoration, which has a certain affinity with Scandinavian. In the 1960s patterns began to return—abstract patterns such as those to be found in Op art. Elegant materials, easily washable, became available for upholstery, and easy cleaning made it practical for them to be produced in pastel shades and light colours.That large numbers of people had found it difficult to live with modern austerity became apparent with the immense growth after World War II of the trade in old furnishings of all kinds, with ever-increasing prices. A parallel vogue resulted in an increase in the manufacture of reproductions of all kinds, especially furniture, made partly by machine and partly by hand, leading to the revival of some of the old handcrafts.Interior design in the EastEast Asian motifs of decoration bear no relationship to those of the West, although many of them are familiar from objets d'art and decoration exported during the last five centuries. No such conflict of styles as those to be observed in the West has existed.The motifs of Eastern art are many and varied, such as the dragon (a ubiquitous and beneficent creature), the so-called phoenix (actually the Chinese long-tailed pheasant), and creatures of all kinds, actual and legendary. Flowers and foliage are part of an elaborate flower-symbolism, and there are many abstract motifs, all of which are part of a complex and rich symbolism, which can usually be interpreted if the key is known. The Chinese language contains many identical words, which have completely different meanings that are identified in speech by intonation; the word fu, for example, can mean either a bat or happiness. Therefore, a decoration of bats symbolizes happiness. This is not true in the Japanese language, but the Japanese have taken over many Chinese motifs, such as the bat (kōmori). The purpose for which a Chinese object decorated with a dragon was originally intended may often be deduced from the number of claws to the foot—five for the Emperor, four for princes of the blood, and three for officials. The pine, willow, and bamboo in conjunction are termed the “three friends,” and represent Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tzu.Scrolls of painting or calligraphy are characteristic of interior design in the East. They are changed from time to time to give freshness to the decorative scheme and also to emphasize their quality. Similarly, a vase with a single branch of peach blossom or other flowers may be set out with care. Cabinets and storage chests are of great importance and are often made of camphor wood. An important feature in the houses of north China and Korea is the k'ang, or heated brick platform, on which the family sleeps or sits in the cold northern winter.ChinaPossessing the oldest Eastern civilization, China has powerfully influenced the others. Forms and motifs of decoration, which began as early as the Shang dynasty (18th to 12th century BC), or even before in the legendary Hsia dynasty, persist throughout Chinese history. Early forms of bronze altar vessels, for example, are found in porcelain in the 18th and 19th centuries, slightly altered in profile but still recognizable.Materials are very different from those of the West. The Chinese have always been masters of the ceramic art, and their skill spread northward to Korea, northeastward to Japan, and south to the countries of Southeast Asia. Nearly all the more important techniques—majolica excepted—came from China. The T'ang dynasty (618–907) was renowned for fine earthenwares; the Sung dynasty (960–1279) for superb stonewares; and from the Yüan dynasty (1206–1368) onward the Chinese have led the world in the manufacture of porcelain, the secret of which reached Europe only after the porcelain had been imported for several centuries. Bronze was employed for vessels rather than figure sculpture. Originally purely religious in connotation, bronze vessels were given as gifts of emperors to their favoured subjects by the Chou dynasty (1111–255 BC), and from that time on were commonly employed for secular purposes. During the T'ang dynasty, handsome mirrors as well as such useful and decorative things as toilet-boxes were commonly made.China was known for its silk in the West in ancient Roman times. Fragments of silk were found in Chinese Turkistan dating to the 1st century BC with motifs of design strongly resembling those of the 20th century. The Chinese have always been noted for superb silk embroideries, highly detailed in a manner requiring a multitude of tiny stitches. Painted silks have been produced in large quantities. Velvet weaving, usually