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Designers Show How Much Interior Design Has Changed Over The Past 600 Years (12 Pics)

If you ever visited your grandparents’ or your great grandparents’ homes, you probably noticed how differently their rooms are decorated when compared to your own place. But have you though how the same rooms might have looked four, five or even six hundred years ago?

The designers at HomeAdvisor, a digital marketplace for home services, have created a unique project that shows how much the interior design trends changed over the past 600 years. From the wooden panels in Renaissance apartments to the funky and abstract furniture in postmodern style homes, check out the interior design trends throughout the years in the gallery below!

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Renaissance (1400 – 1600)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Art and culture were reborn as the French Renaissance spread across Europe. Architects found a renewed enthusiasm for ornate decoration and fine detail, inspired by a new sense of humanism and freedom. Arabesque and Asian influences revitalized the decorative arts, and careful attention to symmetry and geometry brought a new sense of harmony to European interiors.

We designed the cabinet in our Renaissance living room image in the shape of a small palazzo (palace) which was common at the time. Its columns and balconies echo the shape of the building, evoking harmony. The Turkish rug is inspired by one seen in a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger, a German painter who lived in Renaissance-era London. Rugs like this were first woven in western Turkey in the 14th century and became very popular in Renaissance Europe.”

Baroque (1590 – 1725)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Turkish rugs fell out of fashion during the Baroque period, as more opulent and elaborate architecture required fixtures and fittings to match. The Catholic Church was the first to develop this new sense of affluence as an attempt to impress the uneducated masses with their wealth and power. Hence the frames of the Louis XIV-style suite seem to be dripping with gold.

Beneath the gilded finish, the frame of the furniture was often made from tropical wood. Other exotic materials such as ivory were popular, and surfaces such as floors and table-tops were usually marble. Our color scheme here is dramatic and sensual. The play of light around a baroque living room would have been exaggerated to create a sense of movement and enormity.”

Rococo (1700)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Towards the end of the Baroque period, a subset of the style briefly stole the limelight. Rococo style (from the French word rocaille, meaning shell ornamentation) was famous for just three decades during the reign of Louis XV. It is lighter, more whimsical, and freer than Baroque. For some, it better suited the intimacy of the family home than the grand church style that came before it.

The shell and floral motifs in our Rococo living room are typical of the style’s more playful influence on home décor. The cabriole legs and scroll feet of the furniture delicately balance high-spirits and elegance. Social gatherings in the home were becoming more common in the early 18th century. The Rococo style allowed homeowners to demonstrate their wealth and taste without appearing showy or stuffy.”

Neoclassical (1780 – 1880)

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“The late Georgian era ushered in a new age of architecture that responded to the Baroque and Rococo periods. The rediscovery of Pompeii contributed to new understandings of Roman and Greek architecture. This inspired a movement towards more ‘tasteful,’ refined, and timeless design principles, free from the pomp and novelty of the Baroque trend.

Notice the straight lines and logical, almost mathematical layout of our Neoclassical living room. These design principles were spread throughout Europe by artists studying at the French Academy in Rome. Note the column-like shape of the fireplace, lamps, and paneling. Colors were mild and undramatic. A plain palate emphasized the stoic, superior sense of form that the Neoclassical embodied.”

Arts and Crafts (1860 – 1910)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“The Arts and Crafts movement began in England as a reaction against the mechanization of creativity and the economic injustices of the industrial age. It was not so much a style as an approach, putting the responsibility for design and craft back in the hands of skilled workers. However, Arts and Crafts interiors shared an aesthetic of simplicity, quality of material, and a connection to nature.

The ideas and look of the Arts and Crafts movement spread to American living rooms via the influence of touring architect-designers, journals, and society lectures. Gustav Stickley was America’s foremost Arts and Crafts designer. You can see his influence in the chunky, function-led woodwork of the furniture in the image, which makes a feature of exposed joinery. This emphasis on wood, brass, and the artisan’s touch gives Arts and Crafts interiors a dark, earthy, and textured palette.”

Art Nouveau (1890 – 1920)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Art Nouveau was a ‘new art’ for a new century. Interior designers paired handcraft with new industrial techniques, which often made for an expensive process. Furniture and fittings were extravagant and modern, exhibiting the influence of Japanese art, which European artists were seeing for the first time near the end of the 19th century.

