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A Brief History of Interior Design

13 July 2016

The profession of interior design is just around 100 years old. In these years, what began as the art of decorating has evolved into today’s world of highly specialized areas of interior design.

Interior design is the art of enhancing the interiors to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing surroundings for the end user. An interior designer is somebody who plans, researches, coordinates and manage such design projects.

Throughout history, there have been distinctive features in interior design. The earliest proof dates most likely back to when early prehistoric humans began to settle and built up stable communities using elemental tools. Credit for the birth of interior design is most frequently given to the traditional Egyptians, who embellished their humble mud huts with simple article of furniture enhanced by animal skins or textiles, further as murals, sculptures, and painted vases. Stunning gold ornaments found in Egyptian tombs (such as that of King Tutankhamen) revealed the importance of more lavish decoration for wealthier and powerful Egyptians. The Roman and Greek civilizations built upon the Egyptian art of interior decorating and accessorizing.

Democracy and a more civilised way of life allowed normal citizens to show their preferences through interior design. After these important periods in history, alternative distinctive design styles emerged in Europe, notably gothic architecture alongside the indulgent beauty seen throughout the Renaissance. From Baroque’s creative exaggeration to the industrial revolution to art deco and art nouveau, interior design unfolded to the common man, as fashion magazines and prints hit the shelves throughout the industrial revolution. Modernism and post-modernism shortly followed. Designers became notable faces rather than behind the scenes staff. As countries recovered from war, there was a come back to prosperity and a large inflow in suburban sprawls. A lot of individuals began to fancy interior design as a type of recreation and personal interest. Today, it can be fair to mention that we are still in an eclecticism era, as previous vintage continues to be teamed with modern options. After thousands of years of groundwork, individuals will now play and experiment with a full host of designs to create their perfect homes.

The profession of an interior designer is around hundred years old. In these hundred years, what began as the art of decorating, embracing form and function, has evolved by leaps and bounds into today’s world of highly specialised areas of interior design that need years of study and experience. Within the early 1900’s, the term “Interior Decorator” was initially used in America. Most decorators at the time had no academic credentials, however the best of them had a mixture of good taste, common sense and natural talent to interpret and address issues like scale and proportion. The term “Interior Designer” was created within the 1930’s, by a magazine known as “Interior style and Decoration.” At this time design faculties also recognized the work not only of designers but also of architects and engineers.

The history of interior design continues to quickly evolve in a world that's at once becoming ever more international and at the same time demanding the fine-focus of specialised areas of knowledge. Interior design specialties are currently widely accepted as a part of the norm in built environments wherever the health, safety and welfare of the general public are of foremost importance, including, but not restricted to, design for Aging in place, Universal design, healthcare design, educational & Institutional design, Specialty workplace design and much more.

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