in long strips as chair covers, was an art probably learned from the West, but the art of tapestry (k'o-ssu), may go back as far as the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). Carpet-knotting of the highest quality, no doubt learned from Persia, cannot be proved to date before the 17th century, but it may have started at a much earlier date. Rare carpets are knotted with silk and gold, but those with a woollen pile are of fine quality. Pillar-carpets, woven to encircle pillars, are a distinctively Chinese type. Motifs of decoration are those common to other materials.Jade (Chinese jade) (nephrite and jadeite) is carved in China into objects with many different purposes. In early times, like bronze, it was mainly used for religious purposes, but it later came to be employed for a variety of secular objects, principally those intended to furnish the scholar's table, such as brush-pots, ink-slabs, water-droppers, table-screens, and paper-weights. In the 18th century especially, bowls and covers, handsomely carved and pierced with a variety of motifs and patterns, were made for interior decoration as incense burners.Lacquer (lacquerwork), the solidified sap of a tree (Rhus vernicifera), has been widely employed for a variety of decorative purposes on a foundation of wood or, less often, hempen fabric. Lacquer is employed as a form of paint, or applied in thick layers that can be carved with knives. It is also used to decorate structural timbers in the interior. The finest lacquer came from Japan in the 17th and 18th centuries.Enamelling (enamelwork) on metal is an art that the Chinese learned from Europe, but, in the 18th century especially, some very large bronze vessels in a variety of ornamental forms were covered with enamel utilizing the cloisonné technique. Painted enamels came from Canton in the 18th century, and resemble in style contemporary porcelain enamelling from the same place.Paintings are usually on silk, and most are in the form of scrolls to be hung on the wall. A long and narrow form is customary. The best of Chinese painting is superb in quality, but criteria of judgment are very different from those applicable to Western art. Style is to a considerable extent affected by calligraphy, and the quality and type of brushstroke plays an essential part. Subjects are usually the poetic delineation of landscape, floral and foliate sprays, and, less often, pavilions. Chinese painting is often pervaded by a subtle and gentle humour hardly seen in Western art. Calligraphy plays an important part in the art of the East; scrolls decorated with an admired calligraphy are hung on walls. Calligraphy often plays a part in the decoration of bronzes and porcelain, and inscriptions on paintings are not uncommon.The East Asian house is usually constructed of wood and tiles. The ridge-tile in China, made of glazed stoneware, is often very handsome. Architecture has never been the principal medium for the expression of the Chinese artistic impulse; conservatism, perhaps rooted in ancestor worship, has been paramount and stylistic innovation practically unknown. The basic structure of the Chinese house has remained almost unchanged at least from the Shang dynasty (18th to 12th century BC). In all types of buildings the roof is the most important feature, and by the T'ang dynasty (AD 618–907) the characteristic upturned eaves and heavy glazed and coloured tile covering had developed. The roof is chiefly supported by timber posts on stone or bronze bases, and the walls of the building serve merely as screens in brick or timber. Floors are often of beaten earth packed tightly into a timber border. Usually, a family house was composed of a series of buildings or pavilions enclosing a garden courtyard and surrounded by a wall. The courtyard played an immensely important part, because of the ever-present ideal that man should live in harmony with nature: a small pool with a lotus plant, a tree, and large rocks symbolized the whole natural landscape, and it was on these features that most care was lavished.The supporting pillars and brackets of important buildings were carved and painted, many of the designs being similar to those made familiar by Chinese pottery and porcelain. The yellow dragon symbolizes the power of the spirit, the tiger the forces of animal life. Windows (window) were latticed with strips of wood in varying patterns over which translucent white paper was stretched. In addition to the lattice-work patterns, the windows themselves took on great variety of outline, for instance that of a diamond, fan, leaf, or flower. Doorways (door), too, were fancifully shaped in the form of the moon, lotus petal, pear, or vase, for structural support was not required from the light panel-type walls. Some walls may have been removable altogether, as they were subsequently in the Japanese house; others were of painted wood, hung with tapestries or paintings on silk and other materials.A description of a Ming (1368–1644) home of the leisured class mentions ceilings with cloisons (compartments) in yellow reed work, papered walls and pillars, black polished flagstones, and silk hangings. Richly coloured rugs, chair covers, and cushions contrasted with dark furniture, which was arranged according to the strict ideas of asymmetrical balance.Little is known of early Chinese furniture, apart from what may be gathered from paintings and similar sources. Low stools and tables were early in use, and chairs, dressing tables, altar tables, and canopied beds were common by the Western (early) Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 25). Designs and materials underwent very little change in the intervening years. Rosewood has always been widely employed, and in the palaces elaborate pieces were encrusted with gold and silver, jade, ivory, and mother-of-pearl. The Chinese interior was more extensively furnished with chairs, tables, couches, beds, and cabinets of cupboards and drawers than was the custom elsewhere in the East. As in Europe, the chair with arms was thought to be a seat of honour. The woods employed are native to the country and were hardly ever exported to the West, though Chinese rosewood is fairly well known in the West because most exported furniture was in this wood. Carved lacquer furniture, like the throne of Ch'ien Lung in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, was reserved for the emperor and high officials, and the massive incised lacquer screens, known in the West as Coromandel screens, were occasionally exported. Furniture of bamboo, principally intended for garden use, has hardly survived, but barrel-shaped seats of porcelain for the same purpose are not uncommon. Carved decoration on furniture is nearly always extremely simple in design and limited to some form of interlacing fret.Japan (arts, East Asian)Interior decoration in Japan was much influenced by Chinese ideas, especially between the 8th and 12th centuries, but it developed along lighter, more austere and elegant lines. It has altered little since medieval days. The most important differences in modern design are that the matting has been extended to cover the whole of the wooden floor, and sliding doors have replaced single-leaf screens or curtains. Two sides of a Japanese house frequently have no permanent walls, and interior partitions are of paper on a wood frame which admits a soft, diffused light. These partitions are usually moveable, allowing the interior to be rearranged .The Japanese interior is a carefully thought-out arrangement. Wall-decoration hardly exists, and the walls provide a neutral background for the rest. Since the Japanese invariably cover their floors with rice-straw mats and sit on them instead of on chairs, tables are low, and are also used as an arm-rest. Tiers of shelves are common, usually covered with lacquer, and painted decoratively. They occur in a variety of forms, and the asymmetrical quality of Japanese art may be seen in these pieces of furniture, the number and position of the shelves differing on either side, and set at different heights.In contrast to Western practice, the Japanese do not decorate their rooms with several works of art, but have a special place in the room, a focal point, at which one work of quality is displayed, and this is changed from time to time. Both the Chinese and the Japanese venerate the work of former times, and the Japanese possess the oldest art collection in the world, in the Shōsō-in repository at Nara, which was formed in the 9th century AD.At that time, doors were pivoted in the Chinese manner, and instead of the sliding shōji, windows were made of wooden latticing that pushed outward, as may still be seen in shrines and temples. There was a curtained dais for the most important person and separate mats on the wooden floor for others. Then, as now, there was a connecting corridor outside the rooms. The Seiryo-den, or ordinary residence of the sovereign in the Kyōto Imperial Palace, belonged to this period and was reconstructed in the 19th century on the model of the original. A present-day family could live quite comfortably in its simple suite of rooms with walls and standing screens decorated with pictures in the