More than practically any other outward manifestation, house interior design styles can be seen to reflect the world in which they were created. Examined carefully, they will reveal much about the economic state of the people, their aspirations, major scientific developments and even the movement of populations. It is perhaps this fact, together with the amazing standard of craftsmanship and artistry that was displayed so many years ago in early home interior designs, that explains our fascination with traditional house interior design styles.
Researching a particular house interior design style can be a stimulating process in itself. It can involve visits to museums, libraries, historical homes and even trips abroad. A book, play or film might prompt interest in a specific era and involvement with a local historical society could provide valuable background information on the interior design styles you eventually settle on.
The words ‘authentic’ and ‘pure’ are often bandied about fairly indiscriminately when describing historical styles. But just as perfectly matched colors can result in a rather boring scheme, so, by being fanatical about a particular period or style, you may be in danger of creating an house interior design style that is totally predictable and rather lacking in character. Feel free, then, to be creative and, every now and then, to interject an element of surprise or an item from outside the period perimeters. Colors, too, can be liberally interpreted as they were in the past when paints would have been mixed by individual decorators.
Historically, rooms were very much allowed to evolve over the years rather than all the contents being put in place at one specific time and kept as a shrine to their year of birth. Your own modem home may feature an Art Deco wall light, a dressing table in the style of Mackintosh and a chair inspired by the popular designs of the 1950s. So long as the items have a design affinity, there is no reason why they should not be grouped together.
Few styles are entirely new – most borrow from an earlier age, the fashion of furnishings often generated by an influx of ideas from abroad and motifs stolen from a previous incarnation. Take Gothic style, for instance. This was first seen in the Middle Ages only to be revived again in the mid eighteenth century. In Victorian times, it once again became the people’s favorite – a phenomenon comparable on a smaller time scale to clothes fashions, when hemlines and shoulder pads vie for our attention in turn every decade or so.