Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
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.
It was not until later that specific representation for the interior design profession was developed. The US National Society of Interior Designers was established in 1957, while in the UK the Interior Decorators and Designers Association was established in 1966. Across Europe, other organisations such as The Finnish Association of Interior Architects (1949) were being established and in 1994 the International Interior Design Association was founded. Ellen Mazur Thomson, author of Origins of Graphic Design in America (1997), determined that professional status is achieved through education, self-imposed standards and professional gate-keeping organizations. Having achieved this, interior design became an accepted profession.
In America, Candace Wheeler was one of the first woman interior designers and helped encourage a new style of American design. She was instrumental in the development of art courses for women in a number of major American cities and was considered a national authority on homedesign. An important influence on the new profession was The Decoration of Houses, a manual of interior design written by Edith Wharton with architect Ogden Codman in 1897 in America. In the book, the authors denounced Victorian-style interior decoration and interior design, especially those rooms that were decorated with heavy window curtains, Victorian bric-a-brac, and overstuffed furniture. They argued that such rooms emphasized upholstery at the expense of proper space planning and architectural design and were, therefore, uncomfortable and rarely used. The book is considered a seminal work, and its success led to the emergence of professional decorators working in the manner advocated by its authors, most notably Elsie de Wolfe.
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