interior design blog

profilexiaoning zheng

design journal

ancient egypt

ancient greece

ancient rome


italian renaissance

french baroque

french rococo







art and crafts

art nouveau/vienne secession


art deco

mid century modern



ancient egypt MINOTTI.COM


The wooden stool from the Ancient Egypt epoque has

various elements that are

repeated in the Self Lounge

Chair by Rudolfo Dordonii.

The leather fabric and the

X support structure can be

observed in the contemporary

design of Dordonii. The only

material differenciation in the

Dordonii creation is the stain-

less still. Ancestral ideas are

still being used today

Ancient Egypt is known for the use of Papyrus, Wooden

Goods, Rafts and boats, Writing Material.

Moreover, the animal products such as bone, ivory, feath-

ers, fur, shell, leather were used and are still being used

in the design field of today adding luxury to the pieces.

ancient greece YATZER.COM


The influence of Acient Greece in the modern world can still be ap-

preciated. For example: Philippe

Malouin, head of local studio

Post Officce, applied draparey to

separate spaces and bring dyna-

mism among the users. Moreover,

he adapt the exposed ceiling with

glass to allow natural light. This

two features were seen in the An-

cient Greece time and now they

are features that are translated as

contemporary aspects. In Acient Greece drapery used decorativeley and func-

tionally to divide space. Columns were used structurally

to divide space. Moreover, the sections of mosaics were

used to difine floor space. The exposed beams in the ceil-

ing were applied.

ancient rome



The Bagattin Valsecchi Museum curated by the Rossana Orlandi

in Milan, is the perfect example

to demostrate the Ancient Rome

style today in a modern way. Visi-

tors can perceive this style in a

contemporary approach due to

the contrast between the interior

elements (ceilings, walls, floor)

and the ultra modern furniture

pieces that are now exhibit in this

historical building. The Contrast

betwwen style is the new trend in


Ancient Rome is characterized as a time were religion was the

most important aspect in the citizen’s life, art, architecture,

interiors and more. Painting was a vitalmethod to acheive the

learning of the importance of religion and church. The interior

are full of ornaments, strong colors, detailed walls, floors and

ceilings that were always

emphasizing GOD.




The Gothic style in these oak chairs is very notorious. The

design is described as rectilinear,

box like and hinged seat. The col-

or is obscure and hierarchy is per-

ceived. The IN-High Easy Chairs

has many similarities that related

with the Gothic chairs, like; the

color (sober colors) and the elon-

gated back part of the seat. All of

the designs emphasizes hierarchy

and emphasize the Gothic Dark

Mood, althouhg the modern chairs

has a curvilinear shape. The Gothic style was very powerful, easy to notice and

easy to get the mood. Usually the Gothic look can be as-

sociated with elongated, simple, sharp, dark, grotesque,

pointed and linear characteristics. We can see this strong

style not only in building like Notre Dame in Paris but

also in the furniture.

italian renaissance



The Ranaissance Epoque was a period of new ideas and progress.

For that reason the Interior were

extremely important because

throught it people could dem-

ostrate their power and richness.

The interiors were fully decorated

as well as elements like these Re-

naissance Chairs. The Tobouret

Stool and The the Revit Stool are

very simple, not fully decorated

but the shape is very similar to the

antique chairs. It is very interest-

ing to find historical elements in

modern furniture desing.

Then we go into the triumphal and luxurious study covered with in-

tarsia and paintingsin perspective and sublimely workedwith a great

mastery of architecture.There are many ornately decorated books

and vases of alabaster and chalcedony mounted on gold and silver.

And everything there is beautiful and fine, brought to complete perfec-

tionby nature and by human intellect.” From a poem describing the

Medici Palace (anonymous, 1459)w

french baroque



The FRENCH apartment by Gilles and Boissier is the perfect

example to illustrate the French

Baroque elements in a Modern

and Minimalist Style. This

Modern Space is very elaborated

and ornamented but the color

pallete contains only black and

white which permits a clean look.

The Chimney and Mirror are

focals point in this French Apt

and shows elegance just like they

used to show in Louis XIV time.

The French Baroque was a style that really focused in grandour

and richness. Specially related with the monarchy. Ornaments

were very important, as well as the design of walls, ceiling and

floor. Elements such as drapery, mirrors, and windows were vi-

tal in a French Baroque space. “Your majesty’s seat represents

for us the throne of the living God… . The orders of the kingdom

render unto you honor and respect as to a valueable dignity. “

french rococo



The French Rococo was a time that was more focused in this phrase

“Conqueror of women not empire”. This style was more asymmetri-

cal, light in scale, curvilinear, naturalistic. The style was very roman-

tic, exotic, pastoral, and fantastiic. The S an C shapes were very used

as well as the cabriole legs, scrolls, scallop shells and pearls. The

silhouettes were a new form of art.

The French Rococo arm chair shape is very organic and natu-

ralistic. There are similarities with

the Plie Chair due to the fact that

both causes a private effect and

their shape is shows movement.

