Interior Design continued


Interior Design continued.....


Sometimes it's the little things that really make it all come together, but sometimes it’s integrating those little things with the big things that make all the difference in the world.



Interior Design, just two little words on a page, but signifying an entire world unto itself. Layer upon layer of ever evolving styles and fashions from all over the world come together the worlds of interior design.

“While an architect starts by listening to the site, and interior designer starts by listening to the client”

The possibilities in interior design are virtually limitless. And while fads and fashions may come and go there is an aspect of functionality that is timeless. In our view creating a great look is second only to creating a high degree of functionality. Having the space to do with to love is Paramount. Which brings us to versatility, this is where things get really exciting. Creating highly versatile spaces combined with multiuse areas provides interior environments that you can live with and grow with over time. The key is to listen very carefully. Great interior design projects, seem to design themselves.


Getting Started


3 basic types of Interior Design:

Traditional Style

Eclectic Style

Contemporary Style



Popular Design Styles:

Arts and Crafts

Art Deco Style





Craftsman Style



English Country

Garden Style

Log Cabin, Lodge, Adirondack,or Rustic Style


Mid-Century Modern

Mission Style



Old World


Shabby Chic






Victorian Style

Vintage Style



Getting Started




Interior Design 101

Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an effective setting for the range of human activities that are to take place there.[1] An interior designer is someone who conducts such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, liaising with the stakeholders of a project and the management and execution of the design.

Interior design as carried out in the US is an almost entirely different practice to that carried out in the UK. What follows relates mainly to the US.

History of the interior design profession in the US

In the past, Interiors were put together instinctively as a part of the process of building.[1] The profession of interior design has been a consequence of the development of society and the complex architecture that has resulted from the development of industrial processes. The pursuit of effective use of space, user well-being and functional design has contributed to the development of the contemporary interior design profession.

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 depecting ancient texts, events are seen in palaces built in 17th century India.

Throughout the 18th century and into the early 19th Century, interior decoration was the concern of the homemaker or, in well off families an upholsterer or craftsman may influence the style of the interior space. Architects would also employ craftsmen or artisans to complete interior design for their buildings. Towards the end of the 19th century interior decorating emerged as a profession in the Western world. This was due to various actions, particularly by women, to professionalise the homemaking process. Elsie De Wolfe has been credited with the creation of the interior decorating profession.[2] Having successfully re-designed her own home, De Wolfe began offering her services to other people within her social circle. As people began offering interior decoration as a service the professionalization of this service gained momentum.

This movement towards professionalization was reinforced by the publication of books on the subject. Publications include the book Suggestions for House Decoration in Painting, Woodwork and Furniture (1876) by Anges and Rhoda Garrett, Elsie De Wolfe’s The House in Good Taste (1913) and articles by Candice Wheeler such as Principles of Home Decoration with Practical Examples (1903).[3] Most of the books were published by women and clearly suggested the profession was within the women’s domain, E.g. The two-part article Interior Decoration as a Profession for Women (1895), written by Candice Wheeler.

As previously mentioned, before formal interior decorators evolved the job was the concern of craftsmen or upholsterers. This means that many ‘decorators’ at this time were dealers in the elements needed for interiors. This called into question the qualifications of the decorator and their standing as an independent advisor. This gave term interior decorator negative connotations for some, as a painter or curtain sales person can be a self-appointed decorator. Hence, the decorators favoured term Interior Designer.[1] Interior design has now developed past the point of decoration and the terms, although overlapping, are distinct.

The most prominent development of the interior design profession was after World War II. From the 1950s onwards spending on the home increased. Interior design courses were established, requiring the publication of textbooks and reference sources. Historical accounts of interior designers and firms distinct from the decorative arts specialists were made available. While organisations to regulate education, qualifications, standards and practices, etc were established for the profession.[3]

Interior design was previously seen as playing a secondary role to architecture. It also has many connections to other design disciplines, involving the work of architects,industrial designersengineers, builders, craftsmen, etc. For these reasons the government of interior design standards and qualifications was often incorporated into other professional organisations that involved design.[3] Organisations such as the Chartered Society of Designers, established in the UK in 1986, and the American Designers Institute, founded in 1938, were established as organisations that governed various areas of design. 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.[3]

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 organisations.[3] Having achieved this, interior design became an accepted profession.

