Art Nouveau [/’ɑːrt nu:voʊ/] can be considered without any doubt, the first truly original style of the twentieth century because this style is no longer inspired from the past, returning instead to the natural world. Art Nouveau is a term derived from French and translates as “new art”.
Art Nouveau is considered a “total style ‘, because it had an impact on all the visual arts, from architecture, decorative arts and interior design, to fashion, painting, poster design and illustration. Art Nouveau is the predominant style of the early twentieth century in Europe, but also in the United States and Canada.
This new and full of life style comes after the sobriety and Puritanism of the Victorian era, a rediscovery of the female form, exotic wood, stained glass, silver and semiprecious stones.
Elongated curves and vegetable motifs are a dominant of this style, along with intensive use of wrought iron to achieve these details and ornaments. In fact, the elongated lines, sinuous are the most common pattern, in an attempt to imitate the silhouette of climbing plants. Flowers, leaves and even stylized seeds are essential for this style, represented both on fabrics or wallpapers and in three-dimensional forms in ornaments and sculptures. Although this style is characterized by curved, corrugated, dynamic lines, it still doesn’t fall in ornamental excesses.
It was wanted as an artistic movement as a transition phase preceding modernism. This trend was manifested mainly in architecture.
Art works of many architects such as Hector Guimard, who made a number of buildings in Paris, Victor Horta who raised many exceptional houses in Brussels and Henry Van de Velde who decorated and arranged numerous reference housing in Germany are well known.
But perhaps the most famous architect in the world, an outstanding representative of Art Nouveau, is Antoni Gaudi.
But Art Nouveau does not mean just forms line, but also innovative materials, cutting edge technology, surfaces well finished and exacerbated design. Moreover, all forms conventionally used are reinterpreted and redesigned in the Art Nouveau being lively, like flowers that are about to bloom. This style avoids Victorian eclecticism and excess trim, promoting instead stylized patterns inspired by nature. So designers recommend Art Nouveau to those who want a home harmonious and modern, with décor inspired by nature. An home interior in Art nouveau style will be a colourful style with stained glass, wrought iron and various printed textiles.
Art Nouveau & Your Home
1. Flooring: To achieve a vintage look in this style of arrangement you are on track if you have a parquet flooring – preferably a floor in darker shades, stained by time.
2. Walls: The walls will be painted in one of the dominant colors of the palette, or covered with wallpaper that is specific to this style, ie with plant patterns and curves.
3. Colours: The colors have sober shades more pale, purple, red, blue, green, brown. The Art Nouveau range of colors is still pretty weighted – predominantly by pale shades of olive green, mustard yellow and brown. Accents of violet, purple and blue indigo completes a restrained palette, which leaves room for expression of the exuberant play of forms.
4. The Interior Design: The interior design is distinguished by ornaments and textures. Stylized flowers, especially lilies and poppies, leaves, buds, peacock feathers, birds and dragonflies are the dominant themes you need to apply. The most common forms of ornamentation and prints of this are: flame or shell, sea grasses, corals, leaves, climbing plants, buds, peacocks, stylized flowers, especially poppies and lilies, tendrils of plants, grapes, branches, thistles, birds, dragons fly.
5. Furniture: Mobiles are usually grandiose, high back chairs, wardrobes, chests painted cabinets with many drawers and with painted windows. You can opt either for straight chairs with high back, in the manner of Mackintosh either for furniture pieces with lines that are slightly curved and upholstered in stylized floral patterns. In general, pieces of furniture have rounded lines, sinusoidal and elegant. Coffee tables are usually low, a subtle combination of glass, wood and metal.
6. Light Fixtures: Luminaires are true works of art, lamps, table lamps, floor lamps and chandeliers made by famous artists. However, for the lighting, the standard of the period are of course, Tiffany lamps – those lamps with colored glass lamp shade. The originals are very expensive, but all quality shops can provide you successful reproductions at a reasonable price. Colored glass is actually a feature of this style and appears everywhere, from lamps and decorative objects to panels embedded in furniture, doors or windows.
7. Accessories: Among the accessories can include works of art, wall clocks, decorative door handles, silver ornaments, glass, pewter, sumptuous mirror with bronze or carved wood frames, porcelain, jewelry boxes, chests painted, painted vases.