Don’t you just love a good whodunnit? My all time favourite has to be Agatha Christie’s, Poirot. Not only because I like to work on my detective skills (essential for when tracking down odd socks), but because of the interior delights of the period in which it was set. Such an elegant, glamorous and luxurious era, I’ve been an admirer of Art Deco for many years.
But today we’re not just looking at some fab modern Art Deco style choices for your homes, we’re also taking a peek at some beautiful Art Nouveau too. The two are often confused, although there are notable differences between them.
The New Art Deco & Art Nouveau Modern Style
I’m not saying you should recreate the look onboard the Orient Express, (because one should never over stylise any space), but you might want to consider using a few pieces around your homes to add an air of opulence, refined elegance and glamour to them.
Before we check out some of the beautiful designs available, I thought I’d run through the difference between these different styles. If you’re not interested in a history lesson and want to get to the swoon-worthy designs, you can always scroll down, I’ll completely understand….
Art Nouveau (c.1880 to 1910)
Art Nouveau took its name from the Maison de l’Art Nouveau (House of the New Art), which kinda gives you a clue as to the birth of this style that started at an art gallery opened in 1895 by the Franco-German Siegfried Bing.
For the first time, designers began to take inspiration for their work from the natural world around them rather than looking back on what had historically gone before.
Initially showcased in Paris and then London, Art Nouveau actually caused an outrage amongst the public. It became a bit like Marmite is today, you either loved it or hated it.
Style wise there are two distinctive looks; curvy lines and the more austere linear look of artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh some of which were revived again in the 1960’s.
The Art Nouveau Style – The Low Down
- Curvey elongated lines taken from the flowing forms of nature
- The whiplash line
- Peacock feathers were the epitome of the Art Nouveau style
- Pre-Raphaelite female forms
- Painted and stained glass – used in furniture pieces, lighting designs, windows and doors
- Materials such as exotic woods, glass (iridescent), marquetry
- Highly stylised nature such as flowers, leaves, seed pods
- Colours were muted and sombre – think mustards, sage green olives and brown which were teamed with violets, peacock blues, lilacs and purples
- Pattern – stylised flowers, in particular, water lilies, poppies and wisteria, together with birds and dragonflies.
Art Deco (c.1908 to 1935)
1925 saw the emergence of Art Deco (Arts Décoratif) in Paris and was primarily a fashion orientated style, unlike the modernist design movement at the time that was all about functionalism and technology.
Art deco didn’t really take hold properly until after World War I where it reigned until the outbreak of World War II. By the 1930’s it’s popularity grew from the ability to mass produce, which basically meant anyone, including Tom, Dick or Harry could actually afford to incorporate this style into their homes.
Travel also became more accessible which saw African and Egyptian influences and materials such as mother of pearl, animal skins becoming popular interior must haves.
Art Deco Style – The Low Down
- Geometric and angular shapes such as spheres, polygons, rectangles, trapezoids, zigzags, chevrons & sunburst motifs – These were often arranged in symmetrical patterns. Think rugs and cushions.
- Materials – chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors and mirror tiles
- Stylised images of aeroplanes, cars, cruise liners, skyscrapers
- Nature inspired motifs – shells, sunrises, and flowers
- Colours were strong and contrasting such as silver and black, yellows and reds.
- The world of the silver screen also helped form the Art Deco design utilising shiny fabrics, mirrors and atmospheric lighting.
- The stepped profile became the art deco shape and was used in architecture as well as interior design elements.
Art Deco was influenced by Art Nouveau but unlike its predecessor it discarded it’s flowing organic shapes for a much stronger look using highly contrasting colours as well as incorporating chrome and black.
The New Art Deco & Art Nouveau Modern Style
History lesson over, I’ve picked out some wonderful modern inspiration for your homes featuring the timeless qualities of these styles…..
