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How to incorporate Art Nouveau into your home

Posted on 13 May 2017

Art Nouveau was a short-lived but incredibly influential decorative movement. Borne out of frustration at the flood of badly made reproductions of bygone decorative styles during the industrial revolution, this thoroughly modernist movement sought to bring something completely new to the design world. The dynamic curving lines and stylised motifs inspired by the natural world are instantly recognisable even now. As the first design movement of which its principles applied across all aspects of design - jewellery, furnishings, lighting, print, textiles, architecture, clothing - it is really easy to incorporate the Art Nouveau style into your home today.

Here are the main principles of Art Nouveau style and tips on how to bring them into your home - it is entirely up to you whether you go for genuine antique Art Nouveau pieces or not - it is so much fun searching around antique stores, but there are SO many great reproductions of this style out there today if you want something a bit lighter. My advice would be to combine the two if your budget allows, and only buy antique pieces you fall in love with!

Design with flowing lines

The hallmark of Art Nouveau, and inspired by natural organic forms. You can bring these into your home in the form of decorative stair rails and furnishings.



Take inspiration from nature

There is inspiration everywhere you look, take in the flora and fauna all around you - floral motifs, vines, birds, the ocean…take your pick! This is an easy one to incorporate into your home - look for artworks, decorative accents such as coasters, glassware, cushions, mirrors.



Incorporate wrought iron

A perfect example of using this is the work of famous architect, Gaudi. You can get decorative with staircase handrails, the entrance to your home, and lighting.


Stained Glass

One of the most recognisable elements of Art Nouveau, probably attributable to the Tiffany lamps so synonymous with the movement…can also be used in windows, wall hangings, the doors of furnishings, and ornaments.



Experiment with wall decor

There are a multitude of printed wallpapers in the Art Nouveau style available today, in all sorts of colours. So go crazy! Choose a bright loud pattern and make a feature wall, or go for a more understated print in muted tones and cover the entire room with it. Have fun!



Choosing the right furniture

This period saw mainly wooden pieces with curved forms, and incorporating stained glass and of course decorative motifs inspired by nature. Choose one or two pieces in this style, such as beautiful high back dining chairs, an amazing fireplace, or a beautiful console table.



Decorative flooring

Typically parquet, which can be incredibly expensive. If you don't have the means or ability to have parquetry flooring, go for plain wood finish flooring overlaid with a selection of vintage or oriental style rugs in muted colour palettes.


if you want some further inspiration, here is a list of google search terms to get you started!

Art Nouveau Principles, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Glasgow School of Art, >House for an Art Lover, Tiffany, Lalique, Form Follows Function, Modern Art Nouveau, Art Nouveau Prints, Art Nouveau Printed Wallpaper.


Kirsty is a Sydney based Interior Designer & Stylist who; like Hazrat Inayat Khan believes "Some People Look For a Beautiful Place, Others Make a Place Beautiful" Learn more about Kirsty at


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