Interior decorators and interior designers

The profession of interior design is not clearly defined and projects undertaken by an interior designer vary widely. Terms such as decorator and designer are often used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between the terms.

Interior decorator

The term Interior Decorator emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It applied to those practitioners who specialize in arranging interiors in various styles.[1] In this context style refers to a composition based on an image of a certain idea, time, place, etc. For example: VictorianGeorgianArt DecoModernist, etc.

The term Interior decorator also suggests a focus on designing the ornamental and the movable aspects of the interior such as the color, furniture, furnishings, moldings and paneling.[1] A helpful way to make the distinction between an interior decorator and interior designer is that decorators can work within the walls of a room, while a designer also has the ability to move walls.

Interior designer

Interior Designer implies that there is more of an emphasis on PlanningFunctional design and effective use of space involved in this profession, as compared to interior decorating. An interior designer can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as acousticslighting, temperature, etc.[1] Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not build the space without having their designs stamped for approval by an architect, which is why many interior designers also complete school to become architects as well. An interior designer may wish to specialize in a particular type of interior design in order to develop technical knowledge specific to that area. Types of interior design include residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design, spatial branding, etc.

Interior design specialties


Residential design is the design of the interior of private residences. As this type design is very specific for individual situations the needs and wants of the individual are paramount in this area of Interior Design. The interior designer may work on the project from the initial planning stage or may work on the remodelling of an existing structure.[4]


Commercial design encompasses a wide range of sub specialties.

§ Retail: includes malls and shopping centres, department stores, specialty stores, visual merchandising and showrooms.

§ Visual and Spatial Branding: The use of space as a media to express the Corporate Brand

§ Corporate: office design for any kind of business

§ Healthcare: the design of hospitals, assisted living facilities, medical offices, dentist offices, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, medical specialist facilities

§ Hospitality and Recreation: includes hotels, motels, resorts, cafes, bars, restaurants, health clubs and spas, etc

§ Institutional: government offices, financial institutions (banks and credit unions), schools and universities, religious facilities, etc

§ Industrial facilities: manufacturing and training facilities as well as import and export facilities.[4]


Other areas of specialisation include museum and exhibition design, event design (including ceremonies, parties, conventions and concerts), theatre and performance design, production design for film and television.

Art Deco style in interior design

The Art Deco style began in Europe in the early years of the 20th century, with the waning of Art Nouveau. The team "Art Deco" was taken from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, a world’s fair held in Paris in 1925.[9] Art Deco rejected many traditional classical influences in favor 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.[10]

Art Deco style is mainly based on geometric shapes, "streamlining" and clean lines.[11] .[12] The well-maintained Muswell Hill Odeon was an Art Deco style interior. Its striking lighting fixtures include an illuminated ribbon running down the middle of the ceiling to the top of the screen, which creates a streamlined effect, with a circular light be placed in the recessed ceiling area as a focal point.[13] The geometrical shapes, angular edges and clean lines offer a sharp, cool look of mechanized living utterly at odds with anything that came before. The spacious lounge of Chicago’s 1929 Powhatan apartments which designed by Robert S. Degolyer and Charles L. Morgan is also a key Art Deco icon. These apartments note the geometric patterns on the ceiling’s light panels, as well as on the mouldings, grilles and pelmet. All of these geometric patterns provide by sharp angles and well-define lines that give the whole space a clean and elegant looking.[13]

As the influence of industrial power, the Art Deco has to be seemed as one of the most exciting decorative style of the century.[14] The Art Deco reject the traditional materials of decoration and interior design, instead option to use more unusual materials such as chrome, glass, stainless steel, shiny fabrics, mirrors, aluminium, lacquer, inlaid wood, sharkskin, and zebra skin.[10] Stemming from this use of harder, metallic materials is the celebration of the machine age. Some of the materials used in art deco style interiors are direct reflection of the time period. Materials like stainless steel, aluminium, lacquer, and inlaid woods all reflect the modern age that was ushered in after the end of the World War,and the steel and aluminium also reflect the growing aviation movement of the time. The innovative combinations of these materials create theatrical contrasts which were very popular at the end of the 1920s and during the 1930s, for example, the mixing highly polished wood and black lacquer with satin and furs.[15] The barber shop in the Austin Reed store in London was designed by P. J. Westwood. It was the trendiest barber shop in Britain by using metallic materials. The whole barber shop was a gleaming ovoid space of mirrors, marble, chrome and frosted glass. The most exciting design was the undulating waves lighting fixture that forming by the continuous arcs of neon tubing, and support by chrome structure. The used of new technologies and materials emphasis the feature of Art Deco style.[13]

