Friday, October 14, 2011

Exotic Influences In Victorian Interior Design

Perhaps one of the greatest 'Exotic designed' rooms of the Victorian era. (photo courtesy Brooklyn Museum)
Interior Design came to the forefront in the 1870's-80's. The wealthy no longer relied on their own sense of style and taste but rather turned over those responsibilities to "designers" many of whom were an outgrowth of the furniture industry.

Furniture, drapes, and stencils all coordinated into a room design (photo courtesy Brooklyn Museum)
At the same time style inspiration often came from the exotic. The wealthy who could afford it often went to Europe and the far east in their travels and the style of exotic places was brought back in furnishings and art and those stryle elements were quickly put into production by the best firms. Much like today with designer furniture , lesser price 'knockoffs' were soon on the market for those of the middle class who could not afford a designers like Pottier and Stymus or Tiffany.

A restained exterior held such exhuberance inside (photo courtesy Brooklyn Museum)
This design movement was often referred as the Aesthetic Movement in interior design. Wealthy Victorians embraced this idea of turning over rooms to designers and the Moorish smoking room of the Worsham-Rockefeller home is one of the finest examples of 'designed' spaces.  Rockefeller purchased this house, located at 4 west 54th street from Arabella Worsham. This home was built in 1865 and she later enlarged it. Rockefeller purchased the home in 1884. His son John D Rockefeller Jr donated the room to the Brooklyn Museum in 1937. The room was 17 1/2 x 15 1/2 foot and considered by many to be a work of art.


Karen Anne said...

That room is amazing. I could happily spend my life in there, provided there were books.

Paul Wilham said...

I agree, I love the aethetic Movement and furniture. The opulence of the room, clearly shows the Victorian desire to visit far away places. It also shows that if you can afford it anything is possible!