At LuxeDecor, we bring together so many styles, brands, and aesthetics it’s no wonder that we have a plethora of Art Nouveau pieces to help you decorate your home. From Tiffany lamps for the living room to decorative tables for the dining room, we offer you an unbelievable number of Art Nouveau inspired collections. If you can’t wait to put Art Nouveau interior design at the top of your list, keep reading to discover our most recommended brands and learn more about the most important features of this design style.
What is Art Nouveau?
Art Nouveau is the name of the style that began influencing the art and architecture of the world in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. While the movement may have started in Britain, you can see its influence throughout the entire world including in France, Japan, and the United States. Many times, Art Nouveau furniture was designed and built for a specific building. Every element of the building’s design was echoed in the furniture piece that was being built whether it was a light fixture, desk, sofa, or armoire.
Art Nouveau Interior Design Elements
When searching for Art Nouveau pieces, there are certain things you want to keep an eye out for. A delicate eye for detail and incredibly complex motifs were prevalent. Look for flowing lines and curved edges that are accented by natural themes like flowers, leaves, trees, and a variety of fauna. Everything from bumblebees and butterflies to grapes and gardenias can be found in Art Nouveau interior design. Look to the Meyda Animals collection to discover beautiful examples of animal inspired accent pieces.
At one point, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts crossed paths and many furniture makers began implementing mixed mediums to bring their pieces to life. While a combination of wood and metal was the obvious choice, some artisans brought together less anticipated materials like wood, painted parchment, ivory, and copper to create something completely unique. Just a glance at Lexington’s buffet tables and sideboards shows you gorgeous examples of how mirrors, glass, wood, and metal can come together in a cohesive design.
Art Nouveau in Furniture
There are a number of distinctive characteristics in Art Nouveau interior furniture design that stand out starkly — even among the most embellished and intricate styles. From the type of wood carving to new inlay techniques, anything created in the Art Nouveau fashion is instantly recognizable. While there are some crossovers into Art Deco and Arts and Crafts, there are certain furniture features that are claimed by Art Nouveau alone.
Wood is an incredibly important part of Art Nouveau interior design. While it shares many similar characteristics with other aesthetics, the abundance of wood in the interior décor makes a space stand out as distinctly Art Nouveau. The most popular wood used during the Art Nouveau period by far was hardwood. Some of the most desired hardwood types included oak, ash, maple, mahogany, rosewood, teak, and cherry for their unique texture, color, grain, and other markings.
Hardwoods are very difficult to work with, as their texture requires a high level of skill and powerful tools to manipulate. Since many Art Nouveau carvings are intricate and delicate, only experts were able to deliver the curves and twisting forms that were so in demand during this time. To add to the difficulty of carving and piecing together small slabs of wood, paint and inlay were also common techniques that were used to enhance and accentuate the choice of wood. For one of the most stunning examples of ornate carvings on our site, explore the Marina Collection from Uttermost.
Not only was wood used to create labyrinthine designs in the surface of the furniture, but other materials also came into play including ivory, gemstones, colored glass, seashells, mirrors, and various metals. Much of the Art Nouveau interior design style completely revolved around inlay as a decorative technique.
In the LuxeDecor online store, you’ll find hundreds of wood pieces that feature inlay designed with a variety of materials. Browse the Global Views brand to discover pieces inlaid with shells and mother of pearl. If you’ve fallen in love with the marriage of metal and wood, the Eleni Collection from Boston Mills showcases some gorgeous brass inlaid into rosewood. Is wood on wood inlay more your aesthetic? The Langton Collection from Jonathan Charles features a fascinating walnut on walnut chain link inlay technique.
Painting woodland scenes onto wood furniture pieces was also a popular and more affordable style of decorating chests, armoires, and consoles in the Art Nouveau interior design aesthetic. While some craftspeople painted directly onto the wood, others took a more circuitous route. They would paint embellishments onto parchment paper and then laminate it onto the wood. Painting on paper first allowed for the colors to come through more brilliantly than they would if simply painted directly onto darker woods.
Some of the most beautiful painted pieces at LuxeDecor are actually in a French-inspired collection from French Heritage called Parc Saint Germain. You can also find other whimsically painted pieces amongst the armoires in Habersham’s collections.
While much of the Art Nouveau interior design style seems to be needlessly ornamental, the undulating asymmetrical lines and sinuous forms are meant to mimic the movement and structure of vines, wings, flower stalks, and blooming plants. Taking all these pictorial elements in at once often results in a dazzling array of carved and embellished furniture that boggles the eye. Yet at its most basic, Art Nouveau strives to imitate and celebrate the organic artistry in the world around us.
Some of the craftspeople of the Art Nouveau period took their simulation of the natural world very literally and created pieces that heavily highlighted butterflies, flowers, and birds. You can also find a large number of designs that focus more on playing with lines and patterns. Both Jonathan Charles and Global Views offer fascinating depictions of plant and animal life on many of their accent furniture pieces.
Art Nouveau in Accessories
There is plenty to talk about in Art Nouveau interior furniture design, but the true freedom to express this aesthetic occurred in the accessories and décor of the period. Whether created in glass, ceramic, fabric, or wood, the Art Nouveau accessories truly explored the beauty of nature and brought it into the home in the most animated of ways.
Art Nouveau interior design in the stained glass category was a true celebration of color and life. From windows and inlay to lampshades and wall sconces, stained glass was everywhere! If there was a rebellion against old traditionalism anywhere in the Art Nouveau style, it was here. No repetitive patterns, no boring color schemes — just an abundance of activity and life!
One brand that has revitalized the Art Nouveau aesthetic in many of its collections is Meyda Lighting. Explore natural depictions in their Nouveau collection which includes chandeliers, sconces, table lamps, floor lamps, and so much more. This brand also has a variety of stained glass panels that can be fitted into windows or used as wall decorations.
Art Nouveau ceramics were heavily influenced by the Japanese ceramic creations of previous centuries and borrowed many elements from their design. You’ll see a number of vases that used more than just paint to bring flowers, people, and animals to life. Sculpture and ceramic art merged together to create accent pieces with three-dimensional aspects that had never before been explored in Europe. Where stained glass had exuberantly explored bright colors and hues, many of the colors on these pieces were subdued and ethereal. Soft glazes and muted palettes were the trend.
Discover the Art Nouveau interior design ceramic styles at LuxeDecor in a number of our designer collections including:
Since there was a bit of a tug of war between the brilliance of stained glass colors and the muted ceramic styles, the fabric creations of the Art Nouveau period did an amazing job of pulling from both aesthetics. Flowers heavily influenced the throw pillows and rugs of the era and were chosen for their versatility in both design and color. Irises, lilies, chrysanthemums, lavender, and poppies were popular choices.
The Emerald Collection from KAS Rugs explores the asymmetrical floral elements of Art Nouveau interior design while the Caesar Collection from Surya captures the melding of the more traditional repetition and symmetry that Art Nouveau was trying to break away from.
Art Nouveau Interior Design with LuxeDecor
When you choose to explore the collections of Art Nouveau pieces at LuxeDecor, you get more than just access to quality furniture and accessories! We bring you the experience and historical knowledge you need to seamlessly blend every item you choose into your existing décor. From the perfect accent lamp to standout showstoppers, you can rely on our team to point you in the right direction.