Published at Monday, August 12th 2019. by Marie Williams in Decoration.
n 1882, the London Directory of the Post Office listed 80 interior decorators. Some of the most distinguished companies of the period were Crace, Waring & Gillowm and Holland & Sons; famous decorators employed by these firms included Thomas Edward Collcutt, Edward William Godwin, Charles Barry, Gottfried Semper, and George Edmund Street.
Women in the Asir province often complete the decoration and painting of the house interior. “You could tell a family’s wealth by the paintings,” Um Abdullah says: “If they didn’t have much money, the wife could only paint the motholath,” the basic straight, simple lines, in patterns of three to six repetitions in red, green, yellow and brown.” When women did not want to paint the walls themselves, they could barter with other women who would do the work. Several Saudi women have become famous as majlis painters, such as Fatima Abou Gahas.
Black and white was also a very popular color scheme during the 1920s and 1930s. Black and white checkerboard tiles, floors and wallpapers were very trendy at the time. As the style developed, bright vibrant colors became popular as well.Art Deco furnishings and lighting fixtures had a glossy, luxurious appearance with the use of inlaid wood and reflective finishes. The furniture pieces often had curved edges, geometric shapes, and clean lines. Art Deco lighting fixtures tended to make use of stacked geometric patterns.
In the 1950s and 1960s, upholsterers began to expand their business remits. They framed their business more broadly and in artistic terms and began to advertise their furnishings to the public. To meet the growing demand for contract interior work on projects such as offices, hotels, and public buildings, these businesses became much larger and more complex, employing builders, joiners, plasterers, textile designers, artists, and furniture designers, as well as engineers and technicians to fulfil the job. Firms began to publish and circulate catalogs with prints for different lavish styles to attract the attention of expanding middle classes.
The Art Deco style began in Europe in the early years of the 20th century, with the waning of Art Nouveau. The term "Art Deco" was taken from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, a world’s fair held in Paris in 1925. Art Deco rejected many traditional classical influences in favour of more streamlined geometric forms and metallic color. The Art Deco style influenced all areas of design, especially interior design, because it was the first style of interior decoration to spotlight new technologies and materials. Art Deco style is mainly based on geometric shapes, streamlining, and clean lines. The style offered a sharp, cool look of mechanized living utterly at odds with anything that came before.
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.”
In ancient India, architects used to work as interior designers. This can be seen from the references of Vishwakarma the architect - one of the gods in Indian mythology. Additionally, the sculptures depicting ancient texts and events are seen in palaces built in 17th-century India. In medieval times wall art paintings in India have been a common feature of palace like mansions commonly known as havelis. While most traditional homes are done away with modern buildings, there are around 2000 havelis in the Shekhawati region of Rajashtan that display wall art paintings.
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