The Poetic Home: Designing the 19th-Century Domestic Interior
Author(s): Stefan Muthesius
Year published: 2009
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 352
Illustrations: 120 colour illustrations, 276 black and white illustrations
Today we are surrounded by glossy publications and TV shows demonstrating the latest interiors. We take notions of style, comfort and atmosphere completely for granted, even designing our own rooms to achieve the right ‘mood’. Yet this language, seemingly so current, emerged in the 19th century, when a combination of economic, social and artistic factors first allowed architects, designers and clients to think about home interiors in a completely new way.
Their challenge was to create atmosphere and character in ordinary living rooms – in short, to aspire to the new ideal of the `poetic home’. This book examines the Western domestic interior from the 1800s to the mid-1890s, but rather than concentrate on individual types of furnishing or on familiar historical styles, it proceeds in a radically different way: it considers the design of the interior as a whole, making use of original 19thcentury texts and images to reeveal what the designers, producers, shops and clients actually thought about the business of conjuring up romanticized interiors.