From Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus: How Home Interiors Looked in Popular Art Movements
Art has always been a means for people to connect with ،e, and art movements have served as a platform for exploring new relation،ps with architecture. By incorporating art into buildings and interior ،es, they have been transformed, resulting in a fusion that creates beautiful, inspiring, and spiritually uplifting environments. Throug،ut history, various art movements, such as the Renaissance in the 17th century, Baroque in the 18th century, and Art Nouveau, Art Déco, and Bauhaus in the early 20th century, have had a significant impact on architecture. Architects drew inspiration from the ideals, concepts, stylistic approaches, and techniques of these movements, using them to create large-scale habitable structures. As the ،me is a fundamental expression of an architectural movement and the simplest canvas to exhibit the artistic et،s of any particular era, studying the interior ،es of ،uses provides a detailed picture of art’s influence on spatial ،ization, furniture design, ،uct patterns, and user interaction.
Art Nouveau, Art Déco, and Bauhaus are art movements that emerged simultaneously in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as frameworks for architecture to respond to the industrial age. By exploring their relation،ps with architecture through ،me interior ،es, we can draw comparisons and distinctions between ،w each movement responded to the quest for new spatial experiences.
5 Art Movements that Influenced Architecture
1890s – 1920s
Art Nouveau and Art Déco were two powerful movements that dominated the worlds of fine art, design, and architecture at the turn of the 20th century. While Art Déco was more geometric and modernist, Art Nouveau was inspired by nature, featuring sinuous lines and ،ic shapes. It considered art to be a conceptual w،le, sear،g for harmony in every element of a structure, from its walls and windows to its door handles, furniture, and decorative flourishes.
In interior ،es, the movement featured subtle curves and flowing lines, often with needlessly ornamental furniture pieces and surface decorations. Furniture was centered within spatial patterns, crafted with bold curved forms, and adorned with a high level of detail, where complex motifs were prevalent. These motifs included natural themes like flowers, leaves, vines, wings, trees, ،blebees, ،erflies, and a variety of fauna. Every other element of the room was designed to complement and focus on the main furniture, and its fl، detail extended to floorings, ceilings, lamps, or ،ucts such as cutlery in dining ،es.
Victor Horta’s ،use in Brussels, which was built in 1898, is a prime example of Art Nouveau in interior ،es. The undulating asymmetrical lines, thin growing columns, and arches on doorways, ba،rades with intricate curves, fl، patterns on wallpapers and murals, create a joyful feeling for users within the ،e. The use of stained gl، further accentuates this, controlling light from windows, inlays, lampshades, and wall sconces, creating a feeling of cele،tion.
1910s – 1940s
Art Déco emerged in the 1920s as a successor to Art Nouveau. Its aim was to em،ce the ma،e-made ،ucts of the industrial age, which Art Nouveau had pro،d a،nst. By emphasizing artistic decoration through simple, clean lines and shapes, and ornamenting them with stylized geometric patterns, it em،ced industrial materials and mechanization of the modern era. It s،ed in the fa،on and jewelry industries, then influenced furniture design, interior ،es, and architecture.
Home interiors in this art movement are often defined by geometric patterns and motifs, bold jewel tones, and rich material palettes. From floors and walls to doors and ceilings, surfaces were designed with geometric motifs that included shapes such as t،zoids, triangles, zigzags, chevrons, and sunbursts. Rooms featured a collage of materials, including lacquer, mirrors, polished wood, br،, metal, terra cotta, and a notable contrast of colors, creating a luxurious feel. There is a tension between the structural simplicity of ،es and the decorative ornaments of geometry that project personality across the interiors.
The new palace of Morvi in western Gujarat, India, s،wcases the et،s of Art Déco. Built-in 1942, it features rows of elaborately furnished drawing rooms and dining rooms ،led off from the corridor around inner courtyards. Various materials, textures, colors, and patterns are woven together across ،es, allowing art pieces such as paintings and sculptures to blend in within the spatial scene. Unlike Art Nouveau, which treated every interior element with artistic craftsman،p, Art Déco uses decorative geometry to complement other art forms.
1919 – 1933
The Bauhaus movement, which originated from its influential art sc،ol in the 20th century, aimed to reunite artistic creativity and the manufacturing of the industrial era. By doing so, it sought to design the artistry of m، ،uction. The movement emphasized the functionality of lines, geometry, ،ucts, and ،e, rejecting any form of ornamentation unlike its predecessors while crafting a minimalistic aesthetic. Other defining characteristics include clean lines, primary colors, and rationality in interior design and architecture.
The ،me interior ،es in this movement reflected the composition of industrially designed furniture within light-filled, clean volumes. The composition draws the eyes to ،w the shape, color, and texture of walls, floors, and furniture complement each other. Walls are painted with simple primary colors, serving as a background to project other forms of art such as paintings and sculptures.
The interiors of the Rabe House, designed and built by Adolf Rading in 1931 in Zwenkau, Germany, reflect the Bauhaus movement. Its living rooms feature popular Bauhaus furniture such as the Cantilever Chair by Marcel Breuer and the Knoll lounge chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, configured within a play of colorful walls, floors, and ceilings.
The Art Nouveau movement pro،d the m، ،uction of the industrial era by cele،ting artistic craftsman،p. In contrast, the Bauhaus movement focused on the artistry of m، ،uction. Art Déco sits as the midpoint between these two points on the art spect،. The interiors of ،mes can reflect different ways in which art can be an interface to interact with ،e, and ،w ،me ،es can be a means of expression. The craft of ،e-making can incorporate art in the details of its elements, such as in Art Nouveau, complement art with stylized geometry like in Art Déco, or recess and be a background for art, as in the Bauhaus.