Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
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.
By the turn of the 20th century, amateur advisors and publications were increasingly challenging the monopoly that the large retail companies had on interior design. English feminist author Mary Haweis wrote a series of widely read essays in the 1880s in which she derided the eagerness with which aspiring middle-class people furnished their houses according to the rigid models offered to them by the retailers. She advocated the individual adoption of a particular style, tailor made to the individual needs and preferences of the customer "One of my strongest convictions, and one of the first canons of good taste, is that our houses, like the fish’s shell and the bird’s nest, ought to represent our individual taste and habits.
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.
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