de Wolfe- The women who gave birth to the concept, Interior Design
This Mother’s day we thought of commemorating the Mother of Interior Design. Today, this an acclaimed profession, we have got only one person to thank. It’s Elsie de Wolfe who was famous in the field as early as 1930. Although there came a few other people known to be the Fathers of Interior Design in the years that followed. She was a sole name during her time and hence the one known to have established Interior Design as a noted profession, though it prevailed since 1900. A stylish profession 90 years back, unbelievable it seems to be!
“Interior Design as a profession was invented by Elsie de Wolfe.”The New Yorker
21st Century has witnessed the birth of Interior Designers in Bollywood, Gauri Khan, Twinkle Khanna and Sussane Khan, to name a few. So was Elsie de Wolfe, she had a history of acting in cinema, also an influential author. Her foremost career preference was acting. Later she was inspired by the 18th Century French and English Art, preferring a brighter scheme for decorating the interiors, unlike the dark interiors in the Victorian times. She metamorphosed the spaces to be more feminine, with soft and light furnishing. She had a very practical look at things, she detested disarranged and filled up spaces, rather encouraged enabling space to accommodate more guests. Chaises lounges, faux-finish treatments, and animal print upholstery received popularity through her designs.
“I opened the doors and windows of America, and let the air and sunshine in.”Elsie de Wolfe
Her Break Through
de Wolfe’s longtime friend, Stanford White, the architect for the Colony Club back then in 1905, helped her secure her first project in Interior Design. Her stylish usage of light fabrics for the windows, pale colors for the walls, tiles for the floors, she refashioned the macho method that was followed in the country. The success of the Colony Club, opened her doors to the finest life and career. She then became the most sought-after interior decorator and the initiator of the profession.
“I am going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”Elsie de Wolfe
Moreover, by 1913, she owned a studio that occupied an entire floor of offices. That year she signed her greatest commission from the coal magnate Henry Clay Frik, one of the richest men in America at that time.
De Wolfe was one amongst the most widely known women in New York, also she was admired for her dressing, and hence the Paris experts in 1935 gave her the title of the best-dressed woman in the world. All these says, she had a creative brain. 21st century has a lot of inspiration around for the designers, back then she didn’t. We are blessed to have her ahead of us!