Chinese classic manner.Late in the 15th century the interior began to assume its present form as a result of a slow blending of the older court style with the more austere type of house favoured by the military caste, which was much influenced by Zen Buddhist architecture. Toward the end of the 16th century came the rise of the tea masters. These connoisseurs of the “way of tea,” which involves the construction of the tearoom and its garden and correct deportment in them, established hereditary families and schools who remained the aesthetic advisers on most aspects of domestic architecture, interior decoration, and garden planning. They aimed to achieve beauty with frugality, asymmetry, and economy of movement, and much of the simple grace of Japanese interiors is due to them.In a modern Japanese house built in traditional style, decoration is almost entirely structural, and the residences of all classes are equally neat and free from vulgarity. Their harmony and delicacy derive from an endless variation of detail in a setting that is completely standardized. Ordinary rooms are reckoned in terms of multiples of the floor-mat unit, six by three feet (1.8 metres by 0.9 metre); the sliding doors five feet eight inches (1.7 metres) high by three feet wide; the supporting pillars four to five inches (10 to 13 centimetres) square, set at six-foot intervals; and the ceiling boards one foot to 1.5 feet (30 to 45 centimetres) wide. All woodwork is unpainted and rarely lacquered, but there is great variety in the fusuma, or sliding doors, which divide the rooms and which are covered with paper of many patterns or decorated with paintings or calligraphy. Thus, the whole side of a room may present a landscape either in black and white or in colours, often on a silver or gold background. A change of these fusuma will alter completely the appearance of a room, and their removal will convert two or more rooms into one. All rooms can be used as bedrooms, since the bedding is stored in spacious cupboards. The reception rooms provide more scope for decoration than the others, for one end of the room is occupied by a tokonoma, an alcove with a canopy above it supported by a pillar of fine or uncommon wood, in which is hung the picture or set of pictures that, with the flower arrangement that usually accompanies it, is the only ornament. Both are changed frequently according to the season or mood. Next to the tokonoma, there is often a built-in writing table. Beside this is usually a chigai-dana, an asymmetric arrangement of cupboards and shelves somewhat like a sideboard. Between the top of the fusuma and the ceiling is often a ramma, an openwork frieze carved with patterns or landscapes in wood or bamboo. A framed tablet with a poem or painting on it sometimes may be placed there. Other walls are of plain plaster in subdued shades, mostly of gray or brown. The ceilings (ceiling) are usually of thin boards, slightly overlapping, upheld by bars about an inch (three centimetres) square, the whole suspended from the roof or floor beams. In large apartments, as in shrines and temples, the coved and coffered “Chinese ceiling,” with lacquered woodwork and pictures and patterns in the coffers, is sometimes found. Fancy varieties made of bamboo and reeds and plaited wood are not uncommon. Bamboo has many uses in the Japanese house as pillars and window bars and ceiling material, when split and flattened, it may take the place of boards. Windows are of many shapes—round, square, bell-shaped, jar-shaped, gourd-shaped, diamond-shaped, fan-shaped, and purely asymmetric—and make centres of interest in a blank wall.The furniture in a traditional Japanese house is sparse, perhaps consisting of a cabinet of blackwood or lacquer, a low writing table or a screen, either twofold or sixfold (the latter generally in pairs), decorated with landscapes on a gold or silver background and mounted in brocade. A single-leaf screen sometimes stands in the entrance hall. Among the well-to-do, other valuables such as scroll pictures, charcoal braziers, articles of pottery, spare fusuma, books, and curios are kept in a detached fireproof storehouse and produced only occasionally to ensure a constant variety in the rooms. It is a principle that rooms that are only occasionally occupied may be more showy and fanciful than ordinary living rooms, and these are most often met with in hotels and restaurants and other places of entertainment. Just as much care is taken with the interiors of the bathroom as with the other rooms, and the doors and windows and walls of these are usually of excellent workmanship.Words