The vases and lamps in our Art Nouveau living room are inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the celebrated artist and first Design Director at Tiffany’s. His glass-blown forms were a tribute to the natural world, and their lush, iridescent and swirling colors are typical of Art Nouveau.”

Art Deco (1920s to 1960s)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“If Bauhaus and Modernism were the utilization of 20th-century advances, Art Deco was a glamorous celebration. Interior designers were inspired by the geometry and motion of the machine age, materials, and symbols of ancient cultures, and rebirth in nature. And they weren’t afraid to use them all together.

Designers created a feeling of opulence by using a wide range of materials, including lacquered wood, stained glass, stainless steel, aluminum, jewels, and leather. Bold colors and striking contrasts conjured power and confidence.

Strong, straight lines echo through the fireplace and mirror trim to the skyscrapers in the woodcuts on the wall. Note also how these lines boldly counterpoint the shell-shaped sofa, flowing chairs, and spiky ornaments and houseplant.”

Modernism (1880 – 1940)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Like the Arts and Crafts movement, Modernism is less of a style than a philosophy. “A house is a machine for living in,” said Swiss architect and designer Le Corbusier, the pioneer of Modernism. The Modernist living room utilized the latest materials and technologies. It was designed to be comfortable, functional, and affordable. Beauty was a bonus, although elegant design solutions were highly valued.

These ‘limits’ proved inspiring to the first generation of professional ‘interior designers.’ The table you see above is inspired by a famous design by Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi. It consists only of a plate of glass, two identical wooden supports, and a pivot rod to hold them together. The original Anglepoise lamp was invented by an engineer who was inspired by his work on vehicle suspension – demonstrating the close connection between Modernist interiors and the 20th-century industry.”

Bauhaus (1919 – 1934)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“The Bauhaus (rhymes with ‘cow-house’) was a hugely influential German school of art and architecture. It existed for just 14 years until the Nazi government closed it down in 1933. Bauhaus design was a radical subset of Modernism, with greater emphasis on the human spirit and the craftsperson. As with Modernism, form followed function. Bauhaus interiors were true to their materials, meaning that they didn’t hide the underlying structure of a furniture piece to make it pretty.

Our Bauhaus rug is inspired by the work of Anni Albers, a graduate and teacher of the Bauhaus school. Albers experimented with shape and color to produce textiles that were equally art and craft. The lamp is modeled after the MT8 or ‘Bauhaus Lamp.’ Its circular, cylindrical, and spherical parts create geometric unity and can be built with minimal time and materials. This type of opaque lampshade had only previously been seen in industrial settings.”

Mid-Century Modern (1930 – today)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“The Mid-Century Modern movement emerged as a softer, suburban take on Modernism, integrating natural elements. Interior designers introduced rustic elements and freer use of color inspired by Scandinavian and Brazilian furniture trends. Materials such as rattan, bamboo, and wicker felt both natural and modern when brought into the living room in the form of chairs, mirrors, and trim.

Statement lighting remains a simple way to add pizzazz to a well-used family living room. The lampshade and standing lamp in our picture both borrow formal elements from Modernism and Bauhaus but have the playful look of repurposed outdoor tools. The bright mustard of the armchair and vases exemplify the common Mid-Century Modern technique of pairing muted neutrals with a saturated signature color.”

Postmodern (1978 – today)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“Postmodern design can trace its artistic influences from epoch-defining surrealist, Marcel Duchamp, to Pop Art’s crown jester, Andy Warhol, to the ambiguous Bad Taste of Jeff Koons. It all came together in the 1980s when designers threw off the shackles of Modernism and approached interiors with a sense of humor and the brash confidence we associate with the decade.

In a Postmodern living room, every piece is a talking piece – because each one has a double-meaning or visual joke to unpack. The arches in our image question classical ideals of form, both flattening and unflattening a traditionally austere shape with an optical illusion conjured by their irreverent color palette. The rug’s meaning is simpler. It adds a rock n’ roll feel with its vinyl record shape – a Warhol-like ironic celebration of late 20th-century materialism.”

