If you have read any interior design books/articles, visited
a few websites on the internet, you will find the word theme used
What exactly is a theme-based design?
A theme according to me is a collection of various parameters of
design of an interior space. So a theme may include a certain set
colors, materials, repetition of a certain element, such as
a decorative item, etc…
Primarily there are two basic themes under which a design can
be categorized, 1)Oriental 2)Contemporary.
Oriental Bedroom Design Theme:
These kind of themes have a still drilled down niche design
themes, such as country, rustic, vintage, elegant, etc…
One of the major thing about these kind of themes is that much
emphasis is given on the natural beauty of any material.
These designs are close to nature or are shown to be close to
These kind of design styles are very rarely found in the urban
city interiors. Mostly the countryside homes adopt these kind if
themes, to replicate the flora and fauna of the outside environment.
The designer tries to include the patters seen in nature, such as
leaves, flowers, plants. All these natural patterns are seen on
wallpaper patterns, decorative lamps, curtains, furniture
upholstery, wall paintings, etc…
Homes which are build on country side such as farm houses, the scarcity
of space is not an issue, but this creates another problem as far as
designing interiors is concerned.
A bedroom, no matter of what size it is, requires some basic
furniture elements as functional needs, such as a double bed,
dressing table, wardrobes, study tables, a book shelf etc..
It is sometimes possible that because of the large spaces, the
bedroom looks empty after the furniture is arranged. At such
times “decoration” plays a major role. During ancient years
the palaces and castles had such large built spaces, where
extensive use of decoration was used in the form of paintings,
heavy decorative flooring patterns, carvings, moldings as a
decorative architectural elements.
So in this oriental design trend, decoration of the space using
various accessories plays a major role.
Contemporary design Theme:
These kind of design themes are very new as compared to the
previously mentioned oriental design theme. But how did the
designers came along using these kind of designs?
During the starting years of the 20th century, the “Industrial
Revolution” in Europe changed the face of our planet. It
was easy to design and manufacture goods on a mass scale
with amazing speed and efficiency.
This created a flood of industries in and around the cities.
These cities attracted large amount of people to migrate from
rural areas to city centers in search of a living.
Because of this migratory effect there was a sudden need of
housing requirement for the workers. This is where the concept of
an “apartment” was introduced. Because of the pressure of demand,
a school of thoughts emerged within the architects, who
believed that “simplicity” is the need of today’s era.
They thought that, the design of the building has to be simple
and easy to build, then only we can compete with the growing
demand of housing needs in cities. That’s why simple designs with mostly plane and square faces with square or rectangular openings
were used. These forms and masses were easy to build and still
beautiful. If everything from “safety pins” to “space ships”
could be built on a mass scale, why not “buildings”.
The school of thought believed that a plane rectangular form
is in itself beautiful and they proved this using infinite
permutations and combinations of the basic square form. That’s
why decoration was given a second preference. Today we call this
school of thought as “contemporary”. In contemporary design
every element has an order.
That’s why in today’s modern interior design, simplicity is the
key to an efficient design. Unlike the previous oriental design
theme, the contemporary design theme states that any kind of
architectural decoration is always dependent on the basic form
of the building. The form itself is so beautiful, that the need
to further decorate it is not required. Today’s modern interiors
spaces are simple to understand, simple to construct, and
project a kind of simplicity.
By reading the above paragraphs some of you might say that,
decoration is no more needed. But this is not true. I am not trying
to force some ideas here. But most people confuse the whole
concept of “Interior Design” and “Interior Decoration”. Both
are quite different and both have a unique value in today’s
Decoration was something the primitive man learned, looking at
the nature around him. He saw plants, flowers, birds, animals
and tried to copy these elements. We still use “embroidery” on
our dresses. But the modern design theory says that any sort
of decoration can only “enhance” the existing form, but can not
be an element of design.
What does this mean?
In the above said example the “embroidery” pattern can certainly
add to the beauty of the cloth, but the modern theory denies to
accept the cloth to be of a cheap quality. It states that every form, texture, material, shape is in itself beautiful and must be
accepted as it is. Because of this the need to further decorate it
does not arise.
Thus decoration whether used in architecture or elsewhere is always
dependent on the form on which it is used, but design is
an independent entity which does not need any justification from the
The two design themes mentioned above are still widely used today.
The user must look upon them from a point of view of what best suits
his/her likes and dislikes. Only then can you give yourself and
your family the best quality of living.
I hope this article was informative to everyone.
Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya
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Source by Shrinivas Vaidya
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