of Indian origin such as calico, chintz, and palampore indicate the importance of Indian textiles in the history of western interior design (see photograph—>). Yet the Indians themselves have never been very conscious of this role, their own domestic interiors being of the utmost simplicity, with hardly more than a carpet or prayer mat to offset stone floors and plain white walls. The impermanence of the materials used for the majority of dwellings may have been a contributory factor. In more palatial buildings, however, and commonly in both Hindu and Buddhist temples, walls were painted, a practice that, according to literary references, may go back to the Maurya period (321–185 BC). Paintings that survive in cave temples of the Gupta period (AD 320–600) usually depict groups of active mythical or human figures and are characterized by their sinuous lines. A late example occurs in the unfinished early 17th-century murals of the Mattāncheri palace, Cochin, Madras. Inlay of semiprecious stones, carved and bracketed pillars and capitals, and openwork marble panels also adorned the palaces of local rulers.George Savage Ed.Additional ReadingGeneral worksArnold Friedmann, John F. Pile, and Forrest Wilson, Interior Design: An Introduction to Architectural Interiors (1970), an introduction to the field of interior architecture written for students of design; Sherrill Whiton, Elements of Interior Design and Decoration, 3rd ed. (1963), a scholarly text; Ray and Sarah Faulkner, Inside Today's Home, 3rd ed. (1968), a thorough and well-illustrated book on the interior design of homes; Diana Rowntree, Interior Design (1964), a brief and personal view of interior design written primarily for British readers; Edgar Kaufman, What Is Modern Interior Design? (1953, reprinted 1969), a very brief but perceptive treatise. A later monograph on home decorating is Mary Gilliat, The Decorating Book (1981), with special photography by Michael Dunne.Special types of interiorsMichael Saphier, Office Planning and Design (1968), a clear overview of the field of business and office interiors; Betty Alswang and Ambur Hiken, The Personal House (1961), a photographic collection of very personal interiors primarily designed by the artist-occupants, rather than professional interior designers. The photographs and comments contained in the following works make them significant sources for the study and understanding of special interiors: William Wilson Atkin and Joan Adler, Interiors Book of Restaurants (1960); Henry End, Interiors Book of Hotels and Motor Hotels (1963); John F. Pile, Interiors Second Book of Offices (1969); Morris Ketchum, Shops and Stores, rev. ed. (1957); George Nelson (ed.), Living Spaces (1952); Mary Gilliatt and Michael Boys, English Style in Interior Decoration (1967).Special subjectsJohannes Itten, Kunst der Farbe (1961; Eng. trans., The Art of Color, 1961); Faber Birren, Color for Interiors, Historical and Modern (1963); Leslie Larson, Lighting and Its Design (1964); John F. Pile (ed.), Drawings of Architectural Interiors (1967); Mario G. Salvadori and Robert Heller, Structure in Architecture (1963), a very readable introduction to structural principles understandable to laymen, but written on a professional level; Mario Dal Fabbro, Modern Furniture, 2nd ed. (1958). Edward Lucie-Smith, The Story of Craft: The Craftsman's Role in Society (1981), explores the unifying and the distinctive features of craft and fine arts.Historical developmentsGeorge Savage, A Concise History of Interior Decoration (1966), is an English-language work that summarizes the history of the subject. Information about the earliest furniture may be found in Hollis S. Baker, Furniture in the Ancient World (1966); and the Natural History (various editions) of Pliny the Elder, which contains much information in the final volumes on the Roman scene. Books about the Middle Ages are not numerous, but the Guide to the Early Christian and Byzantine Antiquities of the British Museum (1921), is a useful work. There are many books dealing with various aspects of the Renaissance, such as Peter and Linda Murray, The Art of the Renaissance (1963); Frida Schottmuller, Furniture and Interior Decoration of the Italian Renaissance (1921); Pierre Du Colombier, Le Style Henri IV–Louis XIII (1941); Germain Bazin, Classique, baroque et rococo (1964; Eng. trans., Baroque and Rococo, 1964); and Victor Tapie, Baroque et classicisme (1957; Eng. trans., The Age of Grandeur, 1960). Pierre Verlet, Le Mobilier royal français (1945; Eng. trans., French Royal Furniture, 1963) and Les Meubles français du XVIII siecle (1956; Eng. trans., French Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1967), are important works by a great authority dealing with 18th-century developments. George Savage, French Decorative Art, 1638–1793 (1969), discusses most of the objects in general use for interior decoration. Fiske Kimball, The Creation of the Rococo (1943), is an important examination of the sources of this style; Terisio Pignatti, Il Rococo (1967; Eng. trans., The Age of Rococo 1967; Eng. trans., The Age of Rococo, 1969), is a scholarly picture book based on an exhibition so titled. Adrien Fauchier-Magnan, Les Petites Cours d'Allemagne au XVIII Siecle (1947; Eng. trans., Small German Courts in the Eighteenth Century, 1958), is valuable for information about the pervasion of French art and culture. The Wallace Collection (London) catalog of Furniture by F.J.B. Watson (1956), and the catalog of Sculpture by James G. Mann (1931), are scholarly works essential to the study of their subject; see also F.J.B. Watson, Louis XVI Furniture (1960).On English decoration the works of Margaret Jourdain: English Decoration and Furniture of the Early Renaissance (1924), Regency Furniture, 1795–1820 (1934), and The Work of William Kent (1948), are all worth consulting. Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture from the Middle Ages to the Georgian Period, 2nd ed. rev., 3 vol. (1954), is a scholarly and important work. Thomas A. Strange, English Furniture, Decoration, Woodwork, and Allied Arts (1900; reprinted 1950), reproduces many pages from 18th-century English design books, including Chippendale's Director; and Hugh Honour, Neo-Classicism (1968), discusses the style in its international implications, as well as dealing with that of the brothers Adam. Susan Lasdun, Victorians at Home (1981), discusses domestic interior in the period from 1820 to 1900.For the Gothic revival there is no better source than Sir Kenneth Clark, The Gothic Revival (1928, reprinted 1970). J. Mordaunt Crook, William Burges and the High Victorian Dream (1981), is a study of the life of a protagonist of the Gothic revival style in design. Joseph Downs, American Furniture (1952), is a standard work. George Savage, The Dictionary of Antiques (1970), discusses former objects of interior decoration and their style from the Renaissance onwards. Art Nouveau has been the subject of a number of books. Among the best are Mario Amaya, Art nouveau (1966); Marton Battersey, The World of Art Nouveau (1968); and Stephen Tschodi Madsen, Source of Art Nouveau (1956).There are no works discussing Oriental interior decoration only, and information must, for the most part, be gleaned from books discussing specific types of objects, such as painting, porcelain, furniture, and bronze. By far the best source is Chinese Art, 4 vol. (1960–65), an international symposium by several well-known Orientalists that discusses almost everything of importance to the subject. A useful general survey is Leigh Ashton (ed.), Chinese Art, by several well-known authorities (1935), which summarizes in one volume the salient facts about works in many differing materials. For Japanese art, Marcus B. Huish, Japan and Its Art (1889), is an excellent general work, but few books that can be recommended for the present purpose have been published in English.On Islāmic art, an excellent work is David Talbot Rice, Islamic Art (1965); a more detailed survey is Maurice S. Dimand, A Handbook of Muhammadan Art, 3rd ed. rev. (1958). A.U. Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, 14 vol. (1938–67), should be consulted for this aspect. Franz Boas, Primitive Art, new ed. (1955), discusses the principles behind the decoration of a wide variety of art of this kind, with special attention to the North Pacific Coast of North America. Eric Larrabee and Massimo Vignelli, Knoll Design (1981), is a history of modern commercial interior design.
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interior design — The planning and realization of the layout, furnishing and decoration of an architectural interior. Sometimes called interior decoration, but preferred to that term, because of decoration s more superficial goals. Also see design and furniture … Glossary of Art Terms
interior design — noun the design or decoration of the interior of a room or building. Derivatives interior designer noun … English new terms dictionary
interior design — noun 1. the trade of planning the layout and furnishings of an architectural interior (Freq. 14) • Syn: ↑interior decoration • Hypernyms: ↑trade, ↑craft • Hyponyms: ↑furnishing, ↑ … Useful english dictionary