Introduction

Where does exactly our way of decorating houses come from? 

Obviously in order to answer at this question we need to step back and consider how houses looked like in the past years. Are you familiar with the term Domus? well if not, Domus is a latin word that stands for house. We find the domus  during the Roman empire, in fact this was the stereotype of house that you could find at that time. It had a rectangular plan:

Plan of the Roman house

 

As you can see from this picture, domus were spacious, equipped with bathroom, cold and hot water and heating. As for the interior decoration, depending on how wealth was the family, you easily found decoration based on mosaics, colors windows, statues, wall paintings etc..

 

The Domus was formed by two big areas: Atrium and Perystilium.In the Atrium there were exposed the statues and all the luxury objects that belonged to the family. Meanwhile the Perystilium was the actual space where the family lived.

The entrance of the domus was usually in the shortest side of the house, and it goes directly to the Vestibulum that was the corridor. From the vestibulum you could arrive in a courtyard that usually had a square shape with a sloping ceiling (compluvium) where roman people collected the rainwater in a rectangular pool (impluvium).

In front of the entrance there was a big room called the tablinum, that was the office of the owner of the house. In here the wall were characterize by pillars and furthermore was separate from the atrium by palls. Moreover it had a window which was connected to the peristylium.

From the atrium side there were the bedroom called cubicola and the sumptuous dining room (triclinium) that from one side was connect with the peristylium and from the other side with the atrium. The triclinium was supplied by three beds (triclinari) which in each of them three people could lie down. As you can see from these picture, the three beds where placed in semicircle so the slaves could pass easily, in fact, between the three beds there was a table.

Living room

 

L’esedra, was a large reception room that was used for dinners and had a mosaic floor and wall covered by paintings and colors marble.

The kitchen was the most bleak, small and sad space of the house because was invade by the smoke of the chimney.

Important is the fact that in the roman domus, there weren’t furniture but just small fitted cupboard, trunks where to put the dresses. This because the paintings in the wall aim to enrich the emptiness of the environment. Hence the splendor of the house was given by the marbles, statues and wall paintings.

We can easily notice where our way of arrange rooms comes from, obviously things has changed from the Roman empire and moreover our way of decorating the interior of houses is not by putting just some wall cupboards and trunks but organize each room with all the possible furniture that it needs, depending on the features that we want to give to the room.

From here it will start a full discovering of all the possible ways of decorating house depending on the type of style that we want in relation to the culture that we are in. 

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