Contemporary (1980s – today)

Image credits: HomeAdvisor

“A cluttered age calls for a pared-back living room. Today’s contemporary style borrows the clean lines of Modernism and the airy, outdoors feel of the Mid-Century Modern home. Interior designers in the late 2010s love to give a nod to Bauhaus by peeling away surfaces to show the materials at work. However, today’s cutting-edge building materials and textiles can sit happily alongside repurposed industrial features from past eras.

The smooth, bare floor and uncluttered walls of our contemporary living room create a typical sense of space and light. Abstract art on the walls prevents the area from feeling empty and draws out the subtle style of the otherwise minimalist surroundings. Observe, too, the use of line to draw your eye around, such as the horizontal central light, which is both extraordinary and very simple – and seems to widen and heighten the room.”

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Aušrys Uptas

One day this guy just kind of figured “I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?” – and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that’s trending around the web. Something that always peeks his interests is old technology, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness so if you find something that’s too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Swarovski and Mass Beverly Name Brilliance of Design Winners

Ever the mentors and proponents of design with a capital D, Swarovskiand LA’s Mass Beverly showroom initiated the Brilliance of Design competition. The charge was to push the potential of crystals in three categories: lighting, home décor, and architectural surfaces. Talk about global entries. The 56 submissions came from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Greece, Israel, Brazil, Colombia, and Poland, as well as from New York and Los Angeles, closer to home.

Josha Roymans’ Aurora Borealis pendant is a wave of translucent glass and crystals capped by a strip of LEDs. Rendering courtesy of Josha Roymans.

Josha Roymans, with a multi-disciplinary studio in Amsterdam, won the lighting award with his proposal for Aurora Borealis, inspired by the so-named northern lights. The design is a wave-like pendant of translucent glass and crystals capped by a strip of LEDs that allow for color changes.

From left: Josha Roymans, Tilman Bartl, and Bahata Saha.
Rings of crystal in differing sizes and gradations of color stack in Tilman Bartl’s flexible and contemporary vase. Rendering courtesy of Tilman Bartl.

 

In home décor, German product designer Tilman Bartl won for his vase of stacking crystal components. Cited for its flexibility and strongly contemporary approach, the product has another plus. According to Mass Beverly founders Mary Ta and Lars Hypko, it is predicted to be eminently sellable.

Bahata Saha’s architectural surface has Swarovski crystals arrayed in organic patterns between layers of translucent white marble. Rendering courtesy of Bahata Saha.

 

A Parsons School of Design student, Bahata Saha, took the award for her architectural surface—panels based on two layers of white translucent marble sandwiching crystals arrayed in organic compositions simulating abstract veining.

Each winning designer will receive a $5,000 grant for future crystal projects. Collaborating with Nadja Swarovski, who oversees the company’s corporate branding and communications, the judges were Yves Behar, founder of San Francisco-based Fuseproject; Mary Ta and Lars Hypko; and Interior Design’s deputy editor Edie Cohen.

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Ultra Violet Lights the Way in Home Decor

Pantone’s Color of 2018, Ultra Violet, can bring a touch of luxury to home decorating, especially when used sparingly in rich upholstery fabrics as seen in this bedroom designed by Jessica McClendon, founder of the Los Angeles-based design firm Glamour Nest. (Scott Rickels/Jessica McClendon/Glamour Nest via AP)

When the Pantone Color Institute recently announced its color of the year for 2018, the vibrant Ultra Violet, it might have seemed a natural fit for fashion and cosmetics.

“Ultra Violet is a color that’s almost like a neutral in fashion now,” says New York-based interior designer Brett Beldock. “Every newscaster you see is wearing a purple tie.”

But this rich violet is more challenging to use well in home decorating. It can easily overpower a room, and needs to be paired carefully with other shades.

We’ve ask Beldock and two other interior designers –Abbe Fenimore, founder of the Dallas-based design firm Studio Ten 25, and Jessica McClendon, founder of the Los Angeles-based design firm Glamour Nest — for advice on bringing his trendy, bold color into home decor in ways that won’t quickly go out of style.

BEST FOR BEDROOMS

McClendon says violet can bring a touch of luxury to bedrooms, especially when used sparingly in rich upholstery fabrics. “Go with a deeper or dustier shade for a more mature look or brighter for a playful, younger vibe,” she says. “If you want a softer, more feminine feel, opt for a less saturated or paler tone.”

