Interior Design Styles :
Colonial style harkens back to the days of the American colonies; that is the era of the Revolutionary war, the founding fathers, and the beginnings of the American nation. Given that, of course it appealed to mid-century America!
(Sidenote: the reason why the USA is nicknamed “America” even though there are other nations in North and South America was that the US was the first Western nation-state on the two American continents and once formed, the British used to disparagingly refer to US citizens as “Americans” in the way we might today call someone a “Hillbilly”. The nickname stuck to the US)
Colonial style is typified by Georgian architecture, which itself is a form of Neo-classical style, inspired by the ancient Greeks, both in formal style and because America was founded on the rational enlightenment principals it was believed the Greeks first proposed.
“Early American” is an offshoot of Colonial that was also very popular in the mid-century, being very close to Colonial/Georgian, but with a hint of American rustic thrown in and typified by wide knotty pine-wood floor planks, black “wrought iron” hardware, etc. Think spindle-back chairs and you’ve got it.
French Empire and English Regency
Formal usually of mahogany, and rely on simplicity of line and fine workmanship for their beauty. The French Empire style is typified in this country by Duncan Phyfe, a New York cabinet maker direct from Scotland. (from “Ladies Home Journal: Book of Decorating” 1957)
French Provincial comes, as the name implies, from the Frnech provinces. In the late eighteenth century, when the French court was formally devoted to the elaborate designs typical of the reigns of Louis XIV and Loui XV, this much simpler style was growing up. Marie Antoinette, withe her play at “country life” was party responsible for it’s popularity, but the backborne of the movement came from the country people. (from “Ladies Home Journal: Book of Decorating” 1957)
French Provincial Furniture
Scandanavian design had its great period between 1925 and 1975, hence the name Danish Modern. After World War II, Scandanavia became synonymous with the forward thinking aspects of postwar design and craft that emanated from these Northern countries; suddenly, Danish Modern became an exportable commodity. In contrast to the severity and utilitarianism of design inspired from the theories of Bauhaus, Scandanavian designers proposed a greater emphasis on natural materials and organic shapes. In this way the geometric lines and hard contours gave way to softer and more irregular biomorphic shapes in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Instead of steel and glass, plywood (generally a light color) was used as raw material which provided suggestive shapes that adapted better to the human body. To the delight of domestic connoisseurs, architects and manufacturers entered into a unique and rewarding collaboration during this period of design; this in turn raised the standards, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Noteworthy names associated with Danish Modern include but are not limited to: Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen and Verner Panton. (source Mod Livin)
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