Decorating your home can be overwhelming, but understanding the influence of different art movements can help you achieve a cohesive and stylish look. From the flamboyant Rococo era to Art Deco, every movement has left its mark on home design. Let’s take an enjoyable journey through the history of art movements and explore how they have influenced home decoration in this home design guide!
To begin with, let’s look at the Baroque period, where more was definitely more. This extravagant style, which dominated the late 16th to mid-18th century, featured grandeur, ornate detailing, and a whole lot of drama. Baroque-inspired interiors are characterized by rich colors, bold patterns, and luxurious materials like velvet and silk. Furthermore, furniture from this period is often elaborately carved and gilded, with curves and intricate details that’ll make you feel like royalty. You can find more details in my post “10 Tips for Creating a Luxurious Baroque-Style Home Decor”.
Next up, we have Rococo, which emerged in the 18th century as a more playful and whimsical version of Baroque. This style is all about pastel colors, delicate floral patterns, and asymmetrical details. Rococo interiors feature furniture that is smaller and more delicate than Baroque furniture, with curved legs and intricate carvings. Plus, Rococo art and architecture placed a strong emphasis on the natural world, so you’ll often see floral motifs and scenes from nature in Rococo-inspired home decor. I wrote more in detail in my post “Decorating with Pastels and Patterns: A Guide to Rococo-Inspired Design“.
In the late 18th century, a reaction against the ornate excesses of Baroque and Rococo led to the emergence of Neoclassicism. This style was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture, and emphasized clean lines, symmetry, and simplicity. Neoclassical interiors often feature white walls, marble floors, and restrained color palettes. Furniture is typically made of dark wood and has simple, straight lines. Neoclassical art often features classical motifs like columns, arches, and urns. “10 Steps to Achieving a Beautiful Neoclassical Interior Design” I wrote more in this post.
Fast forward to the late 19th century, where Art Nouveau emerged as a reaction against the industrialization of society. This style is all about sinuous, organic lines inspired by the natural world, as well as a fascination with exoticism and symbolism. Art Nouveau interiors often feature curved lines, floral motifs, and a mix of materials like wood, glass, and metal. Furniture is often asymmetrical and features curved lines and natural motifs. Plus, Art Nouveau art often features stylized depictions of plants and animals. You can find more in my “Transform Your Living Space with 10 Simple Art Nouveau Decor Ideas” post.
Now, we’re in the roaring 20s, where Art Deco took center stage. This style emphasized glamour, luxury, and modernity, and often featured bold geometric shapes and bright colors. Art Deco interiors often feature mirrored surfaces, metallic accents, and luxurious materials like marble and velvet. Furniture is often streamlined and geometric, with sleek, angular lines. Art Deco art often features bold, stylized depictions of people and animals, as well as geometric shapes. You can find more at my “10 Elegant Ways to Furnish Your Home with Art Deco Style” post.
Last but not least, we have Modernism, which emerged in the early 20th century as a reaction against traditional styles and the decorative excesses of the past. Modernist interiors emphasize simplicity, functionality, and clean lines, and often feature a minimal color palette. Furniture is often made of materials like steel, glass, and leather and has a streamlined, industrial look. Modernist art features abstract shapes and geometric patterns.
Art movements have had a significant impact on home decoration throughout history. By understanding the aesthetic principles of each movement, you can use them to create a unique and cohesive home decor style that