People that sit in these kind of

furniture are not seen

completely from any of the lateral

sides. The main difference

between these two chairs is the

pattern and color. The contempo-

ray chair lacks of those features

creating a minimalist look. More-

over, the silhouettes art form are

symbol of sofistication and el-

egance now and then,.




The Neoclassical armchairs are much more modern and simple in

comparison with the Rococo Or-

ganic Shape. The sofas are more

linear and the patttern is more

subtle. These furniture pieces has

several realtions with the Gilliam

Armchair by Minotti. The Gilliam

Chair is very angular and straight.

The pattern of the one chair is

very simple, composed by series

of squares. All of the chairs con-

tains Neoclassical characteristics

but at the end shows elegance

and sophistication.

The Neoclassical Style was characterised a more simple style

withouth sacrificing the elegance and richness people wanted to

show. The style empahsized straight lines and right angles. We

can see this in furniture, achitecture and elementes in general of

design. The interior were also simplified and tone down.



Art Athina Wall Papers LOCATED IN GREECE.

The animal decorative motifs used in the Empire Epoque were

mainly seen in the legs of chairs

or furniture in General. On the

other hand, the wallpapers of

that time mainly were full of floral

motifs. Art Athina a fine art fair in

Greece creates wall papers mix-

ing different decorative motifs

(animals,nature,symbols) and

mixing materials. The surrealistic

wallpapers are used in contempo-

rary spaes creating a very eclectic


The Empire Style was one of the most popular. This style was re-

alted with Egypt Art/Design. Moreover, this style used abundant

decorative motifs. Rosettes, stars, swags, lions, swangs, dol-

phins, egyptian figures, vines, flowers and more were elements

that were shown in furniture and spaces at that time. Wallpaper

was used a lot and was a new form of art mainly of Jean Bap.




The Amsterdam Lofts its an example of a Modern Georgian

style due te fact of the irregularity

of furniture and spaces

placement. The placement deci-

sion is based on the user’s needs

and comfort. Moreover, the loca-

tion of spaces different from what

any person is used to. The mix-

ture of style is also present in this

loft creating a innovative modern


The Georgian style was focused in creating confortable spaces. It

was characterized for irregular and assymetry spaces because of the

location of furniture, because the craving of comfort and informality.

This style is abouth the mixture of style creating and organic feel-

ing. “there are very few balls [these days] and people try to avoid the

expense and meeting strangers…and therefore prefer sitting in a small

circle by the stove or fireplace, or at the cosy round table…domestic

life has become much more pleasanter.”




The Renovation of this Victorian House in London is a perfect

example to explain how the Vic-

torian essence is still being used

in terms of functionality in a mod-

ern and contemporary way. The

public spaces has the best views,

the best decor, etc. Moreover, the

Parlor in this Victorian Modern

House is very minimalistic but its

simpleness causes awe among

visitors. Like it used to happen

back then. Although this Parlor is

ultra modern there is Rococo Re-

vival Aspect, which is the rug. The

constrast in color help the space

be splendid and elegant.

Victorian Style is directly connected with the Industrial Revolu-

tion. Creating new materials and different reality for the people.

The Victorian Houses layout were/are very influential, dividing

private, public spaces and servant spaces. Moreover new mate-

rials appeared such as mache paper, iron and advanced textile

industry. The Rococo Revival is another important aspect in this

time since its what influenced the Victorian Interiors.



House at Paco de Arcos by Jorge Meahla. LOCATED IN LISBON, PORTUGAL.

Usually is though that the idea of simplicity, minimalism, clean,

order, and function is a new trend.

In reality that style was really

emphasized in the Shaker Period.

The idea of cleanliness is still be-

ing used and a great example is

the Modern House in Portugal by

the Architect Jorge Meahla. He

design it in a very functional and

simple way. Simple creations can

become monumetal features later

being permanent. The Shaker Period was very influenced by the Orthodox Reli-

gion emphasizing Order. Moreover, the design and architecture

was also base on simplicty, order, time, perfection, health,

cleanliness, progress, permanence. The furniture was very func-

tional and easy to build.




The retail store located int he US and designed by Jason Wu is

the perfect example to show how

Thonet-based chairs are being

used in a contemporary style.

These chairs are made out of

metal and with strong pop colors.

These two last characteristics

make this furniture looks modern

but the simple organic form and

technique surely comes from the

Thonet time. Their simplicity and

functionalism allows the selling of

these products until today.

The Thonet Style is based by the desings of Michael Thonet. He

is very well known for his unique steam-bending (bentwood)

technology used in his chairs. These chairs were mainly known

as cafe-style chairs. Moreover, these chairs were design in a

easy way so unskilled wokers could mass-produced them. This

types of chairs are stilll being produced.

art and crafts



The GOODSEEP furniture in- stallation by Finn Ahlgren is an

example of hanmade creations.

He was influenced by the art and

crafts movement. The designer

somehow wanted to bring that

ideology in an eclectic and contro-

versial art method. The furniture

is not meant to be selled or used

but to reinforce the importance of

handmade work. This is a metha-

phor for anti-industrial and more

social care today. The installation

is eye-catching and strong.

