Although we tend to think of interior and exterior design
from years and centuries past in terms of neutral look
, a look through historic records shows that subtle whites and taupes were often the exception, as opposed to the rule. Bright, rich hues have ruled design in centuries past, as a sign of taste, superiority, and wealth.
For example, the Parthenon, that famous white temple of ancient Greece, was once brightly coloured in reds, greens and blues. The Victorian era, which we envisage in soft sepias and garden florals, was actually steeped in ruby reds and dark greens. Even the 1970s, which we have romanticized as a decade of Miami-whites, was really much more influenced by greens, yellows and harvest golds. Since those times, we haven’t become more sophisticated about colour; after all, colour preference is one of the most subjective and changeable aspects of design. We have however become far less interested in conformity and much more attuned to how the expansive variety of shades possible can combine in our homes to stylish effect.