Famous interior designers and their styles in interior design – Part 1
This series of 4 articles takes a concise yet informative look at 21 of the most famous interior designers, from the early pioneers to the most famous designers of the modern era.
Pioneers of interior design
Jan Henry Jansen (1854-1928)
Dutch designer, Jan-Henri Jansen, launched one of the first global interior design firms ‘Maison Jansen’ (House of Jansen) in 1880, which was known for designing and creating exceptional, high-quality furniture that could be used in many interior decoration projects. House of Jansen has opened branches in 8 major cities of the world. Janssen worked closely with the talented interior designer Stephane Boudin who appointed him director of the firm. The House of Jansen’s clients include royalty, the rich, and famous.
Elsie de Wolf (1865-1950)
The First Lady of the Interior Decorator, Elsie de Wolfe, considered herself an “ugly child”. This Victorian stage actress was a rebel in her time and many have credited her with being the inventor of the modern profession of interior design, although there were already well-known interior designers of her time. Elsie absolutely hated Victorian tastes, so her designs were generally made up of light, bright colors, in contrast to the drab and drab Victorian decor along with unnecessary excesses such as heavy velvet drapes. This was a groundbreaking departure from the contemporary designs of the time. Elsie’s influence can still be felt in the modern world of interior design.
Ogden Codman (1863-1951)
American architect and decorator Ogden Codman spent his childhood in his hometown of Boston before heading to France in his youth for a period of time. Codman had two uncles who influenced him greatly – the architect John Hubbard and the decorator Richard Ogden. Some of Ogden Codman’s works include Edith Wharton’s Newport home, Land’s End, and the Rockefeller family estate of New York client John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Along with novelist Edith Wharton, Codman co-authored a how-to guide to American interior design, “The Decoration of Homes” in 1897.
Frances Elkins (1888-1953)
Born in Milwaukee, Francis Adler Elkins was one of the most prominent interior designers and decorators of the last century. The sister of famed Chicago architect David Adler, Elkins was known for her futuristic designs that combined different styles and elements from different periods. Styles included French Country, Chinoiserie, and Art Deco. The tapestries featured in her designs included designers such as Jean-Michel Franck and Alberto Giacometti. Elkins’ career spanning more than three decades shines with numerous notable commissions in Hawaii, the Midwest, and Northern and Southern California, and none more interesting than the restoration of the 1830s structure, Casa Ameste in Monterey, California.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
Frank Lloyd Wright was an interior designer and architect whose career included more than 1,000 projects, 500 of which were completed. Wright was known for promoting organic architecture, an example of which is Fallingwater. The Robie House is an example of Wright’s leadership of the Prairie School architectural movement, while the Rosenbaum House exemplifies Wright’s Usonian Home concept. Wright also had refreshing ideas for every type of building, be it a church, office, school, hotel, or museum. Besides excellent architectural designs, Wright also designed much of the interiors for his buildings including decoration, layout, and furniture.