The concept of designing your interiors to achieve a highly functional, aesthetic and luxurious space has existed for thousands of years. However, it has changed dramatically over not thousands of years but just a couple of decades as well.
Technological advancement, changing lifestyles and priorities have heavily impacted interior design preferences all across the globe. It was in the early 19th century that the profession of interior design evolved and became what we know today. For a long time before that, interior design was reserved for the wealthy and upper classes. The history of interior design in India is much more profound and goes centuries back.
For example, there are references to Vishwakarma, the Architect of the Gods in Indian mythology. Throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, interiors became the concern of the homemaker or a craftsman who would often be employed by architects.
During this time, people preferred ornaments, patterns, textures, and decor pieces that we would call too excessive at this time.
In the 20th century, the still-new profession of interior design was being put to test as large retailers mass-produced innovative furniture that was often criticized by interior designers of that time.
Interior designers pushed for a focus on individual tastes and personalities, so space is best suited to the lifestyle of the person who dwelled in it. This is where we find the foundation of what, why and how interior design looks at present.
Top leaders in interior design emerged from Paris and Germany. While Parisians preferred and popularised the art deco style, Germans preferred a more modern style. Up until the 1940s, more and more people focused on getting their homes luxuriously designed, often showcasing pieces from their foreign travels. But due to war’s influence at this time, people were forced to look at more budget options, with mix-and-match patterns becoming extremely popular during this period. In the 1950s, the interior design went through a huge Scandinavian influence and designer furniture became a must-have for the upper class and the rich. The middle class, at this time, got influenced by emerging technology and brought a lot of appliances to their homes.
It has to be noticed while interior design has evolved over centuries, the most rapid changes in interior design trends and preferences have happened in the last century.
In 1960, psychedelic colours, and open-plan home layouts emerged as popular home design choices, mostly inspired by popular musical artists such as The Beatles from this time.
In the 1980s, as the Great Depression hit, the interior design industry went through another radical change. People, going through extreme political, social and economic uncertainty, longed to be seen and heard. The concepts of modernism, Country, and Feng Shui were introduced in interior design during this time.
What has to be noticed is that most of these interior design trends have survived and blended to make what interior design is today. In the modern interior design of this decade, we see all these trends, mixed with even more innovation and concepts of sustainability and innovation. It is safe to argue that even these are interior design trends that can be traced centuries back. Interior design has changed so much that an entirely new and popular profession of interior designers was born out of it and yet, it has not changed at all.
The possibilities in interior design remain endless as at the crux of it, it’s really about catering to the luxury and personal choice of people. What people demand and need, the industry delivers. That’s how we define the true luxury interior design and that’s what most interior designers aspire to deliver.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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