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The History of Interior Design

Tudor Architecture

The History:

The Tudor period spanned the reigns of five monarchs, from Henry VII in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. It marked an age of prosperity, money from expanding trade, and the gift of land to royal favorites enabling them to build lavish houses.

Signature Features:

  • Symmetrical architecture, usually an H or E shaped floor plan

  • Multi-pane lattice work and casement windows

  • Wooden floors

  • Stained glass

  • Oak paneling

  • Plaster-work

  • Stone Hearth Surrounds

  • Dark brown, gold, red, and green

  • Tapestries

  • Velvet, damask and brocade fabrics

  • Decorative symbols of the Tudor rose, thistle, and Fleur de Lys

  • Heavy thick furniture

How do I incorporate the Tudor style in my home?

Be bold in your use of a singular rich wood tone throughout the space; Mixing of wood tones (save for between walls and floors) was not normally done in this era, keeping a singular stain finish on all of the wood in a space will give it the unique Tudor feel. Cover vertically 75% or 100% of your walls in paneling and the remainder (if any) in a neutral paint/plaster.

For a more subtle Tudor-vibe, try incorporating heavily weathered deep wood tones in ceiling beams, furniture, and/or cabinetry.


Georgian Architecture

The History:

The Georgian period covered the years from 1714 to 1830 when there were four consecutive King Georges on the throne. Georgian architecture and interiors were known for their elegance and lightness of touch. At this time, comfort was the last priority of an aristocratic home owner and his family. The purpose of the home was to leave their visitors in awe of the opulence of their estate.

Signature Features:

  • Roman-inspired elements such as niches and alcoves

  • Stonework, ironwork and marble

  • Classical figures, shown in profile, and used on plasterwork, vases and urns

  • Pastel color schemes

  • Ornate trim and furniture

  • Gold

  • Extremely tall ceilings

How do I incorporate the Georgian style in my home?

For the striking and luxurious look of this era, ornament and color are the two key elements! Incorporate ornate plaster-work and trim, also utilizing Greek styles and columns. In terms of colors: utilize whites, pastel blues, greens, pinks, and purple, and pops of gold!

For a less literal approach, one could add hints of Georgian flair in the form of paneling on the walls, gold frames and fixtures, and/or ornate crown molding/trim.


Arts & Crafts Architecture

The History:

The Society of Arts & Crafts in June 1897, defined the movement's motive as: “to develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts.” The style incorporated handcrafted wood, glass, and metal work creating objects that were both simple and elegant. In architecture, reacting to both Victorian architectural opulence and increasingly common mass-produced housing, the style incorporated a visible sturdy structure, of clean lines and natural materials.

Signature Features:

  • Heavy wood and stone work.

  • Craftsman columns and wooden wall paneling.

  • Stain glass windows and sidelights.

  • Natural colors such as tan, green, and orange.

  • Simple lines.

How do I incorporate the Arts & Crafts style in my home?

The craftsman style is a very common interior used in homes today. To create an updated Arts & Crafts space, try incorporating wood paneling to cover 3/4 of the wall vertically as well as tapered square columns. Soft green wall paint offsets the red tones of the traditional wood accents.


Art Deco Architecture

The History:

In the roaring 20's, the glitz and glamour of the era directly was directly mirrored in its interiors and architecture. Wealth was meant to be displayed in its use of gold, steel, and lacquered surfaces. Another motif that is evident in the style is the younger generation's effort to move away from the frills, curves, and ornate details of the not-so-distant past generation. This is obvious in the sharp lines, simple details, and geometric patterns.

Signature Features:

  • Nudes, golds, blacks, and whites.

  • Trapezoids, chevrons, zigzags, sunbursts, and bold geometric patterns.

  • Stainless steel, mirrors, chrome, glass, lacquer, and inlaid wood.

  • Ebony, marble, and rare woods.

How do I incorporate the Art Deco style in my home?

Art Deco is an incredibly simple style to recreate in a fresh and modern way. Using a variety of geometric patterns as well as chrome and gold brings the style of the era into your home in a subtle, sophisticated way.

For a bolder art deco style space, try flooring inlays of polished stone or wood and extreme contrast between black and polished gold accents.


Minimalist Architecture

The History:

The 80's minimalist design revolved around the idea "less is more". The pastels and fine fabrics that were popular for its predecessor were then replaced with black, white, leather, glass, and metal.

Signature Features:

  • Monochromatic color scheme: black, white, grey.

  • Leather.

  • Lacquered surfaces and glass.

  • Chrome accents.

  • White walls with no trim.

  • Natural light.

How do I incorporate the Minimalist style in my home?

An important part of minimalism is an abundance of natural light, lose the curtains and let as much light in as you can! Include boxy furniture of greys, blacks, and whites as well as the signature black leather Barcelona chairs of the style. White walls and monochromatic color schemes can be broken up with accessories that introduce pops of color.


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