The popular color themes in Art Deco consist of metallic color, neutral color, bright color and, black and white. The primary color use of Art Deco interior design is predominant by cool metallic colors including silver, gold, metallic blue, charcoal grey and platinum.[11] These metallic colors not only create a shiny and glitz look to express the wealth and prosperity of the times, but also emphasis the look of Art Deco interior design by giving life to the numerous geometrical shapes that defines this style.[16] Serge Chermayeff is a Russian designer who made extensive use of cool metallic colors and luxurious surfaces in his room schemes. The 1930 showroom for a British dressmaking firm has silver-grey background and black mirrored-glass wall panels which created a typical Art Deco of metallic look.[13] Art Deco style color schemes started out with neutral colors such as beige, taupe, cream and medium brown. These neutral colors can easily achieve the feeling about streamlined and modern look.[17] The black and white was also a very popular color scheme during the 1920s and 1930s, like the black and white checkerboard tiles, floors and wallpapers were very trendy in that times.[18] As the style developed, bright vibrant colors became popular as well.[19] For interior design, Art Deco incorporates a variety of creative colour combinations into its decor.[12] The walls were often painted with a glossy finish to highlight the brightness of the Art Deco style. The colours were usually use plain and neutral colors with the bold, stylized and metallic patterns.[20] The practice of painting each wall in a different color is very common in the Art Deco style of interior design.[12]

Since the furniture and lighting fixture are the very significant parts of interior design, the features of Art Deco style also work the same in furniture and lighting design as well. Art Deco Furnishings and lighting fixtures have a glossy, luxurious appearance. Art Deco is a streamlined, geometric style which often includes furniture pieces with curved edges, geometric shapes and clean lines.[9] Art deco furniture use glossy and shiny with inlaid wood and reflective finishes. The materials of chrome, aluminium, glass, mirrors and lacquered wood can create glossy and brilliant surfaces that define this style.[13] Art Deco lighting fixtures often make use of the stacked geometric patterns. Most fixtures were made from polished bronze, chrome or steel in order to create that shiny, sleek look that was most associated with Art Deco.[21]

Japanese materials

Japanese design is based strongly on craftsmanship, beauty, elaboration, and delicacy. The design of interiors is very simple but made with attention to detail and intricacy. This sense of intricacy and simplicity in Japanese designs is still valued in modern Japan as it was in traditional Japan.

Japanese interior design is very efficient in the use of resources. Traditional and modern Japanese interiors have been flexible in use and designed mostly with natural materials. The spaces are used as multifunctional rooms. The rooms can be opened to create more space for an occasion or more private and closed-off by pulling closed paper screens called shoji. A large portion of Japanese interior walls are often made of shoji screens that can be pushed opened to join two rooms together, and then close them allowing more privacy. The shoji screens are made of paper attached in thin wooden frames that roll away on a track when they are pushed opened. Another large importance of the shoji screen besides privacy and seclusion is that they allow light through. This is an important aspect to Japanese design. Paper translucent walls allow light to be diffused through the space and create light shadows and patterns. Another way to connect rooms in Japan’s interiors is through Sliding panels made of wood and paper, like the shoji screens, or cloth. These panels are called Fusuma and are used as an entire wall. They are traditionally hand painted.[22]

Tatami mats are rice straw floor mats often used as the actual floor in Japan’s interiors; although in modern Japan, there usually are only one or two tatami rooms. A Tokonoma is often present in traditional, as well as modern Japanese living rooms. This determines the focus of the room and displays Japanese art; usually a painting or calligraphy. Interiors are very simple, highlighting minimal and natural decoration. Traditional Japanese interiors, as well as modern, incorporate mainly natural materials including fine woods, bamboo, silk, rice straw mats, and paper shoji screens. Natural materials are used to keep simplicity in the space that connects to nature. Natural color schemes are used and neutral palettes including black, white, off-white, gray, and brown.[23]

