Origins of Interior DesignObelisk Home
This month we are exploring the subject of “Origins”–more specifically, our design origins, where we’ve come from and perhaps even where we may go.
One place we especially love to revisit is Egypt, often said to be the birthplace of Interior Design. Admittedly, at Obelisk Home we have a special place in our hearts for all things dramatic, epic, monumental, symbolic; you know, plinths, pyramids, obelisks.
Let’s be honest, the Egyptians do have staying power. Many of their contributions are concepts and creations that we will enjoy today. The Egyptians are credited with our modern concept of residential space planning. As the first to establish sequential rooms, living space that moves from public to private, an ancient Egyptians residence would look remarkably similar to modern-day manse in any affluent, dry arid community—like Vegas or Palm Springs.
They were the first to use architecture to define interior space, using levels, columns, steps and door openings to articulate and define the uses of space from large to small and introduced one of my personal favorites– the platform bed. Ok, theirs was more of dais but close enough.
In fact now that I am making a list, Egyptians created most of my favorite design mainstays…the day bed, folding stools, canopy beds, toilet seats, and large lidded storage baskets.
We can thank the Egyptians for inventing wall painting and murals, ventilation loving clearstory windows, and open-air portico’s– the forerunner of today’s porches, patios and covered parking.
Lounge loving Egyptians invented the divan, known today as the sofa- our most coveted furniture item today. They brought us the curved back klismos chair, which remains relatively unchanged as our common side chair or dining chair.
What made the Egyptians so successful as interior designers is they considered the lifestyle needs of the inhabitants—taking into account for the climate and the best available materials of the region.
Design is truly best within context—considered and thoughtful, making lives more livable, and as well as more beautiful.
None of the Egyptian inventions and style influences would still be valid today were they not first effective lifestyle enhancers. Darn they were good…the pyramids, the calendar, papyrus writing sheets, bowling, breath mints, and how about that eyeliner?