Art Nouveau interior design: the history of style, features, and ideas

Art Nouveau interior design: the history of style, features, and ideas

Even though the peak of Art Nouveau’s popularity came at the end of the 19th century, we still find elements of this style in various interiors. And one cannot but rejoice: details in the Art Nouveau style give the interior a symbolic, close to art, even fabulous look, and are created for aesthetic pleasure.

History of Art Nouveau style

The history of the emergence of the art nouveau style began in the second half of the 19th century and became an offshoot of the modern style. In 1895, the name Art nouveau was first heard at the exhibition in Paris. This is how the collection of gifted artisans in working with glass and stained glass was dubbed. Inspired by Japanese ornaments and colored woodcuts, the artists introduced novelties to their work, thus giving rise to a new direction in design and interior design. In a few years, the art nouveau style conquered the west and east, and already at the beginning of the 20th century, every connoisseur of beauty sought to decorate their apartments in the art nouveau style.

Art Nouveau style today

The art nouveau interior is a rejection of straight and clear geometric lines. Smooth design, rounded shapes of furniture and accessories, and a variety of textures in decoration are the main accents in this style. 

When creating it, the use of modern materials and complete freedom in design decisions are allowed. Smooth and asymmetrical lines are a kind of fusion with nature; the curved shapes of plants inspire each curve. Such patterns and ornaments give a feeling of lightness, and even heavy furniture visually becomes airy and not so bulky.

Features of the Art Nouveau style

  • Lighting. When decorating a room in the Art Nouveau style, remember that it cannot be combined with halogens and LEDs. Lighting a place in the Art-Nouveau manner suggests tranquil or even intimate. In the daytime, natural light is enough, and in the evening, sources with a matte effect are used, such as lampshades. In the designated reading space, you can put a floor lamp in the form of a delicate lily of the valley or a swan’s neck, and hang sophisticated sconces with carved motives of nature along the wall.
  • Ceiling. Indoor ceilings are usually high and light, they can be multi-level, but sharp corners should be avoided if possible. You can focus on the multi-level ceiling by making it asymmetrical. You can decorate it with stucco or plaster patterns.
  • Walls. For wall decoration in the art nouveau style, wallpapers are mainly used. They can be monochromatic or with the image of flowers, but always of a light shade. An attractive solution would be to paste over the walls with wallpaper with a volumetric pattern. You will have the impression that there is a wall of fresh flowers when you look at them. The second option is a wall painting. The wall can be divided into two zones, and two different shades can be used. It is better to make the border between them wavy and decorate with elements in the form of flowers.
  • Floors. Natural oak parquet or laminate is a good option for decorating the floor in an art nouveau room. Another suitable option is light stone with a wave-like pattern. Do not use rugs or carpets in this style. An exception can be made only in the bedroom, by laying a small carpet by the bed.

Tips for choosing art nouveau furniture

Art Nouveau furniture has no straight lines or angles, and all its edges are streamlined and made of solid material and wood. The main decoration of such furniture is bronze inserts. Sofas and chairs have bent legs and carved backs and armrests, upholstered in a soft plain fabric or with a delicate floral pattern. It is better to choose a table with a rounded shape without corners with a base of bent metal rods, decorated with flowers and leaves. When creating a room design in the art nouveau style, you can pay attention to a small and elegant couch that will fit perfectly into the living room. Desks and sideboards created in the Art Nouveau style also do not have sharp corners, their edges are rounded and decorated with carved patterns. A sliding-door wardrobe is often preferred when choosing a wardrobe for a room in the art nouveau style. It can be decorated with a mirror or a carved pattern.

Colors of Art Nouveau style

Art Nouveau color schemes are based on several shades – blue, marsh, white, and gold. But they can be diluted with some inserts of pink or green. The main thing is that all shades of these colors are natural and reminiscent of nature – for example, blue hues are heavenly blue or water surface, glare on the water is reflected in silver or golden splashes. Combinations of pink and blue will remind you of a beautiful peacock, and green shades of plants and flowers. In the Art Nouveau style, nature reminds of itself even in the smallest patterns and curls, in every smooth line and asymmetry.

Decor elements and accessories for an Art Nouveau interior

When decorating in the art nouveau style, flowers are used, both natural and compositions. Often these are water flowers – irises, lilies, violets. Images of these beautiful plants can decorate any surface – wallpapers, curtains, pillows, clocks, and paintings. 

It is better to decorate the bathroom with elements with images of marine life, such as shells or starfish. Exotic motifs in the form of peacocks and parrots will also be a great addition to an Art Nouveau room. The mirror should be hung in a carved wooden frame, and it is better to use dark varieties for it. 

Stained glass will be an excellent addition and will decorate the room; curtains with folds and oblique borders can be hung on the windows. 

When decorating an interior in the art nouveau style, it is necessary to have a sense of proportion because it does not provide for a large number of decorative elements.

Art Nouveau living room design

When creating an art nouveau living room plan, you can make arched openings and stained glass. Windows should be draped nicely and gracefully. The living room walls should not be made monochromatic, but it is better if one of them is radically different in its pattern. For example, an original ornament or large flowers can be applied to it. The living room will become memorable and will attract attention. Furniture for the living room should be chosen from wood, made from rare species. Carved legs and backs will add grace and chic – round or oval table with high legs. A sideboard will perfectly complement the whole picture. These pieces of furniture can be decorated with bright stained glass patterns. As a decor, you can put a vase of flowers, hang a mirror in a carved wooden frame on the wall, you can put a table lamp in the form of a beautiful flower in the hands of a girl on a coffee table.

Art Nouveau bedroom design

The art nouveau bedroom is sleek and graceful. All corners should be hidden or veiled. For this, you can use the play of light and shadow and a competent combination of colors. Choose a bed for a bedroom from carved wood or made of curved metal rods. Natural patterns will be reflected in the patterns of such a bed. A bedside table with high curved legs should be placed by the bed and a night lamp with a matte shade. A dressing table should also be chosen without sharp corners, and a mirror should be placed in a beautiful frame, next to a soft chair with armrests. Preference should be given to a wardrobe with carved patterns or trimmed with stained glass. Lay a thin carpet with a design or ornament by the bed.

Art Nouveau kitchen design

An art nouveau kitchen is a soft floral line, an ornament with natural motives, depicted on wallpaper, curtains, clocks. For this room, finishing materials are chosen in light colors with discreet and small embellishments. It is a good idea to have a ceiling decorated with stucco or two-level ceiling. For the floor, tiles with a blurred pattern or ornament are an excellent option. It would be best if you chose chairs made of wood with carved legs, upholstered in fabric, and the dining table is round or oval in the kitchen. You can decorate the kitchen by placing a flower in a pot on the window or, if space permits, on the floor. Small accents in the art nouveau style for the kitchen are a teapot with a flower pattern, a vase of flowers on the table, and wall patterns.

Art Nouveau children’s room design

Art Nouveau style is ideal for decorating a children’s room. If the room’s area allows, you can install a wooden ottoman with an oval back, covered with material. If the children’s room is small, you can put a folding sofa. Parts of the sofa that are not covered with material, such as armrests or legs, can be decorated with carved patterns. A wardrobe or chest of drawers with a mirror should also be chosen with carved designs. For lessons, you should install a desk and a chair with high legs and back, and even with armrests. Carved patterns in the form of animals can become its decoration. Parquet floors will be the best option for a nursery. You can lay a small rug with floral patterns on the floor by the bed.

In addition to the history and features of the art nouveau style in the interior, we would like to share the photo ideas, where the delights of this style in the design of the apartment are very clearly and harmoniously emphasized.

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