Art Nouveau swept the design world from the end of the 19th century and into the 1900s. Characterised by organic and geometric forms, this bold style drew inspiration from free flowing natural shapes and married them to more angular lines for a style that is familiar to everyone in the traditional Paris Metro sign. Art Nouveau design was particularly prevalent in elegant jewellery, glass making and furniture. This beautiful and fluid style also influenced architects like Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Antoni Gaudi.
Art Nouveau also had a huge influence on advertising, and many prints and posters from the period feature classic motifs like flowers and stylised female figures. Soft and organic but with an angular edge, Art Nouveau remains a popular and subtly glamorous influence on interior décor today.
The Art Nouveau style is sinuous and elongated with curvaceous lines and a geometric edge. The highly stylised floral shapes include leaves and seedpods and female forms that are bold and curvaceous with long, free-flowing hair. The use of exotic woods, silver, semi-precious stones and iridescent glass also characterise the classic Art Nouveau style.
The Arts and Crafts movement, with its emphasis on traditional materials and craftsmanship, was a huge influence on Art Nouveau. This French style also draws on elements of the highly ornamental rococo style. A huge influence in this style of design was botanical research, which features heavily throughout its style.
Tips and tricks for your bathroom
Ceramics - Pedestal sinks or vanity units with curved legs can emulate the Art Nouveau style, while the bathroom itself should have baths and toilets that are curvaceous, with a free-standing slipper bath as the bathroom centrepiece.
Furniture - This furniture should be soft and sinuous with organic lines in rich woods. Look for high-quality reproductions.
Floor - Ceramic tiles are key to the Art Nouveau look for your bathroom, both for your floors and on the walls. Choose bold, organic, floral designs as a counterpoint to plain white tiles.
Colour Scheme - Keep your bathroom colour scheme muted and sombre with greens and yellows. You should team mustard and sage green with a flash of lilac, purple and peacock blue, which are classic hues of the Art Nouveau style.
Lighting - The lighting in your bathroom should feature Tiffany stained glass lamps and shades, which are absolutely typical of the Art Nouveau style in both form and colours.
Walls - Keep your bathroom walls in an off-white or in pale mustard or a sage colour, which will complement the furniture pieces as well as the accessories, highlighting each element beautifully.
Bathroom Accessories should reflect the Art Nouveau interest in organic materials with wood and glass, and introduce some angular shapes with period mirrors.