The long history of interior decoration stretches back to ancient times; as long as there have been homes to live in, elements of interior design have existed in some rudimentary form. However, the major developments in the history of interior design were far apart and resulted in large changes almost at once. What follows is a look at the history of interior design, from ancient times up to today.
Egyptian and Roman Times
In ancient times, there is evidence that interior design was important to the Egyptians and Romans. Of course, at this point in the history of interior design, it was restricted to the very wealthy. The evidence of this period in the history of interior design is in the architecture and in what records we have. From the Egyptians, we have lavishly decorated tombs for the pharaohs, which were designed both as a final resting place and to have comforts for the pharaoh in the next life.
From the Romans, we have evidence that they carefully planned their rooms around the way that they would be used, which is a key part of modern interior design. Wealthy Romans, for instance, would have separate living rooms for summer and winter seasons, designed based on optimal comfort during the warm and cold months. Both the Romans an the Egyptians, of course, did take some care to participate in interior decorating as well, another important feature in interior design.
The next major development in the history of interior design came in the Italian Renaissance, when all arts experienced a surge in popularity, with wealthy patrons giving money to support the arts. It was at this time that interior decorating and interior design began to resemble what it came to be in later years in the history of interior design. Rooms began to be designed around function and form, with some of the most prominent examples being the lavish interior designs of the palace at Versailles, an expression of royal decadence. Still at this point in the history of interior design, such things were well out of reach of the average person.
The Industrial Revolution
The change in the history of interior design that made it accessible to the common man was the Industrial Revolution, which both made cheaper goods possible for home decoration as well as created an economic revolution in the United States as middle-class families soon had extra money to put towards things such as interior design. This is the time where interior design magazines were developed, and the profession of interior designer really took hold, now its own industry by the start of the 21st century. So, as you can see, the history of interior design was shaped by artistic, economic, and technological revolutions throughout history.