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Styles of interiors

We are happy to realize the boldest ideas of our clients but first, a style should be chosen for an interior. Modern architectural solutions take inspiration from the following art styles:

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Classicism

Classicism (17th-early 19th century) is a style with a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity, as a norm and ideal model. It is characterized by clean-cut geometric shapes, moderate décor and expensive quality materials (wood, stone, silk, etc.), sculptural decorations and moldings. Architects of that period were known for the ability to create a harmony between antique shapes and the softness of Russian nature and aspirations of the Russian culture. The lavish glamour of the Baroque and Rococo was transformed into the classical monumentality and magnificence. The frivolous lifestyle of Royal courts was replaced with tranquility and elegance borrowed from the beautiful times of Hellas. The popularity of classicism in literature, sculpture and painting started to decline in the early 19th century, drawing criticism from the artistic community which declared it dead from the cold of its pursuit of perfection. In interior design, the richness and greatness of classicism became abundant to the point of excess. The artistic legacy of ancient Greece was succeeded by that of ancient Rome as the Revolution unfolded in France. These events gave rise to the Empire style.

A classical interior is usually a regular-shaped space that has a feel of serenity and substance to it. It is not overwhelming, heavy on detail or loud but rather full of reserved dignity, taste and respectability. Classical things are bought to keep and pass down to future generations. Like good art, quality classical furniture appreciates in value over time becoming a rarity. It is usually made of quality wood such as walnut, cherry and Karelian birch, and handicraft, carved and gilded details, and inlays made of fine wood, mother of pearl and bronze make such furniture an art object.

 

Art Deco

Art Deco (short for Art Decoration, an exhibition held in Paris in 1925) originated in Paris between WWI and WWII. Stemming from Art Nouveau, it was not considered a separate style until the 1960s. Art Deco became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, partly continuing the tradition of Art Nouveau, while being heavily influenced by Cubism, American folk art and the burgeoning automotive and aircraft industry of the time. Geometrical shapes and lines in ornaments of circles, triangles and straight lines replaced floral motifs as more befitting the new technologies used in architecture and industry.

Recently, interior designers made some changes to the ideology of Art Deco, transforming its 1920s ascetic esthetics into a style of luxury and wealth, with new technology, pricy traditional materials and quality of decor having equal value simply because they are expensive. At the same time, the impression created by such an interior is not about building a life but rather decorating it. It is very straightforward, exploiting a vane, yet forgivable, human desire to show off one’s wealth. Deliberately oriented towards the past and focused on luxury, this style is a combination of exotic and primitive art. Art Deco interiors combine oriental motifs, elements of times past, different materials and art masterpieces from the first half of the 20th century, primarily Cubism, in a modern and unique manner. This is why an Art Deco interior is more a sum of its parts rather than a composition.

Art Deco is characterized by straight or broken lines, geometric shapes, zigzag, circle, triangle and sun-shaped decorations as well as round corners and vertical lines. Materials used in Art Deco interiors include fabrics, glass, bronze, ceramics and rugs with geometrical patterns. Elements of décor include fans, fountains, podiums and metal grilles. Home appliances are made of and decorated with light wood, leather, marble and chrome plating.

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Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau (translated from the French as “new art”) is a style that was popular in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century. Characterized by a departure from straight lines and angles in favor of natural lines and interest in new technology (particularly in architecture) and crafts, it aspired to tapping all areas of human activity in bringing together the decorative and the utilitarian.

It is also known as Tiffany (after L. C. Tiffany) in the US, fin de siècle (end of the century) in France, Jugendstil (after the magazine Die Jugend founded in 1896) in Germany, Secessionsstil in Austria, modern style in the UK, liberty style in Italy, Modernismo in Spain, Nieuwe Kunst in the Netherlands, and style sapin in Switzerland.

The arrival of Art Nouveau ended a lengthy eclectic and style-less period of the late 19th century. Like the high-tech style today, it used the latest materials and allowed considerable freedom in interior design. The creators of Art Nouveau kept the best achievements of the previous styles and the most elegant ideas of their time. “Not one house must look like another!” was the motto of architects of that period.

Art Nouveau with its cult of beauty and elegance has remained contemporary through times. The magnificent ornateness of the classic Art Nouveau style looks natural in modern apartments and country houses alike both when preserved in its early 20th century form and adapted to modern times. If the latter is the case, contemporary furniture can be used, such as stainless steel and wooden kitchen pieces, provided that this combination of materials doesn’t contradict the style but offers a modern version of it.

Country style

Country style has many faces reflected in a variety of decorative elements used depending on the country that an interior is inspired by. Country furniture and décor use natural materials such as wood and stone as well as fabrics for curtains, upholstery and wall decorations. The country style is eco-friendly, hence the use of natural materials: tiles, decorative stone, oak, beech, walnut and maple for the floor, decorative plaster for the walls or a combination of plaster and exposed stone and brick walls. Wood should be light in color and patterns on wallpaper should be floral, naïve and demure. Metal objects and details should be aged bronze and brass with some patina, whereas shiny chrome-plated metal should be avoided as well as high-tech glass and plastics. Faux natural materials can also be used, provided that they have the warm feel of the country style.