Crawford Pink Art Deco Wallpaper
A modern take on an iconic Art Deco pattern, this mural by Murals Wallpaper is bang on trend with its pastel pink palette. Price £36.00 /m2
Blue Peacock Wall Mural Pink Cherry Blossom Photo Wallpaper
Peacocks were a popular choice of the Art Nouveau period and this modern-day wall mural albeit in richer intense colours is perfect for creating a feature wall to your homes. It’s printed using the latest HP® Latex Printing Technology, is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and easy to hang. Price: From £26.99
Deco Martini Wallpaper by Divine Savages
Divine Savages is the new kid on the block and are launching their interiors website later this month. They’ve some amazing homewares, including this Martini Wallpaper. There’s even matching coasters. You may want to sign up here as they’re offering a discount when they launch.
Eichholtz Las Palmas Table Lamp
My daughter absolutely fell in love with this wonderful Las Palmas lamp when I showed her, but couldn’t quite grasp the price of it, (£945). I admit it is on the expensive side, but actually, if you look at it, it doubles up as a piece of artwork as well as a lamp. Adding an air of luxury with its gold detailed palm leaves it’s the perfect way to add some Art Nouveau styled glamour to your homes.
RV Astley Gold Cube Table Lamp
Cubism painters such as Picasso influenced the Art Deco style experimenting with space, angles and geometry. This cube lamp offers a modern take on this era including the luxurious blend of brushed gold and black materials. Price: £168.00
DRINKS CABINET/BAR TROLLY
The saying that ‘everything that is old is new again’ is true when it comes to cocktail cabinets. Highly fashionable during the Art Deco period, it’s one trend that has come full circle. Bar carts, drinks cabinets, whatever your choice of name or form, have become the essential home accessory for showing off your cocktail making skills.
Carraway Drinks Cabinet – M&S
Drink cabinets and bar carts are must for those that like to entertain or maybe you just like to style your alcohol with the rest of your decor. Either way, this inspired Art Deco drinks cabinet with its fold out doors and plenty of storage for bottles and glasses makes a great feature piece. The doors are etched with an Art Deco pattern and the cabinet as a whole is spray lacquered in a mink, light grey colour, with dark stained timber legs. There’s also a sideboard that matches. Price: £599
Loulou Bar Trolley Console
If you prefer something a little more portable, then the Loulou Bar Trolley offers freedom of movement so you can take your drinks to where the party’s happening rather than being restricted to one place in your home. With it’s brass-plated with a glass top and mirrored base there’s plenty of storage and serving space. Price £299.00.
Ariel Upholstered Bed
Art Nouveau designers used abstract elements of the Rococo Style such as shell textures to their designs, of which this Ariel Bed has taken inspiration from. It also combines an element of mid-century design with its clean lines and tapered legs which marries beautifully with its curvaceous Art Nouveau shell form. Handmade in London, there are a choice of fabrics to choose from, although you might just opt for this on trend dreamy velvet number. Price from £2,395
Jazz Club Chair
Inspired by 1930s design, with lots of club lounge character. Perfect for adding a vintage twist to modern or traditional living spaces. Price: £299.00
Eichholtz Trapezium Chair
Another organic shell inspired design, the Trapezium chair is certainly a statement piece to be had. Featured here in black velvet and brass legs, or you might want to opt for the turquoise colour. which is perfect for your lounge or hallway. Pure elegance and class abound with this piece Price: £1,090.
Deco Geometric Gold Mirror
You can never have enough mirrors and this modern Art Deco inspired mirror with its geometric shapes will certainly make you look twice. Price £105.
Silje Rug by Linie Design for Heal’s
You can’t beat quality or good looks and this handmade Silje rug has both. Designed by Linie Design for Heal’s, its geometric pattern will add interest and subtle on trend colours of blush pinks and greys. A truly beautiful rug, I’ve added it to one of my wish lists!! Price: £489
Art Deco Silver Bell Jar Candle
If you’re not ready to commit to something as large as a rug, maybe this beautiful candle will satisfy your Art Deco cravings. Price £23.99
What’s your favourite? I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time thanks for stopping by!