Old House Journal - - Style -

STYL­IZED, AB­STRACTED or­na­ment was pre­ferred in carv­ing, on walls, and for tex­tiles—flat or­na­ment for flat sur­faces. The shaded, re­al­is­tic de­pic­tions of fauna and flora as seen in the mid-Vic­to­rian pe­riod were out of fash­ion.

MO­TIFS in the An­glo-Ja­panese style were pop­u­lar ca. 1875–1885: cranes, swal­lows, bam­boo, and cherry blos­soms. Mo­tifs and pal­ettes were based, too, on me­dieval and Gothic de­signs. An al­ter­nate name for Aes­thetic and East­lake is Re­formed or Mod­ern Gothic.

WALL TREAT­MENTS em­braced the tri­par­tite di­vi­sion of dado, fill, and frieze. The fill was kept sim­ple—even done in one color in the Ja­panese fash­ion—to set off framed prints hung from the pic­ture rail. Wall and ceil­ing pa­pers of­ten had ori­en­tal mo­tifs.

TER­TIARY COL­ORS— olive and sage, ochre, terra cotta and rus­set, pea­cock blue—were fa­vored, a palette in­flu­enced by Wil­liam Mor­ris’s re­vival of me­dieval for­mu­las, and by the sub­dued but clear tones of Ja­panese wood­block prints.

EX­OTIC TASTES An Ex­otic Re­vival was a sub­theme peak­ing around 1880 with the Amer­i­can fas­ci­na­tion for Arabesque or­na­ment. Moor­ish tiles, Per­sian fur­ni­ture, and Turk­ish smok­ing rooms were all the rage.

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