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Interiors Continued….

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Designers carefully calculate proportions of rooms, chimneypieces, door and window surrounds, and other details with complex formulas given by pattern book writers or the masters, such as Palladio, or derived from antique models. Rooms are decorated according to their significance; the more important the room, the larger the scale and the more extravagant its decoration. By mid-century, Rococo, Chinese, and Gothic forms and motifs appear more frequently on walls, ceilings, chimneypieces, textiles, wallpapers, and furniture. English Rococo, more conservative than the French, emerges mainly as ornamentation instead of form in both interiors and furniture. 

By the 1720s, lighter hues, particularly white, replace earlier dark colors. As the period progresses, more colors in various intensities and values become available, including pea green, olive green, gray green, gray, sky blue, straw yellow, and a variety of gray or brown stone colors. Stone colors are considered most appropriate for halls whereas stronger colors work better in other rooms. 

Floor materials are wood or masonry. Oak, pine, or fir board floors have random dimensions. Wood floors are not varnished, but they are scrubbed with sand or limewash that produces a silvery sheen. Parquet distinguishes the grandest rooms. Paint, in solids or patterns, disguises cheaper woods. Stone and marble floors are limited to entrances and ground-floor rooms because of their weight. They follow a variety of geometric patterns and colors, but black and white or grays are especially favored.

Wallpaper begins to be used in public and reception rooms during the period. The thick and heavy paper comes in squares, which are matched and glued to the wall. Backgrounds are colorwashed by hand, and patterns hand-blocked. Types include flocked papers imitating cut-piled fabrics, architectural papers, papers incorporating prints or antique statues, and simple repetitive patterns. 

 Textile use grows during the period as new inventions increase the speed of production, produce better products, and lower costs. Carpets and curtains become more common, and bedhangings are even more elaborate. Textiles provide much of the color in rooms. Typical textiles include velvets, silks, wools, linens, cottons, and leather.


 Artificial lighting, generally minimal, comes primarily from fireplaces, rushlights, or candles; oil lamps are rare before the 1780s. Light fixtures include candlesticks, candelabra, and/or wall sconces. To increase light, candlesticks and candelabra are placed in front of mirrors, and sconces have mirrored or shiny metal backs. Shiny textures and glossy finishes also reflect and increase light. Although chandeliers of glass, wood, or metal are available, they remain rare in most homes.








Written by callawayinteriordesign

June 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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