The history and legacy of our interior spaces have received far smaller attention, both from heritage experts and builders, than one would have expected given the time that we spend in them. Part of the reason may have been that it was long considered to be a woman’s domain, and therefore less deserving of scholarly attention than the outer, male-dominated world.
Yet these domains were a reflection both of our own image, and the image we wished to project to the outer world. Indeed, in many European cultures, it was long a custom to have spaces dedicated to either: a kitchen or living room, somewhat hedonistically filled with those items that made us feel relaxed and comfortable, or a more ostentatious, representational space dedicated to receiving the village priest, the mayor, and other worthies. The first type was used throughout the day, the second often went neglected for months on end. But both were equally important in defining who we were and considered ourselves to be.
Image: Openluchtmuseum, Arnhem, Netherlands