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Interior Design

Nineteenth century was a time of massive advancement in the field of interior design that changed and developed within an extremely small period of time. This mainly attributed to the creativity of the designers like Elsie de Wolf who had a very great influence on the direction that interior decoration took in the 19th century period. Elsie was driven by her detest of the bulk and dull nature of the Victorian design style as well as her dislike of the Morris’ style to form a design of herself, which was elegant, light and with warm colors; her design took a modern twist, to say the least. Before the interior design took a professions’ turn of invests, it was carried out instinctively as a part of putting up the house by the builders and architects. However, the professionalism of the interior decoration and design has turned the homes and houses to take the taste of the owners who make their homes comfortable and warm places to long for.

Regency design

The regency style however, took place within the second phase of the classical restoration in the field of interior design in the 19th century. It was flexible and appreciated the good taste of different designs. This famous design was marked with sharp character that was based on the ancient times and was more perceived as an ancient restoration of the design that had an archeological essence drawn from different cultural and famous designs such as the Roman, Greek and Egyptian style. The regency design of furniture had a combination of French design, Chinese-based design as well as gothic artistic designs. The regency design employed the use of various materials in the decorative part of the interior design. The materials used were in the form of different kinds of wood as well as metal to name but a few.

Types of wood

The regency design favored the use of dark-colored wood, especially the mahogany; solid or perhaps veneered decorations were the most regularly used in the interior design. The rosewood acquired recognition in the times of regency design as it was mainly used in the building of cabinets and most of the pieces in the regency style of that time. The satinwood was mainly used in the phase one of the regency design in the making of a variety of pieces in this design. Although graining of wood was a common practice in the time of regency design, this procedure resulted in the production of better quality of wood that was more expensive and better preferred by the people during the entire period of the 19th century.

Uses of metal

The regency design extensively made the use of metal mound as well as metal inlays that became very popular and fashionable in the decoration of the furniture surfaces. The brass-made inlays were mostly used in the making of the inlays from thinly cut brass sheets. The design had a strong taste in the decorations based on bronze accessories as the carvings made of wood were rarely used in the decoration sector of regency design. It was a common practice to finish the details that were curved by use of gilts or perhaps bronze paints to complement the stylish metal-made mounds that were considered extremely fashionable at that time.


The regency style used in making of the ornaments was mainly symmetric in a cold, formal and stiff way of design. This classical model of the ornaments was mainly adopted from the ancient Greeks and Romans’ designs. The ornaments were considered as decorations not only for the people but for their abodes as well. The expensive and most exotic of the ornaments were hanged on the walls of the living rooms to add value to the entire decoration of the house. The details of the antiquity were mostly in the form of the Greek palm tree leaves, the figure subjects of the Chinese, as well as the decoration motifs from the ancient Egypt designs.

Regency design chair features

The chairs were mostly marked with horizontal types of lines, the legs were either concaved or saber-shaped, and the arms were set at a higher position at the back, placed upright as well as the archeological-typed ornaments drawing from the designs of the Egyptians, Greeks or Romans. The upper rail of the chair was designed in such a way to form a continuous curve with the hind legs. Generally, the chairs were made wide with low backs; they were commonly made of mahogany or rosewood.

Inexpensive types of chairs were mainly made of softwood, such as the beechwood, and they were mostly painted with black color, although they were decorated with faint drawings of flowers and other natural designs using gilt or brass. In other times the beechwood frames of the chairs were painted in such a manner that they resembled bamboo in bid to add oriental effect to the chair’s appearance.

The sofas and couches style of the regency design

The archeological classic made a couch play a great role in the  regency design based couches, as well as sofas made in the 19th century. The most popular couches of that time were made in such a way that their legs were shaped in cornucopia shape with an out-scrolled side. Moreover, the lyre form of sofas and couches made them fashionable and extremely beautiful to look at during that specific time. The regency designers derived their style of the couches from the ancient French empire designs, which, in turn, were from original antique sources.

The sofas gained popularity and became a very fundamental part of the house furniture for reclining purposes. Most of the sofas were large in size and they were equipped with two bolsters at each end with a number of cushions placed on it to add comfort as well as enhance the beauty of the sofa. To add value for those with more ambitious taste, the regency style employed the use of animal-based support to make the sofas and couches.

Table designs used in regency design

The table was considered an almost central piece of furniture in the 19th century. The regency design of the dining tables took the form of a plinth table with two or even more sections, each of which had support from the pedestal that had a tetra pod base commonly use at that time. Sometime later, the tables were commonly marked with enormous support, which was considered to be more desirable and appealing to people and potential buyers.

The regency-designed side tables of the 19th century had no drawers but they had a frieze, which was viewed as the most fashionable and stylish at that very time; these tables were marked with their enormous treatment. They always had a “lion monopodium” support. The other sideboards had deep wine drawers of lateral type as well as the sideboard with pedestal drawers commonly used at that  period. The archeological style of the regency-based furniture was faintly displayed in some pieces of tables, such as the round pier tables, the round-shaped tables, as well as the nature of their stand. However, some of the tables of the regency design possessed a rational outlook and they received recognition for their dignified and extreme simplicity.

The sofa table was an important part of a regency table that was designed in a fine way with an oblong upper part, together with the drop-leaves at the end, which was commonly mounted on the top of a trestle-end form of support usually made in the form of a lyre. The regency-designed card table, which had a folding type of top, was as well mounted on the same kind of support as the sofa table. The regency design saw the introduction of the library table which was made in a way that it could support the massive volume of books; this type of table was considered as a necessary part of the furniture in big houses. The library table was designed to have oblong type of a top, set on top of a frieze set of drawers. However, the use of metal decorations on the surface of chairs and other important pieces of furniture was the most insignificant element of the fashionable designs of the 19th century. This is due to the reason that the drawings and additional forms of decorations had enough effect of beauty class and fashion.

Role that regency design plays in today’s interior design

The regency design has played a major role in the flexibility of the interior design of today. Today’s interior design is influence and inspired by the designs of the past, though upgraded as well as made in a way that suits personal interest of the owner,  the material have been upgraded and their texture improved in a great way.


The regency design focused on every single part of the interior decoration, although its main focus was on the home-based furniture. Regency design attempted to create a kind of flow in homes in such a way that different components of the houses blended in harmony starting from the furniture floor, curtains and wall. It is therefore correct to say that regency design has played a great role in the nature and style of the modern interior design.

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