Monday, April 14, 2008

International Style Influcences In Interior Design

The earliest examples of this revolutionary style date to the 1930s , and this style ushered in a bold new approach to architecture that would revolutionize commercial and residential building for decades to come. The movement originated in Europe, emphasizing the use of modern materials and building techniques, and placing function first over ornamentation. Until the advent of this new trend, the practice had been to create houses and buildings inspired by past architectural themes. Proponents considered International Style the most elemental form of Modernism. Architects did away with many traditional classical details, such as decorative molding over doors and windows, eaves, and pediments.
These Modernists designed buildings with flat roofs, smooth facades and generous bands of windows. The most influential leaders of the style were European and brought their ideas to America in the 1930s. Key figures included Le Corbusier in France, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in
In large architect-designed houses, walls were not used for structural support, but rather hung like curtains over a structural steel skeleton. This allowed facade treatments that had previously been impossible. Bands of metal casement windows could now wrap around corners or extend from floor to ceiling. Buildings tended to be asymmetrical, sometimes with rounded corners. Landscaping that accompanied these structures were also minimal.
Glass, steel, aluminum, concrete and plaster were favored building materials. Following World War II, the high-end residential style morphed into a contemporary vernacular that deviated from true International Style, although flat roofs were retained and simple or no detail is a hallmark of contemporary style. Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and Rancho Mirage neighborhoods have many examples of this contemporary style which is also known as “desert contemporary." While much of the interior design projects at William Miller Design fall under this category, we also have produced homes for clients that are Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern and California Tuscan.
Interior walls became simply partitions, which permited much greater flexibility in room layouts. Former emphasis on specific rooms gave way to a much looser sense of overlapping spaces. Thus was the birth of the “open floor plan”. On walls surfaces became smooth and un textured- wall surfaces bare, and colors tended to be in black, white, gray or beige. The monochromatic color scheme was the fashion of the day. Travertine marble and polished stone were favored for interior surfaces. Furnishings were stark and low with accents of chrome, glass a the newly fashionable Lucite. Upholstery and accents were simple in keeping with the architectural trend.

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