One key is choosing the right fabric: “If you are thinking about using purple on an upholstered item, opt for fabrics rich in texture or feel,” McClendon says. “Think silk, velvet, chenille, textured woven or even an interesting print. I’m not a fan of just plain solid purple twill cotton because it ends up feeling flat and looking not high-quality.”

Along with fabrics, Fenimore likes using violet for accessories in the bedroom “for a rich and sophisticated feel. Amethyst accents like lamps, picture frames or small accessories stacked on books work well,” she says.

CAREFUL PAIRINGS

Ultra Violet “can be bold and take over a room quickly if it’s not balanced correctly,”says Fenimore. So use it as a supporting player only.

Choose color combinations that make Ultra Violet feel like a part of the room, instead of taking over, she says. Good partners might be celadon green, lavender and soft pink. That palette, with a touch of Ultra Violet, would be beautiful in a modern wallpaper used in a small space like a powder room.

Beldock loves violet with white, heather gray, khaki, olive or camel. And a mix of violet, chocolate brown and white, she says, would have a smartly retro 1970s feel that could look very fresh today.

One warning about color pairings: “I would avoid mixing the color with red,” says Fenimore. “Together, the two shades will quickly take over a room and create an environment with too much anxiety.”

BE WARY OF WALLS

If you’re considering painting your walls violet, Beldock suggests testing a large swatch first. McClendon agrees: “Make sure you look at large samples of the paint before committing. Purple is a hard color, and it straddles a fine line between super-luxurious and cheap. You have to be really thoughtful when choosing a purple paint color.”

Look at the samples in different lights and in different parts of the room.

Two ways to moderate violet’s impact on walls: Use it only on a single accent wall, Beldock suggests, or bring it in as part of a wallpaper pattern.

In her own wall covering designs, she has used violet as a solid backdrop covered with images rendered in crisp white, or as a playful accent over a simple white background.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Ultra Violet a statement color, McClendon says. So even though it’s popular right now, “don’t commit to painting a room or a large piece of furniture unless it works for your true style.”

But if you love it, go all in.

“I’ve seen rooms that were all purple and amazing,” she says. “Again, it goes back to what your true style is and how you want your space to feel.”

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The Home Decorating and Interior Design Trends to Look for in 2017

When it comes to home décor, 2016 was the year of everything from woven wall hangings to Scandinavian-inspired interiors. And as the year winds down, soon enough your thoughts will most likely wander to a home refresh. So it’s worth exploring the top decorating trends that will likely be on repeat in homes across the country—and possibly in your own abode.

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These 1960s Kitchen Design Trends Are Actually Coming Back

Home decor trends are cyclical,but a mid-century modern revival always seems to be on the horizon. You’ve probably seen the trend in at least a few stylish living rooms. There, it takes the form of low-slung couches, statement-making chairs, and sidebars stocked with all the makings of classic cocktails. However, 1960s trends and mid-century modern designs sound like they’d look more than a little outdated in the kitchen, where most people want the latest appliances and technology. Yet surprisingly enough, midcentury decor trends seem to be having a moment in the kitchen, too.

 

Check out the 1960s kitchen decor trends that are actually back.

1. Formica countertops

Put on an HGTV show — any HGTV show — and you’ll quickly deduce that most people think of marble and granite as the gold standard of kitchen countertops. But as Apartment Therapy reports, an unlikely 1960s kitchen trend has started to come back: laminate countertops. “While some of us may cringe when we think of this countertop choice for the kitchen, it’s changed a lot over the years,” the publication promises.

In the past, laminate countertops came in bright colors and very specific patterns. That often limited their versatility. Formica itself still makes a line of retro countertops perfect for a mid-century renovation. But if you want something that looks, well, a little more modern, you have plenty of options. Apartment Therapy reports that you can now find laminate “that replicates the look of granite, marble, and butcher block so closely that it’s often impossible to tell the difference until you’re close up.” Sounds like a pretty impressive comeback to us!

2. Colorful cabinets

Many people want solid wood cabinets, either stained or painted white. But HGTV reports that one very 1960s cabinet trend is increasingly turning up in modern kitchens: colorful cabinets. “Popular painted cabinet colors in the midcentury would have been pale blue, green and yellow,” the network notes. But homeowners today can, of course, choose any color that appeals to them. (So long as it coordinates with their design for the kitchen!)

