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Decorating In Art Nouveau Style

 Decorating In Art Nouveau Style

Art Nouveau started in the 1890s after people got tired of the heaviness and lavishness of Victorian style.  It was time to simplify the decor.  This style of decorating is lighter and less cluttered and offers a free form of expression.  Shape and form are very important to this style.  The room in Art Nouveau style would have less objects in it, but each object has its own importance. 

Art Nouveau History 

In Art Nouveau decor you will find strong horizontal and vertical lines mixed with curvy objects.  The flowers, leaves and nature is stylized and controlled.  A good example of this is the wallpaper with nature prints, which became available in the late 19th century through mass production. 

A unique feature of Art Nouveau is the stained glass.  The designs with stained glass were either geometric patterns or botanical themes.  Floor polish became popular to represent natural finish.  Oriental carpets were introduced in place of area rugs. 

The heavy drapery and upholstery of Victorian style was replaced with simple furnishings.  In furniture the concentration was on the furniture or architecture itself and not on fabrics and decorations.  Curtains would hang straight down without fancy tassels and tiebacks, and sofas did not have the buttons and pleats.   

The materials used for furniture were satin wood or oak.  Natural wood finishes were a big hit with Art Nouveau.  Some of the wood was carved to show its natural beauty for things like tables and chairs.  

Tiffany lamps became the famous attribute to the Art Nouveau style.  The developer for these lamps was American L.C. Tiffany, who also developed designs for houses, not just lamps.  These lamps were made out of leaded and colored glass. 

White color was a permanent part of Art Nouveau.  It was mixed with other colors and was used as a background to let other colors stand out.  Colors are mostly muted, but the trick was to create interesting combination with them.  Hues like sage, olive, mustard yellow, brown and gold were combined with lilac, purple, peacock blue, salmon and light blue.  These colors were used in wallpapers and fabrics with designs like feathers, flowers, birds and dragonflies. art-nouveau-palette

Art Nouveau For Your Home 

To easily imitate the Art Nouveau style, collect objects that remind you of that period and put them against plain white walls.  Fireplaces were popular attributes of the living room and were made out of wood, cast iron or copper.  Stylize your fireplace in geometric or floral pattern and you have the Art Nouveau living room.  Don't clutter the room, but leave just a few key items.  Select materials for these accessories like silver, copper, pewter, glass and ceramic. 

Pick wooden planks or tiles for your floor.  Stain them for a natural wood look.  For additional effect of that period, purchase an oriental rug. 

Because of the youth of the Art Nouveau style, you can still find it at certain stores and auctions.  Even modern furniture is influenced by the style.  Find items with stained glass.  It can be a mirror or a wall decoration.  You can even replace a small window with stained glass window, but it can be expensive. 

If you definitely need curtains, make them very simple.  The window treatment hardware should be made of wood.  Just purchase Art Nouveau inspired fabrics and hang them from a simple wooden rod.  For a more creative project, paint simple designs on the fabric. 

Lighting can be purchased in the form of reproductions.  The signature Tiffany lamps are still popular today and will make a great presentation of the Art Nouveau.  To properly accessorize in Art Nouveau inspired items, look at auctions for lamps, mirrors and pictures.

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