Monday, October 20, 2008
Back in the Day: When Men Were the Interior Decorators
From the other side of the pond comes a question with about whether or not there was ever a time when men were in charge of decorating the home as opposed to their wives? You may be surprised to learn that in the Victorian era of the mid- to late 1800s, the man of the household was also the decorator and in charge of furnishings, wallpaper patterns and more.
In an article from the Times Online of London, Harry Mount explains that before women were allowed to put forth their own credit or actually own any property, their husbands were picking out chintz patterns and designing "manly" rooms like the study or library with deep red velvets and other classically masculine aesthetic touches.
Not until the 1920's, after the decline of the servant class, who typically visited the stores on behalf of the family, did women get to a point where they were the "purchaser of at least 90% of the furnishings for the home."
The article is filled with examples of prominent Victorian-era men and their involvement with home design. It was written to coincide with an exhibit on this period's decor opening at the Geffrye Museum in London's East End.
Here in New York, one would like to think that both the male and female members of the household have always had equal input during the design process, and that, indeed, there were times when even the most masculine took the time to study chintz patterns!
New York Interior Decorators and Designers
Read the Full Article: Times of London