Design, architecture, and fashion trends tend to come and go in cycles. Older trends often tend to resurface after some time when they are revived by connoisseurs and lovers of unique aesthetics.
Modern architecture has no match throughout history, and various styles can coexist in an eclectic mix. Art Nouveau is one of the most recognisable styles in the history of architecture and design, having influenced many trends and concepts throughout history. In this post, we explore the origins of this iconic artistic trend and how it can still be seen today.
What Is Art Nouveau?
Art Nouveau is a style of art and design that first appeared at the end of the 19th century as a reaction to the rigid styles of classical art. Its creators wanted to break the barriers between fine arts and applied arts. In other words, they wanted to bring beauty into people’s homes and on the streets.
The Art Nouveau style is defined by natural shapes and ornaments inspired by plants and flowers. In an architectural context, this style also uses modern materials like steel, concrete, and glass. Female silhouettes are also characteristic of Art Nouveau. Most prevalent in decorative art, this style aims to influence all artistic expressions. In Australia, this design is commonly referred to as Federation style, and you can still see heritage homes today displaying Art Nouveau finishes.
Elements of Art Nouveau Design
Here are a few of the ways Art Nouveau can be incorporated into today’s modern design:
- Shapes inspired by botanical elements, with curves, curls, and spirals that aren’t always symmetrical.
- Vibrant colours focused on mustard yellow, royal blue, and shades of green and brown.
- Lines that are organic and curvaceous, featuring leaves, flowers, female silhouettes and more.
Art Nouveau vs Art Deco
Art Nouveau is often considered to be the same thing as Art Deco, but they are two different styles that emerged in the same era at the beginning of the 20th century. Art Deco preceded Art Nouveau, incorporating more geometrical imagery and clean, simple lines. Art Deco was inspired by cubism, futurism, and a shift towards technology-oriented avant-garde. Despite their differences, both styles continue to inspire artists and designers today.
Iconic Nouveau Designers
Art Nouveau has many different names, depending on the region. This style has reached all corners of Europe and America, and its most prominent designers come from all parts of the world. Famous examples include Czech illustrator Alphonse Mucha and jewellery designer René Lalique.
New or Nouveau: The Choice is Yours
If you want to infuse Art Nouveau influences into your home design, contact our expert team of period home builders here at Australian Heritage Homes. We have decades of experience in building custom homes and can help you create a home with historically accurate architecture and design. Contact us today for a free discussion to see how we can help with your construction needs in and around Melbourne.