From Art Nouveau to Bauhaus: what home interiors looked like in popular art movements
Art has always been a way for people to connect with space, and art movements have served as a platform for exploring new relationships with architecture. Incorporating art into buildings and interior spaces transforms them, creating a fusion that creates environments that are beautiful, moving, and spiritually uplifting. Throughout history, various artistic movements have had a major influence on architecture, including the 17th century Renaissance, 18th century Baroque, and early 20th century Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Bauhaus. Architects drew inspiration from the ideals, concepts, stylistic approaches, and techniques of these movements and used them to create large-scale habitable structures. Because the house is the fundamental expression of an architectural movement and the simplest canvas for expressing the artistic spirit of a particular era, studying the interior spaces of houses allows us to improve spatial composition, furniture design, and product patterns. , it is possible to understand in detail the impact of art on users. Alternating current.
Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Bauhaus are artistic movements that emerged simultaneously in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as architectural frameworks for the industrial era. By exploring the relationship with architecture through the interior spaces of the house, we can compare and differentiate how each movement responded to the search for new spatial experiences.
1890s – 1920s
Art Nouveau and Art Deco are two powerful movements that dominated the world of art, design, and architecture in the early 20th century. While Art Deco was more geometric and modernist, Art Nouveau was inspired by nature and is characterized by sinuous lines and organic shapes. It considered art to be a conceptual whole and sought the harmony of every element of a structure, from walls and windows to door handles, furniture, and decorative ornamentation.
In interior spaces, movements were characterized by subtle curves and flowing lines, often with unnecessarily decorative furniture and surface decorations. Furniture was placed at the center of the spatial pattern, made with bold curvilinear forms, and decorated with a high degree of detail where intricate motifs prevailed. These motifs included natural themes such as flowers, leaves, vines, feathers, trees, bumblebees, butterflies, and various animals. All other elements of the room are designed to complement and focus on the main furniture, with floral details extending to flooring, ceilings, lamps, or even products such as cutlery in the dining space. I’m reading.
Victor Horta’s house in Brussels, built in 1898, is a prime example of Art Nouveau in interior spaces. The undulating asymmetrical lines, the narrow pillars and arches of the doorway, the intricately curved balustrades, and the floral patterns on the wallpaper and murals bring a sense of joy to the users within the space. The use of stained glass further emphasizes this, controlling light from windows, inlays, lampshades and wall sconces, creating a festive atmosphere.
1910s – 1940s
Art Deco emerged in the 1920s as a successor to Art Nouveau. Its purpose was to embrace the machine-made products of the industrial age, which Art Nouveau opposed. Emphasizing artistic decoration with simple, clean lines and shapes, and embellishing with stylized geometric patterns, modern industrial materials and mechanization were incorporated. It started in the fashion and jewelry industry and has since influenced furniture design, interior spaces, 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 are designed with geometric motifs such as trapezoids, triangles, zigzags, chevrons and sunbursts. The rooms feature a collage of materials such as lacquer, mirrors, polished wood, brass, metal and terracotta, as well as striking color contrasts, creating a luxurious atmosphere. There is a tension between the structural simplicity of the space and the geometric decoration that projects personality throughout the interior.
The new palace at Molvi in the western state of Gujarat in India embodies the spirit of Art Deco. Built in 1942, the building features an elaborately decorated reception room and dining room off a corridor surrounding a courtyard. Different materials, textures, colors and patterns are woven into the space, and artworks such as paintings and sculptures blend into the spatial scene. Unlike Art Nouveau, which treated every interior element with artistic craftsmanship, Art Deco uses decorative geometric patterns to complement other art forms.
The Bauhaus movement originated from the influential art school of the 20th century and aimed to reunite artistic creativity with industrial-age manufacturing. In doing so, we sought to design the artistry of mass production. This movement emphasized line, geometry, product, and the functionality of space, rejecting all conventional ornamentation and creating a minimalist aesthetic. Other characteristics include clean lines, primary colors, and rationality in interior design and architecture.
The interior spaces of this movement’s homes reflect the composition of industrially designed furniture within a clean, light-filled space. This composition draws the eye to how the shapes, colors, and textures of the walls, floors, and furniture complement each other. The walls are painted in simple primary colors and serve as a backdrop for projecting other forms of art such as paintings and sculptures.
Designed and built by Adolf Rading in Zwenkau, Germany in 1931, the interior of the Rabe Haus reflects the Bauhaus movement. The living room features popular Bauhaus furniture, such as Marcel Breuer’s cantilever chair and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Nord Lounge chair, and features colorful walls, floors, and ceilings.
The Art Nouveau movement protested the mass production of the industrial age by celebrating artistic craftsmanship. In contrast, the Bauhaus movement focused on the artistry of mass production. Art Deco stands as the midpoint between these two points in the realm of art. Home interiors can reflect the different ways in which art can be an interface for interacting with space, and the ways in which home spaces can be a means of expression. Space-making techniques can incorporate art into the details of its elements, as in Art Nouveau, complement art with stylized geometry, as in Art Deco, or complement art with stylized geometry, as in Bauhaus. It can also be recessed into an artistic background.