Interior design is not just about comfort or even aesthetic pleasure, it’s about a symbolic gesture of who we are. Why is it that in homes in the United Kingdom, they have more earth tones? It’s not just about the weather or wanting to have a home that feels more homely and cosy. It’s because earth tone colors are something that represents the craftsmanship of the pieces and the high-quality of the materials. Leather that was tanned cost more in the early modern periods. Deep varnishes that set the desk, dining table and seating apart from oiled woods were a symbol of a higher quality material. It was about making a home that showed you were in touch with nature and the skill taken by human beings to live among it with pleasure and joy. These types of symbols are still here and you can enjoy them even more now. Here are some ways you can do this.
The coat of arms
Many ancient and or middle age families and indeed, institutions, entities and groups had and still do have, coats of arms. What is a coat of arms? It is a symbol of what the entity stands for, how old it is, who it is about and what it is about. Take for example the coat of arms of the British Royal Family. They have the symbols of Northern Ireland, England and Scotland on the four corners of the shield. The shield is then surrounded by the English lion and the Scottish unicorn. This coat of arms is now hundreds of years old. You can have it on sofa cushions, pillows, rugs and towels.
You could do some research and find out what your family’s coat of arms is, or how about utilizing the coat of arms of your city? Many cities have their own coat of arms and you can see what it is, on the police website, local council, town hall, library and other public entities and buildings. You can then have these printed onto any number of items such as towels, maybe a jumper or perhaps, a painting. You could have your coat of arms made out of cotton or wool as a kind of handmade work of art.
Irresistible nordic charms
The Nordic nations have some of the most wonderful folklore stories. They have the story about Thor and how he challenged and won against Gods that were challenging him. They have the story of the good luck horse named Dalecarlian. It’s exotic patterns and bright colors would be great to place on your window sill or on a prominent shelf in your living room. This and many more good luck charms can be found here. You can see the Finnish Hannunvaakuna patterns that have been around for centuries and centuries. It’s a simple but elegant pattern that has been used to protect campers when in the forest at night, on clothing to help travelers and on some military flags and motifs to help them in times of conflict.
Each one of these good luck charms has a unique background tale that makes them even more charming. The symbolic nature of these items is something that could be incorporated into your decor. Put the Finnish good luck symbol on your sofa pillows. Put the good luck horse on your side table or on the coffee table as a talking point.
Characters and people of history
You cannot go wrong with a good character or person that has been important in history. For example, busts are quite good at being symbols of men and women that you look up to. Having a bust is also a mark of a sophisticated home because the face of someone is unique, captures who they are and tells so much about them.
For example, if you admire great scientists, the bust of Albert Einstein would be lovely to put in your living room. If you admire philosophers, the bust of Plato could play a key role in your reading room. If you look up to someone in business or finance, the bust of Adam Smith could be placed onto your desk.
Busts don’t have to be made out of stone you know? Stone is usually the best way because the busts have this kind of brooding, serious, mature and important nature. However, busts can be made out of wood and given a more tangible character. Busts that are carved out of wood, do require a little more maintenance but they are easier to move around and they don’t cost as much. Just remember to protect them from sunlight so if you are planning on putting them in the window sill where the sun can shine on them, to varnish and oil them so that the wood does not dry out and flex.
Symbols of your nation
Okay maybe symbols of people and various things like coats of arms is not something you feel confident with exploring. But every single nation has symbols. Think about your nation and the symbols it has and try to implement them into your home. Start off small and work your way up into the more recognizable symbols.
For example, the classic symbols of the US are the bald eagle, the star, the stripes, the Empire State building, the White House, statue of Liberty, etc. Symbols of the UK might be the British lion, the British bulldog, Big Ben, Parliament, Royalty, tea, high-end fashion, smoking pipes, red buses, phone boxes and post boxes etc. these can come in the form of figures that you place around the home, paintings, photos, pillow covers, coasters and dinner mats.
There are tons of ways to make your home decor become more symbolic and really present a lot of things you believe in, in just a short concise way. It’s something that must be done with care and thought so you have flow and all the symbols of different nations and cultures gel together.