23 Apr Changing Shapes in Interior Design
When you’re planning to decorate your home, you will probably consider elements such as colour and texture, space and function but will you consider shape? Shapes are a big part of interior design but how often do we consider the shape of objects that we like? Shapes in furniture and decoration have changed greatly over hundreds of years, not just in the way we furnish our homes but also in architecture. The chosen shape of buildings and furniture is indicative of the atmosphere and mindset of the era in which it was produced.
Shape has evolved and it’s fascinating to look at how people from the past perceived design and the shapes they chose to adorn their surroundings. Ancient civilizations created structures to demonstrate the class, wealth and stature of those who intended to reside there. Royalty and religion were provided with huge, glorious and ornate palaces where statues, murals, sculptures and pillars would inspire awe in the common man. All shapes and design elements were about height, access to the gods and grandeur that evoked feelings of submission. In contrast, the common people lived in plain, primitive homes with flat or square rooftops signifying a lowly status and humble existence.
Another example of striking shapes in interior design and architecture is the Gothic era. The architecture was dominated by tall, arched structures and cone-shaped rooftops. Art adorned the walls and pillars were included for grandeur and height. This ornate design period was hugely popular across the whole of Europe. The style spread cross the world along with Christianity. Highly decorative interiors, spiral staircases and the use of geometric shapes were seen in the homes and buildings of the wealthy and important. Dark wood with intricate carvings was another key feature of design in this era.
As the 20th century appeared on the horizon, liberal attitudes and democratic society brought about by the Industrial Revolution opened up a world of interior design and home furnishing like never before in human history. The opportunity to be individual and create your own style became increasingly acceptable and encouraged by retailers. Mass production meant commercial goods were available in an endless mix of sizes, colours, materials and shapes. Ease of living became important, as did convenience, ergonomics, function and fashion.
The 20th and 21st centuries have seen shape evolve into a myriad of combinations and options. Traditional concepts have been flipped on their head with the shape of furniture being distorted and experimented with. Vibrant expression as opposed to conformity has become the mantra of modern interior design.
Today, people are extremely receptive of innovation in design and shape. Smart designs are creating ‘convertibles’, pieces of furniture with multiple uses, saving on space and making our homes more efficient. Lighting is shaped into unique designs such as arcs, domes, drops, sconces and contemporary large chandeliers. Imagination is everything and nothing is impossible. As 3D printing becomes ever more accessible, there are now even more dimensions and opportunities for evolving shape in interior design.