Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
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.
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.
Elsie De Wolfe was one of the first interior designers. Rejecting the Victorian style she grew up with, she chose a more vibrant scheme, along with more comfortable furniture in the home. Her designs were light, with fresh colors and delicate Chinoiserie furnishings, as opposed to the Victorian preference of heavy, red drapes and upholstery, dark wood and intensely patterned wallpapers. Her designs were also more practical; she eliminated the clutter that occupied the Victorian home, enabling people to entertain more guests comfortably. In 1905, de Wolfe was commissioned for the interior design of the Colony Club on Madison Avenue; its interiors garnered her recognition almost over night. She compiled her ideas into her widely read 1913 book, The House in Good Taste.
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