Traditional or Modern? Why not have both?!
This question often popped up in the nineteenth. People were sure you MUST make a choice on whether to implement techniques of the past or completely turn away from them. Eclecticism changed the way people thought about design. Literally “selecting what appears to be the best in various doctrines, methods or styles”, eclecticism allows design to take the best of what was from all “period styles” and implementing them in the best combination. With the rise of eclectic architecture, it is said also came the first emergence of the Interior Decorator. Someone needed to make the choice of what interior style would best suit the architecture of a specific building. Supply and demand. A demand for decoration of space surfaced, so therefore people with such talent began to carve a niche for the Interior Decorator. Trained in all period styles, decorators had to know how to create a space for any style architecture. They also held expertise in antiques and artworks that would complement specific designs. Decorators of this period also assumed the role of salesperson, buying and selling items such as furniture, rugs, and accessories. Personality played key in the success of these decorators, they needed to be able to schmooze their clients, as well as easily adapt designs to their liking.
While Interior Designers today encompass many more skills, it seems that the characteristics of the first decorators still prove essential. Knowledge, business sense, and tact.
Did “eclecticism” define the role of interior designers? Why or Why Not?