Period Style‎ > ‎

Art Nouveau


   Get the look


Ø      Developing from the Arts & Crafts movement (1880s), Art Nouveau ran from around 1890 – 1905. It can be distinguished by a much lighter pallet than those in the Victorian era, giving a lighter, more airy and uncluttered appearance.


Ø      The aim is to achieve the look through natural finishes and design. Lines are long, curving and often stylised versions of grasses, vines and flowers with peacock feathers being a particular favourite. Forms should be organic and unforced with a sense of harmony.


Ø      The artefacts of the period were often shown to their best against a wall decorated in one of the shades of white, which was softened by the item’s sensuous lines. Floral pastels also became popular; shades of salmon pink, lilac and lavender, the easily recognisable grey-green and of course the punctuation of black to make a statement.


Ø      This was the age of Rennie Mackintosh and his famous high backed chairs, geometric designs and stylised roses. It was also the time of the famous Tiffany. Together, this brought the design of furniture and glass, whether in lampshade form or leaded stained glass in doors and windows, into the home.


Ø      Dado rails begin to rise to eye level, but can also be replaced altogether by a plate rack.


Ø      Look beneath the carpet – timber floors were popular, much as in the previous age, but are now much lighter, sanded and sometimes waxed. On top, the rugs favoured were muted, often faded and of Oriental design and origin. Alternately a stencilled border can be applied to give the impression of a rug, but be sure the design is a flowing, even if stylised, one.


Ø      To help complete the look, try to find a cast iron fireplace with the right design. This may be difficult, but salvage yards, or the Internet are a boon. An even more difficult task may be to find original tiles. But now, there are many good reproductions that can be employed to give just as good an effect.

                                                   Samples of Art Nouveau wallpaper