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Interior decoration or decor is the art of decorating a room so that it is attractive, easy to use, and functions well with the existing architecture. The goal of interior decoration is to provide a certain "feel" for the room; it encompasses applying wallpaper, painting walls and other surfaces, choosing furniture and fittings, such as light fixtures, floorplans and providing other decorations for the area such as paintings, sculptures and carpets. In some cases, interior decorating is performed professionally by certified interior decorators (C.I.D.)
Although the terms interior decorating and interior design are sometimes used interchangeably, each discipline exhibits a distinct difference in its scope. Interior decorating is generally focused on the selection and presentation of interior items within a space, such as furniture, accessories, finishes and room layout. Interior design, on the other hand, involves manipulating the architectural integrity of the interior space.
The role of interior decorator probably came into existence in the 1720s in Western Europe, although interior design was performed by men of diverse backgrounds. Although William Kent trained as a history painter, he was often cited as the first person to take charge of an entire interior, including internal architecture, furniture selection and the hanging of paintings.
In London, this role was frequently filled by the upholsterer (sometimes called the upholder), while in Paris the marchand-mercier (a "merchant of goods" who acts as general contractor) often filled this role. Architects both in Great Britain and on the European continent also often served as interior decorators. Robert Adam, the neoclassical architect, is perhaps the most well-know late-century example of an architect who took on entire interiors, down to the doorknobs and fire-irons. Other 18th-century men who filled the role of interior decorator include Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt and Dominique Daguerre (marchand-mercier who emigrated to England).
During the 1830s, interior decorators were responsible for the revival of interest in Gothic and Rococo styles in England. By the late 19th century, some firms set themselves apart as "art furnishers."
Modern interior decorators began with Lenygon and Morant in London, Charles Alavoine and Jeanselme in Paris, and Herter Brothers (from 1864) and Elsie De Wolfe and Ogden Codman in New York.
Other early interior decorators:
- Syrie Maugham
- Sybil Colefax
- Dorothy Draper
- Pierre François
- Léonard Fontaine
Many of the most famous designers and decorators during the 20th Century had no formal training. Sister Parish, Mark Hampton, Robert Denning and Vincent Fourcade, Stephen Chase, Mario Buatta, John Saladino and many others were trend-setting innovators in the worlds of design and decoration.
A theme is a consistent idea used throughout a room to create a feeling of completeness. These themes often follow period styles. Examples of this are Louis XV, Victorian, Minimalist, Georgian, Gothic, or Art Deco. The evolution of interior decoration themes has now grown to include themes not necessarily consistent with a specific period style allowing the mixing of pieces from different periods. Each element should contribute to form or function or both and maintain a consistent standard of quality and combine to create the desired design.
Interior decoration has become a popular television subject. In the United Kingdom (UK), popular interior decorating programs include Changing Rooms (BBC) and Selling Houses (Channel 4). Famous interior designers whose work is featured in these programs include Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. In the United States, the TLC Network airs a popular program called Trading Spaces, a show with a format similar to the UK program Changing Rooms. In addition, both Home & Garden Television (HGTV) and the Discovery Home networks also televise many programs about interior design and decorating, featuring the works of a variety of interior designers, decorators and home improvement experts in a myriad of projects. Fictional interior decorators include the Sugarbaker sisters on Designing Women and Grace Adler on Will & Grace.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Interior Decoration".