However, HGTV does have a few words of advice for people considering this risky design move. “These cabinets are best accented by a muted backsplash and wood floors in order to keep the design unique rather than overdone,” the network explains.

And if you really don’t like painted cabinets? Then don’t paint yours! As Apartment Therapy notes, wood tones began reappearing in kitchens in the 1960s, so plenty of people had wood cabinets that were stained, not painted.

3. Space for entertaining

HGTV stars and design-savvy homeowners alike install giant islands and go for open-concept living spaces in the name of one activity: entertaining. People love to have the space to have their friends and family over. (It doesn’t matter whether they’re cooking up a storm for a dinner party or just ordering pizza as everyone watches a football game.) But as House Beautiful reports, the desire for a kitchen designed for entertaining would have sounded familiar to designers in the 1960s.

“The kitchen was deliberately planned as an entertaining center,” the publication reports. “It makes the most of the modern, and easy-to-clean technology.” Many mid-century kitchens were open to other living spaces, as home design shifted from closed floor plans to open concept spaces following World War II. However, House Beautiful reports that homeowners in the 1960s were still often willing to keep the kitchen behind closed doors. (The very doors that people tear down today when they want to convert a closed layout into an open concept home.)

4. Statement-making pendant lights

Are you renovating or installing a kitchen island? In that case, you might want to consider another 1960s trend that’s making a comeback. Mid-century modern pendant lights make a major statement above an island, peninsula, or breakfast bar.

Popular lighting designs in the 1960s embodied a variety of different styles and aesthetics. You could find organic forms as easily as you could find futuristic shapes. Pendant lighting first appeared in industrial settingsin the 1920s and the 1930s. And, like many other design elements, it made its way to the home only a few decades thereafter. From glass globes to metal pendants, the 1960s gave homeowners plenty of eye-catching designs that wouldn’t look out of place in even the most modern kitchen today.

5. Retro refrigerators

A refrigerator in a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'

For at least a few years now, your stylish neighbors and your favorite HGTV stars alike have been springing for cool retro refrigerators. (The kind you would have seen in anybody’s kitchen in the 1960s or (shhhh!) in the 1950s.) The name at the center of the craze? SMEG, an Italian company that  became an American design darlingwhen it first imported its Fab28 model to the United States in 2007, The Boston Globe reports.

“Just under 5-feet tall, the Fab28 has retro, rounded edges like a piece of Chiclet gum, and is made from high-gloss plastic enamel in colors like creamy mint green and navel orange,” the Globe reports. “It features a simple interior — with a built-in metal wine rack — and a drawer-size freezer compartment. It is, indeed, underwhelmingly impractical.” But, as Apartment Therapy puts it, they add plenty of “personality” to your kitchen, in a way that a sleek, stainless steel fridge just couldn’t.

6. Colorful appliances

red stand mixer mixing white cream, kitchen

As The Boston Globe reported in its piece on SMEG, another retro-chic appliance features prominently in tastemakers’ kitchens. “The KitchenAid stand mixer remains the staunch status symbol of domestic bliss,” the publication explains. But as with that refrigerator, you don’t have to settle for black or white when you chose a retro-styled appliance. The ubiquitous stand mixer comes in an array of bright colors reminiscent of cheery 1960s kitchens.

As The Kitchn explains, “There are so many options to choose from that it can be an overwhelming task. Do you go with something classic or fun? Decisions need to be made.” Of course, fans of colorful appliances don’t have to limit themselves to a statement-making stand mixer. As the Globe explains, “SMEG offers toasters, electric kettles, and even their own version of the stand mixer,” each in bright colorways.

7. Plentiful houseplants

We can’t talk about mid-century modern style without acknowledging the prevalence of houseplants. And we probably don’t have to tell you that no design magazine editor, HGTV star, or home interiors blogger would dream of designing a kitchen today without room for at least a few small plants on the counter. Everybody loves houseplants (even people who find themselves without green thumbs).

Houseplants first became fashionable in the 1960s,and many of the species that were popular back then are still easy to find at home improvement stores today. Look for pothos vines, variants of philodendron, umbrella trees, and even orchids — all of which enjoyed wide popularity in the 1960s — for an easy way to channel the trend.

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Continue reading These 1960s Kitchen Design Trends Are Actually Coming Back

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