Country interiors are multi-colored with a rich, subdued and, most importantly, balanced palette dominated by natural, light and pastel hues. Accessories play a big role: lampshades, porcelain figurines and tableware with floral ornaments make the interior warm and cozy. Tablecloths, ceramic dishes and candlesticks make an apartment look charming. Potted plants or big bouquets are another essential attribute of the country interior. The lighting should be very soft, with lamps put closer to the floor, in corners and behind the walls, as opposed to bright ceiling lighting.

The country interior – unassuming and cozy – symbolizes stability and conveys the feeling of the country lifestyle combining elegance and practicality of a family home.

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Minimalism

Minimalism is a style of perfect shapes and proportions, contrasting colors and lighting without any decorations – only the necessary things. Simplicity, being the main feature of minimalism, along with top-quality materials, smooth textures, and the dominance of white color to highlight silhouettes create an illusion of infinite space and weightlessness.

Surfaces are perfect and whole. Contrasting colors and materials, asymmetry and memorable images make a minimalist interior very expressive. The walls, ceiling and floor are tied together through the use of a graphic palette of white, black and grey with splashes of bright colors on the few pieces of furniture and other items.

Minimalism is characterized by a monochrome palette of few colors, simple composition and plain decor, straight and slightly curved geometric lines and shapes. Commonly used materials include aluminum, chrome, steel, frosted glass, wood, stone and plastic.

Minimalism is about getting rid of unnecessary things and giving space to life and free thinking. Simple geometry, clean colors. There is nothing simpler than minimalist lamps. Hide a bulb under a whit spherical lampshade and there is a perfect piece of art. Linear forms also work, with glowing lines showing directions and leaving the choice to guests. The signature color of minimalism is white. It is the dominating color for lighting solutions – with few lighter or darker shades allowed – and lampshades. Several prism lamps grouped together fill the space with soft light. A minimalist lamp should look ethereal, which is achieved through the use of translucent and frosted glass, plastic and even paper.

High-tech

High-tech (short for high technology), also known as the rational style, was introduced in the early 1930s. Still being a popular style used for both living and public spaces, it focuses on shapes and textures of architectural details and objects rather than colors or images to illuminate an interior and make it feel spacious. High-tech spaces don’t have any ornaments or wall decorations. White dominates the color palette which also includes pale grey, champagne and yellowish gold. Sometimes black is used as the base color with touches of beige or coffee as well as pastel hues of blue, pink and green. Lighting is a key element. Forget about classic crystal chandeliers, floral motifs, cute lamps and palatial bronze and think a lot of built-in lights complemented by a cascade of small halogen lamps hanging from the ceiling in a straight line or tiers. Track and other types of suspended lights are a great choice for interiors, in which lighting plays a key role.

State-of-the-art television and audio systems, computers, fax machines and other office equipment look very organic in high-tech spaces, which is not surprising considering that this style is at the forefront of modern fashion closely connected with scientific progress and because of that, it is the perfect choice for people who prefer to keep up with times.

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Baroque

The Baroque (17th-early 18th century) is a style that is difficult to confuse with anything else. Like the gothic style, the Baroque became synonymous with the period in which it was popular and for the first time in the history of art, it brought together a style of art and a style of living. The physical life and tragic conflicts provide the foundation for this beautiful style as well as its inspiration. Baroque interiors are regal, grand and spacious. The versatility and whimsical imagery of the style echoes the complex seashell structure that it was named after (the word “baroque” is French, originating from the Italian word “barocco” meaning “an ornate seashell”).

The Baroque style is very dynamic with extravagant shapes, rhythmic curved lines and various lighting effects. Baroque interiors are bright in color, rich in the play of light and shadow and filled with curvaceous objects. The style offers a lot of opportunity in terms of walls, stripping them of their monumentality and reliability and making them dynamic and sculptural. Curves, beautiful fireplaces, colorful inlay work, dynamic shapes of chairs, couches and canopy beds as well as large wall-length mirrors make an interior look like a grand aristocratic palace. Decorative elements such as bas-reliefs, sculpture groups, vases and cartouches are used in abundance both inside houses and on the façades.

Empire style

The Empire style (early 19th century) is a grand and stately successor to classicism imitating the chic and luxury of the Roman Empire. It is highly ornamental, with military motifs, massive, yet simple shapes and an emphasis on monumentality. Living spaces decorated in this style have an intellectual atmosphere.

What are the signature features of this style? Empire chairs borrow their shapes from Ancient Greece, with legs and backs curved gently and legs shaped like those of lions and griffins. Furniture, whether made of mahogany or walnut, features very specific carvings and bronze or gilded plates as decorations. Other decorative elements include crossed swords, shields, crests and laurel wreaths.

The Empire style fully exploits the advantages of crystal chandeliers as art objects, as well as wall-mounted lamps with several bulbs and bronze chandeliers with elegant glass pendants. Glamour and luxury, smooth lines and shapes and sparkling crystal create a festive atmosphere, but while giving a lot, they require equally stately surroundings.

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While there are different styles, whose specific characteristics and features are described above for the convenience of designers and clients alike, one can’t be restricted in their desire to mix, say, the minimalist and high-tech styles.

Our designers help choose a style or styles and create a unique design to match a client’s inner world and wishes. We believe that not a single detail of an interior should be left unattended and devote special attention to the design of lighting solutions as well as space as a whole and parts of it in particular.