Art Nouveau Style Creates Verve With Curves
Commonly known as having its origins in Belgium and France, the art nouveau period — roughly 1890 to 1914 — saw a rejection of Victorian styles, historic imitations and revivals. It demonstrated a close relationship with the fine arts, integrating them into architecture and design, and made the most of modern materials like iron and glass, the new electrical lighting and new industrial production methods. Art nouveau style derived from types of nature, like flowers, vines, shells, feathers and insect wings. Sweeping, swirling, fluid and feminine, it is best identified by its own S-curve (or whiplash) designs, differentiating it from the more aerodynamic and geometric designs of the subsequent art deco period.
The roughest Tassel House at Brussels, today the Mexican Embassy (not shown), is a magnificent example of art nouveau style by architect Victor Horta. He utilized sweeping curves, metal along with also the then-new light. Horta stated of his designs, “I discard the flower and the leaf, but I keep the stem.”
This stairway at Louisville, Kentucky, replicates the long, fluid lines of this age perfectly.
Jil Sonia Interiors
Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist who set the Tiffany Glass Company. His designs were spotted by Samuel Bing, who had opened an interior design shop in Paris in 1895 known as L’Art Nouveau. The shop, made by Portuguese art nouveau practitioner Henry Van de Velde, gave its title to that style and age.
Rene Lalique’s designs also featured highly in the age and have been exhibited in the shop L’Art Nouveau. Lalique is known best for his work in glass and the style is introduced superbly here in the taps. The decorative shell is also reminiscent of the period.
Beccy Smart Photography
My main source of inside design jealousy is that the first art nouveau cast iron fireplaces. This one is a statement in its own right, although I’d opt for pairing it with plain painted pastels. But for drama, it functions well in this diverse room with a background that echoes those sweeping lines.
Paul D’Amico – Stage Design
For art nouveau style, add replica tiles into fireplace surrounds or in kitchens and baths. Originals like these can be found in salvage yards and from specialists.
Ricky Sauls Decorative Painting
A more subtle display of these magnificent art nouveau lines, this trompe l’oeil ceiling perfectly picks up the elegance of the age.
Designer Tile Plus
Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ Tiles – $450
Speaking of interior design envy, I just had to include something from Gustav Klimt, more exactly a founding member of the Vienna Secession but still recognized for his role in the art nouveau movement. I can’t afford an original of the, but these tiles just could satisfy my desire!
Graham & Brown
Hula Wallpaper, Green – $85
Obviously, there’s always a modern take on previous designs, and this pretty wallpaper definitely fulfills that criteria. It may just as readily be utilised in a more conventional setting with some initial art nouveau pieces to complement it.