“All cast from the machine is bad, as work it is dishonest”

John Ruskin.

This is a design movement (1861-1910) it was inspired by the

wrinting of John Ruskin, Augustus Pugin. The movement stood

for traditional craftmanship. It was an anti-industrial with

social care.

art nouveau



The nature inspired furniture by the designers Juanbio Jin, and

Nina Brunn are furniture based on

trees, roots, nest and rocks. Every

single design has naturalistic

characteristics and accomodates

to different uses for people. The

inspiration based on nature is

extremeley literal and obvious but

their look is more sophisticated

and somehow abstract for their

simplicity. This contrast is what

makes the creations perfect for

this present time.

“Art nouveau was self-consciously modern, the first international

attempt to “show man his modern face,” and its modernity was ex-

pressed in many ways. As we have seen, a devotion to nature and the

use of natural forms was not exclusively an artistic choice. Nature

also entailed ideas of social progress and devolution. It could stand

for innocence or voluptuousness, or it could represent national aims.

Because it yielded to both science and mysticism, the use of nature as

a basis for decorative schemes was distinctly modern”

C. Gonano Notes


The examples below show the

characteristics of the International

Style in Interiors. Walls became

simply partitions, which permited

much greater flexibility in room

layouts. Also, this was a period

were the open floor plan ap-

pears. Walls had surfaces that

were smooth and un textured and

colors were black, white, gray or

beige. The use of monochromatic

color scheme was popular as well

as travertine marble and polished

stone. Furnishings were stark and

low with glass. All these charac-

teristics are still being used today

like is shown in the last two im-


The International Style as such blossomed in 1920s Western

Europe. Researchers find significant contemporary common

ground among the Dutch de Stijl movement, the work of visionary

French/Swiss architect Le Corbusier and various German efforts

to industrialize craft traditions, which resulted in the formation

of the Deutscher Werkbund, large civic worker-housing projects

in Frankfurt and Stuttgart, and, most famously, the Bauhaus. The

Bauhaus was one of a number of European schools and associa-

tions concerned with reconciling craft tradition and industrial


art deco

Art Deco Interior Spaces of this time.

1. Mexico 2. New York 3. New York

The Bibendum chair of Eileen Gray is still an iconic piece that

still represents modernism and

minimalism. The two spaces

below are contemporary art deco

interiors. Both represent different

materiality, costum furniture, mo-

tifs in walls, glass, art and more.

Although this are not minimalist

spaces they are consider contem-

porary and innovative. The Art Deco was also a modern movement it was influence by the In-

ternational Style, Exotic Motifs, Geometric Forms, Speed, Transpor-

tation, Human Body, Abstract forms, glass, Painters, symbolism and

more. It was also influenced by different architects like Frank Lloyd

Wright. Moreover, this was the time when new materials started to be

used. Eileen Gray was an Irish furniture designer and architect that

was part of this Art Deco Style. She is mainly known for the creation

of the Bibendum Chair.

mid century modern

This was a period of a big change. A period after war, a

period were people star having

their own housing apliances, a

period of ownership and a period

of “do it yourself” in term of putting

together a house. Furniture was

simple and iconic. Women were

an important role in the mid cen-

tury modern because they were

the ones who were in charge

of the house. An space that re-

ally change this period was the

kitchen. The kitchen was not the

“ugly” place to cook but actually

now was an important space of

gathering the family. Now kitchens

are usually open with view to the

living room, dinning room, and

also amazing viws.

The interiors in this time were more ight, spacious interiors & fur-

niture. It was all about vivid colors to counteract the war years.

Moreover there was an increment of mass production in the USA, new

levels of confidence and new technologies. There were new techniques

fors plywood, aluminum, stainless steel and plastic. This was also a

change for women and their living spaces.

“Women are the accepted leaders of consumption in our society” –

Survey of American consumerism


This time was very unique for the design world. It was a time were

people were not afraid of doing

what they like. The same hap-

pened in the design. They created

all this abstract/dynamic furniture

that was also functional. Because

they were created with the idea

that the furniture should satisfy

the people’s postures rather than

the person accomodates to the

chair. This was also a time were

the “normal” or “traditional” design

went beyond the expectations.

Design now was unique and inter-

acted with the imagination of the

user’s . The furniture done at that

time is still being used and now is

even more common to used them.

They symbolize sophistiction and

good taste. This is a time that

makes people think what is next

in our design world?


“ Furniture does not have to be dark and gloomy, like a whale that fell

asleep in your living room”

- Neal Small

This was also a time of new materials, and new eclectic themes. The

design’s concepts were about exagerated forms, human anatomy, fan-

tasy and COLOR. This a provocative time and people was waiting for

different and new things. Waiting for the future.

“ The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their

imaginations . Most people spend their lives in dreary grey-beige

conformity, mortally afraid of colors. By experimenting with lighting,

colors, textiles and furniture and utilizing the latest technologies, I try

to show new ways to encourage people to use their fantasy and make

their surroundings more exciting.”

“Verner Panton”