Monday, January 29, 2007

Victorian Era

The Industrial Revolution created a new society, and its impacts have affected everything since, including the Victorian Era. This era brought on an concept of 'codes' that the upper class and upcoming middle class had to hold. This included the idea of what women were supposed to do, how the house was managed, and how the house should be decorated. The ornate detail of homes and rich fabrics were used to represent how well off the upper class was. The middle class was rising and they also used these decorations to display their wealth and power.The homes during the Victorian Era were becoming larger, more complex, and spatially designed. The house was designed around specific tasks, designated areas for men, women, children, and servants, and into public and private areas. This allowed for more rooms in the house, which resulted in more decoration of those rooms.
The decorations that filled these improved homes were made of many different materials, made available for use from the Industrial Revolution. These materials included newly usable wrought and cast iron for chairs, larger sheets of plate glass for windows, and large sheets of fabric for curtains and chair upholstery. Every room was covered in ornate and detailed decoration. Not only were the rooms decorated in this manner, but the walls, ceilings and floors were as well, with wallpaper, plaster, and parquet. (History of Interior Design and Furniture, Blakemore.)
The Victorian Era was also a time of somewhat conflicting styles; traditional and Gothic Revival. This Gothic revival was led by A. W. N. Pugin, who wrote books showing the significance of the Gothic style, reflected through Catholicism. The traditional style was the more common of the two during this period, which reflected on past styles.
After reflecting on the Victorian Era house, from the spacial planning to decorations, how do you think it was impacted and/or changed by the Industrial Revolution?

7 comments:

Megandrees said...

The industrial revolution had a dramatic impact on how we use our homes. Everything from the way that the rooms are arranged to the type of furniture that is used was changed after the industrial revolution. One area of interest is the kitchen. Their used to be concern that the kitchen would ketch fire easily, so it was put in the back of the house or not even attached to the house. When the industrial revolution happened, the kitchen became safer and moved closer to the dinning area. Different appliances were created to make life easier and eventually the dinning room wasn't as important as the eat-in kitchen.

Mallory said...

The Industrial Revolution had a huge impact on the Victorian Era, as well as modern day life. The Industrial Revolution really was what made the Victorian Era possible- without mass production and assembly lines, the gaudy, elaborate furniture and decorative elements that define the Victorian Era would not be possible. The Industrial Revolution also opened up the goods market- by creating needed goods cheaper via mass production, the people of the Victorian Era were able to create un-needed goods, such as the frilly doilies and countless creams and such that also helped to define the frilly, prissy image that is the Victorian Era.

kelsdietz said...

The Industrial Revolution did in fact make a huge impact on our now modern day homes. With the invention and introduction into homes during the Victorian Era of electrcity, the light blub, central heating, gas stoves, and even bathrooms. All necessitates that we take for granted today. However with out the Industrail Revolution they wouldn't be in our current homes and we all would be living very different and harder lives.

spees said...

Yes, i definitely think that the Industrial Revolution had a large effect on the Victorian Era homes. Not only were surburban houses created in British cities, but also the items inside were a product of the Revolution. The mass amount of gaudy ornamentation used in many Victorian homes caused the ornamentation produced to be cheaper because so many people wanted to be part of this "style". Storage and utility were addressed by creating new special specific spaces such as closets and servant staircases. Even the furniture used in Victorian homes had a lot to do with what could be mass produced. If the products could be inexpensively produced then more people could use them in their homes. And the more people using the products just spurred the Industrial Revolution even more. Therefore, the Industrial Revolution had a tremendous impact in making a popular style be available to the middle class.

kinseyjanzen said...

The industrial revolution changed our entire outlook on homes. Because of the developments of that time, like heating systems and gas lighting, people could focus more on the asthetics and comfort of the home. Now, instead of focusing on practical things like they had before the industrial revolution, people were concentrating more on unnecessary adornment. Also because of the industrial revolution, factory processes were streamlined, so goods were cheaper and more readily available to the growing middle class. Therefore, the Victorian Era would not have even come to pass, because people would still be focusing on the necessities instead of the esthetics and heavy adornment of the period.

Brad said...

The Industrial Revolution is what spured the evolvement of the Victorian style. Without the msss production of decorative items for homes people would not have been able to over adorn their spaces. The machinery invented to be able to mass produce large bolts of fabric that would darken many of the rooms of the Victorian Era typically in dark colors such as olive green or mauve came from the Industrial Revolution. Also the Industrial Revolution brought about more people with more money than ever before whom needed to buy their way into society and were interested in keeping up with those around them. This is another reason in the Victorian Era the homes were so cluttered, it was to show to others how much they could afford to buy. The Victorian style places an emphasis of quantity not quality two waring schools of thought that still exist today.

Jennifer Litsey said...

I agree that this period was not as asthetically pleasing as others. It seems as if they had just come up with the idea of decorating, so they wanted to decorate EVERYTHING. And it just becomes too much, and all you see is clutter. But this period was also very important for us in terms of things that we learned. For example the things that Caitlin mentioned about what women learned of what they should do, and all of the discoveries that were made, all of these things were very necessary for us to proceed. Well...maybe not necessary, but we like to think so these days.

This blog is intended for the interior design students in the college of design at the University of Kentucky. It was created with the intent to present students with information, providing them with a channel for contemplation and discussion.