Back to News

Exterior – Interiors. Interior design by architects in the 19th century

Architects have always been interested in interior design if only because the compatibility of a building’s function and its practicality is a measure of its success. Another reason is that many master builders had training in architecture and decorative painting, and were close to artists at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Their taste for colour and decorative motifs could be satisfied in designing interiors. In fact, the idea of a total work of art, which developed in the late 19th century, became a call for the integration of the artistic disciplines. These architectural decors were inspired by a vocabulary that extended from medieval times to the 18th century, and included the influences of Orientalism. This historicist approach is revealed as much in public buildings by the use of panelling and marouflage canvas to treat surfaces, as in private dwellings where great importance was placed on drapery, mouldings and painted decorations. The salons, reception rooms and stairs were the areas most favoured for decoration by architects, such as the one in the Gare d’Orsay by Victor Laloux.

Relevant research areas: Western Europe, 19th Century

Leave a Reply