chapter  4
29 Pages

From being to well-being: the growing demand for comfort and convenience in the eighteenth-century home

The ability to create a room or space in which all the objects and equipment were co-ordinated in a manner that reflected Adam Smith's desirability factors was a major aim of tasteful eighteenth-century furnishing practice. The growth of eighteenth-century consumption has sometimes been explained by contemporary commentators in terms of emulation. The consequence of the growth in urban settings therefore not only made the status of the home an important issue, but also offered the retail locations from which it could be created. The changes in the internal layouts of the new urban brick-built town houses were piecemeal and long-winded, but they were the backbone and framework for the new aspirations that in turn encouraged the demand for comfort. The development of the specialization of living spaces, the increasing importance of the hearth and fireplace, and the impact of glazing were all part of the developing comfort infrastructure which was well-established during the seventeenth century.