Sizzling and almost piercing rays of sun strike down the land that was at one time swept up by Vesuvius’ eruption in 79AD.
At one time, Pompeii must have been a breathtaking city, but now, at first glance, you’ll see many shaken walls left bare without roofs.
When I first arrived at the ruins of Pompeii, with an LdM school group, we strolled around exploring the history of the legendary city and a lot caught my eye, especially the interior spaces.
Interior design is a lifestyle, whether it is sustainability, luxury or a traditional signature. We entered the gates of a home that had belonged to a wealthy family. I could see some parts of the walls were still painted with polished colors and exotic paintings. The space spoke of art and nobility. Art has been, and still is a part of interior design. The paintings made me think a lot about the culture back then, the way they interacted, what pleased them, who they were – that is what interior design should be able to bring out. It is simply a way to relive memories and expressions through space.
As we kept exploring, we came to a place where they used to sell street food. It looked like a kitchen with hole stoves on marbled counters. It was beautiful. The people here obviously had a richer lifestyle and cared a lot about their surroundings and interiors. Marble is still popular and used for kitchen counters in homes today, and it was enchanting to see that they used them a long time ago. Marble makes counters and floors look sleek and polished, especially when well taken care of, and this is the feeling that a nice kitchen should exude. The tiles in this interior, looked like small square marbles aligned and some artistic designs adorned them.
Another catchy aspect about the interiors of Pompeii is that they considered how they live and intertwined it with art. They painted their ceilings and walls showing how much they put importance in the spaces where they spend time and added the creative flares to them. Unfortunately, when the volcano erupted, a spa was being constructed in a public building. There was a women’s section and a men’s section. They separated them according to how a woman’s body and a man’s body react differently to certain temperatures. This was genius and it is all part of the interior design; going beyond art and aesthetics to also embrace culture and customs.
The trip to Pompeii inspired me to use art expressions to evoke liveliness in a space and to embrace culture, lifestyle and personalities through interior design. Pompeii can be a learning experience about the ancient times and aesthetics, and how they approached design in their homes and public venues for an individual aspiring to become an interior designer. It was definitely an inspiration. This was my first time in Pompeii: A place I could imagine seeing only in my dreams. I was thrilled to be there with an organized tour from LdM. Our tour guide was eloquent and she explained everything so clearly that it took me back in time. I’m so glad that LdM facilitated this trip, it was definitely a rare opportunity.
This trip to Pompeii was a great experience of realizing that interior design is not something new. People have been using it, thinking about it and implementing it in ancient times and we ought to preserve it and take inspiration from it, especially as trends change and technology evolves.
Olga Divine Agahozo is a BA student at Marist- LdM pursuing her bachelors degree in Interior Design. A lover of poetry and contemporary art – ‘anything that catches my eye becomes an inspiration’. Aspiring to learn in-depth about design, she travels to discover more about the world, while pursuing her passion, which is expressing and sharing her adventures through writing. Her goal is to open an interior design and decor company back in Rwanda where she lives and continues to write blogs and poetry.