Published at Friday, August 09th 2019. by Marie Williams in Decoration.
In England, Syrie Maugham became a legendary interior designer credited with designing the first all-white room. Starting her career in the early 1910s, her international reputation soon grew; she later expanded her business to New York City and Chicago. Born during the Victorian Era, a time characterized by dark colors and small spaces, she instead designed rooms filled with light and furnished in multiple shades of white and mirrored screens. In addition to mirrored screens, her trademark pieces included: books covered in white vellum, cutlery with white porcelain handles, console tables with plaster palm-frond, shell, or dolphin bases, upholstered and fringed sleigh beds, fur carpets, dining chairs covered in white leather, and lamps of graduated glass balls, and wreaths.
The geometric designs and heavy lines seem to be adapted from the area’s textile and weaving patterns. “In contrast with the sobriety of architecture and decoration in the rest of Arabia, exuberant color and ornamentation characterize those of Asir. The painting extends into the house over the walls and doors, up the staircases, and onto the furniture itself. When a house is being painted, women from the community help each other finish the job. The building then displays their shared taste and knowledge. Mothers pass these on to their daughters. This artwork is based on a geometry of straight lines and suggests the patterns common to textile weaving, with solid bands of different colors. Certain motifs reappear, such as the triangular mihrab or niche and the palmette. In the past, paint was produced from mineral and vegetable pigments. Cloves and alfalfa yielded green. Blue came from the indigo plant. Red came from pomegranates and a certain mud. Paintbrushes were created from the tough hair found in a goats tail. Today, however, women use modern manufactured paint to create new looks, which have become an indicator of social and economic change.”
Art Deco rejected traditional materials of decoration and interior design, opting instead to use more unusual materials such as chrome, glass, stainless steel, shiny fabrics, mirrors, aluminium, lacquer, inlaid wood, sharkskin, and zebra skin. The use of harder, metallic materials was chosen to celebrate the machine age. These materials reflected the dawning modern age that was ushered in after the end of the First World War. The innovative combinations of these materials created contrasts that were very popular at the time - for example the mixing together of highly polished wood and black lacquer with satin and furs. The barber shop in the Austin Reed store in London was designed by P. J. Westwood. It was soon regarded as the trendiest barber shop in Britain due to its use of metallic materials.
The color themes of Art Deco consisted of metallic color, neutral color, bright color, and black and white. In interior design, cool metallic colors including silver, gold, metallic blue, charcoal grey, and platinum tended to predominate. Serge Chermayeff, a Russian-born British designer made extensive use of cool metallic colors and luxurious surfaces in his room schemes. His 1930 showroom design for a British dressmaking firm had a silver-grey background and black mirrored-glass wall panels.
There are a wide range of working conditions and employment opportunities within interior design. Large and tiny corporations often hire interior designers as employees on regular working hours. Designers for smaller firms and online renovation platforms usually work on a contract or per-job basis. Self-employed designers, which make up 26% of interior designers, usually work the most hours. Interior designers often work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and meet clients needs.
This type of firm emerged in America after the Civil War. The Herter Brothers, founded by two German emigre brothers, began as an upholstery warehouse and became one of the first firms of furniture makers and interior decorators. With their own design office and cabinet-making and upholstery workshops, Herter Brothers were prepared to accomplish every aspect of interior furnishing including decorative paneling and mantels, wall and ceiling decoration, patterned floors, and carpets and draperies.
Interior designer implies that there is more of an emphasis on planning, functional design and the effective use of space, as compared to interior decorating. An interior designer in fineline design can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as window and door positioning, acoustics, and lighting. Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not alter load-bearing walls without having their designs stamped for approval by a structural engineer. Interior designers often work directly with architects, engineers and contractors.
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