Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, interior design services expanded greatly, as the middle class in industrial countries grew in size and prosperity and began to desire the domestic trappings of wealth to cement their new status. Large furniture firms began to branch out into general interior design and management, offering full house furnishings in a variety of styles. This business model flourished from the mid-century to 1914, when this role was increasingly usurped by independent, often amateur, designers. This paved the way for the emergence of the professional interior design in the mid-20th century.
The move toward decoration as a separate artistic profession unrelated to the manufacturers and retailers received an impetus with the 1899 formation of the Institute of British Decorators; with John Dibblee Crace as its president, it represented almost 200 decorators around the country. By 1915, the London Directory listed 127 individuals trading as interior decorators, of which 10 were women. Rhoda and Agnes Garrett were the first women to train professionally as home decorators in 1874. The importance of their work on design was regarded at the time as on a par with that of William Morris. In 1876, their work - Suggestions for House Decoration in Painting, Woodwork and Furniture - spread their ideas on artistic interior design to a wide middle-class audience.
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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