The notable increase in prosperity that accompanied the Industrial Revolution was largely based on the accumulative benefits of inexpensive imports for the colonies. This new found affluence and status for the middle-class, was naturally revealed in the types of homes they lived in and the style in which they decorated and ornamented them. Some were unsure how to begin this new style of living, they chose architecture and furnishings that had previously been only for the aristocracy and the upper class
The critics of high Victorian style, known as the Aesthetic Movement,
objected not only to the style and quality of machine-made furnishings but also to the manner in which they were used in the home. The typical middle-class Drawing room was crammed full of Furniture fabrics were used in abundance and every available surface was overflowing with knickknacks. Such displays were a means of showing off their new-found cultural interests, prosperity and status. They were also in accord with the fashionable notion that bareness in a room was in poor taste.
The followers of the Aesthetic Movement had a completely different view. Their furniture was inspired by Elizabethan, Classical Greek and traditional Georgian forms. Fabrics were generally lighter and more subtly colored.The irony of the Victorian era is that in an age of rapid and significant advances in technology, interior designers consistently looked to the past for inspiration.
Color schemes varied depending upon the location of the home. Lighter colors tended to be avoided in town and city dwellings due to pollution. Another factor in color choice was often determined by the availability of pigments. In country areas, traveling craftsmen who carried limited supplies often carried out interior decorations. Paint had to be mixed on site with whatever locally available ingredients could be found. For example, the blue-green colorwash used on wooden paneled walls in country areas was derived from the earth pigment terra verde, mixed with egg whites and buttermilk.
It is, nevertheless possible to make some general statements.
For example, during the first half of the Victorian era, walls were usually light colors except for Dining rooms and libraries. The second half gave way to much more vibrant, rich colors such as vivid greens and mahogany brown typically found in Bedrooms During this period, the general feeling was that deep, rich colors enhanced the importance of a room.
Owen Jones, architect and theorist of color and ornament, published a handbook, in 1856, called The Grammar of Ornament. The basis of Jones theories on the use of color was that it was aesthetically correct to use a complex pattern consisting of one main color and many subsidiary colors.
Considerable thought was given to creating the right balance of both color and texture between wall, molding, ceiling and woodwork. Adding texture to a room was achieved through the use of wallpaper, stenciling and specialist paint finishes such as sponging, marbleizing and spattering. In most cases it was very difficult to distinguish wallpaper from paint. The simulation of various kinds of woodgrain was another texture adding technique.
In the early and mid-Victorian period elaborate scrolled floral patterns were favored and primary backgrounds of red, blue and green overprinted with shades of cream and tan were common. Later in the 19th century Gothic inspired trellises painted in rich earth tones with stylized leaf and floral work were frequently used in all rooms of the house.
The most authoritative and influential designer of wallpaper and fabrics during this time was William Morris, architect, designer and founder of the Arts and Crafts movement. Morriss patterns were inspired by Medieval and Gothic tapestries. He was known as a genius for mixing strong, pure colors to harmonious effect and giving a flat pattern a narrative quality which was unsurpassed. Embossed paper were used on ceilings and frizes in order to counterbalance intricately patterned and colored papers. In many cases the chairs were covered in fabric to match the wallpaper.
Different types of lighting can create a particular mood in a room. Lighting just isnt mood though, functionality must also factor into the equation. Our lighting section will help you determine the function of each room is, determine what mood you want to create, and figure out how the different lighting types will harmonize in any given room.
Lets look at different Home Lighting Tips.