Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Evolution of Color Concepts in Interior Design During the Republican Era: A Case Study of Urban Families in Shanghai

This paper investigates the transformation and reasons behind the changing color concepts in the interior design of Chinese households during the Republican era. Given its early influence, the rise of Shanghai was nearly synchronous with China's modernization process, making it an excellent case study for understanding the urban and residential environment changes in modern China. By focusing on urban households in Shanghai, this study employs a combination of literature interpretation and comparison of relevant publications from the Republican era, as well as analysis of designers' concepts and works. It explores the variations and underlying reasons for the color concepts in urban home decor during this period, shedding light on the mutual influence of Chinese and Western decorative design ideas. By offering a specific and nuanced perspective, this research contributes to the comprehension of the transformation and development of modern interior design in China. The findings reveal an unprecedented emphasis on color attributes within the interiors of urban households during the Republican era. Local intellectual elites summarized the traditional color palettes of interior spaces and systematically investigated aspects such as the relationship between color and spatial arrangement, the impact of color on occupants' emotions, and the introduction of Western scientific color systems. These efforts resulted in significant breakthroughs and advancements in the traditional color paradigms. Amidst this transformative period of color concepts, indigenous intellectual elites, designers, relevant publications, and shifts in spatial perception played pivotal roles. Additionally, the influence of professional interior decorators and artists arriving from Europe and America to Shanghai also proved to be instrumental in driving these changes.

Twentieth Century, China, Home Decoration, Colour, Evolution of Concepts, Reasons

APA Style

Tianqi Lu, Limin Song. (2023). Evolution of Color Concepts in Interior Design During the Republican Era: A Case Study of Urban Families in Shanghai. Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, 8(3), 54-63.

ACS Style

Tianqi Lu; Limin Song. Evolution of Color Concepts in Interior Design During the Republican Era: A Case Study of Urban Families in Shanghai. Landsc. Archit. Reg. Plan. 2023, 8(3), 54-63. doi: 10.11648/j.larp.20230803.12

AMA Style

Tianqi Lu, Limin Song. Evolution of Color Concepts in Interior Design During the Republican Era: A Case Study of Urban Families in Shanghai. Landsc Archit Reg Plan. 2023;8(3):54-63. doi: 10.11648/j.larp.20230803.12

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Jijun Chen, “Exploring the Modern Origin of Chinese Interior Decoration through Republican Era Newspaper Advertisements,” New Art 40, no. 11 (January 2019): 105-113.
2. Wenhao Duan, “A Comparison of Soft Decoration in the Republican Era and Modern Interior Soft Decoration Design,” Design 19, no. 158 (January 2017): 158-160.
3. Wenwen Song: Interior Color Environment Design (Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press, 2021), 10.
4. Hanchao Lu: Beyond Neon Lights: Shanghai in the Early 20th Century Daily Life (Shanxi: Shanxi People's Publishing House, 2018), 20-30.
5. ANDERSON B: Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 2006), 22-36.
6. Shuang Shen: Popularization of Knowledge and its Development (Shanghai: East China Normal University, 2021), 104-110.
7. Yuxi Zhou. “Analysis of Interior Design Practices by Artisans in the Republican Era,” Art and Design (Theory) 2, no. 11 (January 2015): 66-68.
8. Meiqi Xu. “Cultural Genes of Chinese Traditional Furniture,” Furniture and Interior Decoration 212, no. 10 (January 2016): 11-13.
9. Zheng Gao. “Transformation of Female Consumption and Interior Display Paradigm in Late Qing and Republican Era,” Journal of Zhengzhou University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition) 52, no. 6 (January 2019): 106-111.
10. Yan Shi: Modern Home Decoration (Shanghai: Dadao Bookstore, 1933), 15-16.
11. Yan Shi: Color Science (Shanghai Zhonghua Bookstore, 1951), 20-35.
12. Zaoxiong Huang. “Common Knowledge for Women in Small Families,” Women's Youth Magazine 6, no. 7 (January 1927): 14-17.
13. Inoue M and Watanabe H (Trans.): Space in Japanese Architecture (New York: John Weatherhill, Inc., 1985), 24-38.
14. Delin Lai. “The Perspective of Architecture: Comparative Reading of Three Japanese Urban and Architectural Space Research Works,”New Architecture 176, no. 1 (January 2018): 32-39.
15. Jinpei Li. “The Color Issue in Interior Decoration.” Happy Home 1, no. 2 (January 1936): 1-2.
16. Chen Hong. “New Bride's Essential Knowledge,” Women's Pictorial 4, (January 1933): 19.
17. Qiuhong Wan.“Cool Arrangements,” Family 3, no. 3 (January 1938): 42.
18. The China Press, (April 27, 1932) Purple-shaded room might drive one insane, says A. W. C. speaker Mrs. Louise Gilman tells of methods of decoration in home; red also is slightly taboo.
19. The Shanghai Times, (November 5, 1930) Interior decorator at A. W. Club, how to use and where to buy Chinese furniture.
20. The North - China Herald and Supreme Court & Consular Gazette (1870-1941) (November 11, 1930) CHINESE FURNITURE AND ITS USE.
21. The China Press, (June 25, 1934) Designers has new ideas on use of color, Miss Cleome Carrol says Chinese have anticipated modern tendency, noted authority gives hints on decoration.
22. Yuxi Zhou. “The Buried Pioneer of Chinese Modern Design: A Study of Zhong Hong and His Architectural Decoration Company,” Decoration, no. 10 (January 2019): 80-83.
23. Qiuhong Wan. “The Peach Pink Bedroom,” Happy Family 1, no. 2 (January 1936): 49-50.
24. The China Press (1925-1938)(June 10, 1933) Modern Trends of Decoration shown Art Club: Peiping Alter Praised by Miss Carroll; New Design is Interpreted.
25. Anonymous. “Modern Decoration,” Modern Women 11, (January 1929): 20.
26. Delin Lai. “Shanghai of Configurational Socialism: Urban Space, Architecture, and Gender in the 1959 Film 'Today I Rest',”Journal of Architectural History 3, no. 4 (January 2022): 107-115.
27. Wenwen Song. “Color Science Theory and Color Design Application in the Entire Industry Chain,” Decoration 325, no. 5 (January 2020): 46-57.
28. The China Press (1925-1938)(June 8, 1933). Local Artist Exhibits.
29. Huang Zhong. “Chinese-style Interior Decoration,” Shanghai Cartoons, no. 64 (January 1929): 2.