Notable interior decorators

Other early interior decorators:

§ Sybil Colefax

§ Dorothy Draper

§ Pierre François Léonard Fontaine

§ Syrie Maugham

§ Elsie de Wolfe

Many of the most famous designers and decorators during the 20th Century had no formal training. Sister ParishRobert Denning and Vincent FourcadeKerry Joyce,Kelly WearstlerStéphane BoudinGeorges GeffroyEmilio TerryCarlos de BeisteguiNina PetronzioLorenzo MongiardinoDavid Nightingale Hicks, Chris Vowles and many others were trend-setting innovators in the worlds of design and decoration.[citation needed]

Notable Interior designers in the world today include Jonathan AdlerKelly HoppenTanya GyaniKelly Wearstler, and Andrew Martin.

References and sources

References: Wikipedia

1. a b c d e f g Pile, J, 2003, Interior Design, 3rd edn, Pearson, New Jersey, USA

2. ^ Flanner, J. (2009). "Archive, Handsprings Across the Sea". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 10, 2011.

3. a b c d e Lees-Maffei, G, 2008, Introduction: Professionalization as a focus in Interior Design History, Journal of Design History, Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring.

4. a b c Piotrowski, C, 2004, Becoming an Interior Designer, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, USA

5. ^ "Employment." Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-09 Edition, US Department of Labor

6. ^ "Industrial Design Industry Report". July 17, 2008.

7. ^ "Earnings", Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-09 Edition, US Department of Labor

8. ^ Morin Rhonda (19 September 2010).

9. a b Tinniswood, Adrian. The Art Deco House: Avant-Garde House of the 1920s and 1930s. Watsonguptill publishing company. New York. 2002

10. a b Striner, Richard. "Art Deco: Polemics and Synthesis". WInterthur portfolio, Vol 25. No. 1 ( spring, 1990). PP. 26-34.

11. a b Beusterien, John. Rodriguez, EduardoLuis. Narciso G. "The Architectural Avant-Garde: From Art Deco to Modern Regionalism". The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Vol. 22, Cuba Theme Issue (1996), PP. 254-277

12. a b c Stanley, Meisler.’ Art Deco: High Style. Smithsonian’, Nov2004, Vol. 35 Issue 8, PP 57-60

13. a b c d e Bayer, Patricia, Art Deco Interiors: Decoration and Design Classics of the 1920s and 1930s, Thames & Hudson, London 1990

14. ^ Hunter, Penelope. ‘Art Deco: The Last Hurrah. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin’, New Series, Vol. 30, No. 6 (Jun.-Jul. 1972), PP. 257-300

15. ^ Yang, Jian. "Art Deco 1910-39". Craft Arts International, 2003, Issue 59, PP. 84-87.

16. ^ Tinniswood, Adrian. ‘The Art Deco House: Avant-Garde House of the 1920s and 1930s’. Watsonguptill publishing company. New York. 2002

17. ^ Striner, Richard. ‘Art Deco: Polemics and Synthesis’. WInterthur portfolio, Vol 25. No. 1 ( spring, 1990). PP. 26-34.

18. ^ Yang, Jian. ‘Art Deco 1910-39’. Craft Arts International, 2003, Issue 59, PP. 84-87.

19. ^ Rossi,David. ‘Art Deco Renaissance’. Silvester-Carr, Denise. History Today, Jul, Vol. 49. Issue 7. PP.4-6

20. ^ Beusterien, John. Rodriguez, EduardoLuis. Narciso G. ‘The Architectural Avant-Garde: From Art Deco to Modern Regionalism’. The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Vol. 22, Cuba Theme Issue (1996), PP. 254-277

21. ^ Duncan, Alastair. "Art Deco Lighting". The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts. Vol. 1 (spring. 1986). PP. 20-31

22. ^ "7 Principles Of Japanese Interior Design". Spacious Planet. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2012-01-27.

23. ^ "How Japanese Culture influences their Designs". Design Sojourn. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2012-01-27.


§ History of Interior Design,

§ Ball, Victoria K.; Opportunities In Interior Design and Decorating Careers. USA: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

§ Farr, Michael; Top 100 Careers for College Students. 7th ed. Indianapolis: JIST Works, 2007.

§ US Census Bureau, Industrial Design NAICS Definition

§ Dekornation store, [1]