Modernist (Art Nouveau) style in interior design: main features and characteristics

The Art Nouveau is a design style dominated by natural materials, ashy colors and soft, rounded lines. Modernist interiors often have different kind of floral motifs. If you want to follow this style in your home, be prepared to spend as it would be hard to create such design on a budget. Deciding on Art Nouveau, you get a real work of art.

Стиль модерн в интерьере - фото


  1. Description and main characteristics of style
  2. Modernist apartment design and its main features
  3. Furniture in modernist interiors
  4. Modernist kitchen and its design options
  5. Bedroom
  6. Modernist bedroom
  7. Bathroom in modernist (art nouveau) style
  8. Decor
  9. Modernist house

Фото - интерьер квартиры в стиле модерн

Modernist apartment or house interior design

Many people confuse classic modernist interior with modern style (contemporary). In fact, Art Nouveau as a design style is quite old. It originated in the late 1800s. The style is ideal for apartment with non-standard floor plan, studio apartments, and also will be an ideal choice when decorating a house.

Modernist interiors can be characterized as follows: the form follows function. In other words, the furniture and decor should first of all have a functional purpose. Which design option is better to choose? You can choose one of the foollowing solutions:

  1. 100% Art Nouveau interior. The most expensive option, which means you will have to completely recreate all the details of the style.
  2. Decorative. Imitation of the style with several basic design elements.
  3. Light. Only color scheme and a few characteristic accents.

Современный модерн в интерьере дома и квартиры - фото

Nowadays, modernist design can be called modern art. Let’s take a closer look at its main features.:

  • Wooden elements with a clearly visible structure. Wood on floors, ceilings, window and door openings, as well as furniture made of solid wood are recommended. Wooden framing can also have floor lamps and other lighting devices.
  • When choosing decor and furniture, it should be remembered that this design implies soft and smooth lines and the absence of symmetry. The lines should smoothly balance and gently flow one into one, as if imitating floral motifs.
  • Modernist interior design is a design which nature itself left an imprint on. Therefore, flora theme and animal ornaments have acquired enormous significance in it.
  • The use of glass elements is a must. You can arrange the windows with a mosaic, as well as apply the stained glass technique to decorate the ceiling, doors, partitions and lamps. Your room will become even more comfortable if it contains floral patterns.
  • Unlike glass, metal is rather an addition than a mandatory element and is used only as a decor. For consonance with the design, it is desirable that the metallic elements most closely resemble plant themes.
  • Interior design of modernist style implies the use of a limited number of textiles and only for its functional purpose (curtains, upholstery and cushions).
  • Windows are very important part of design. They are often arched and necessarily large. You can decorate them using mosaic with floral motif.
  • Modernist wallpapers should be with exotic floral prints. They can be used for wall and ceiling cladding.
  • Decorated with stained glass doors with small windows on the sides and along the arch can be a cool feature. Ideally, wide door of the two halves.
  • Modernism is characterized by soft, calm shades. The color palette includes creamy, sandy, pearl, cream, peach tones. These soft, not flashy colors best convey the smoothness of lines and visually increase the room. The softer the shade you choose, the more accurate the idea will be. With the help of red, yellow and fuchsia you can arrange a small amount of active color elements.
  • Art Nouveau style curtains are usually hung on wide eaves. When choosing a fabric for them, pay attention to natural, massive fabrics that would become the final touch, harmoniously fitting into the interior, but not being its accent.
  • Modernist style tends to a large space in which you can easily divide the room into zones with partitions and flooring with smooth lines. Chandeliers will help in lighting and visual increase the space.
  • The furniture is selected exclusively functional and stylized. As for material, it should be made of wood with glass elements of a decor. Comfortable upholstered furniture can also complement the interior. A feature of the furniture in this style is an unconventional and bizarre form. For example, a table with a massive worktop on thin figured legs.
  • Features of the modernist interiors include both functional and decorative lighting devices. The first include lamps on the floor and walls, as well as spotlights. A decorative function is performed by a number of wall lamps and floor lamps, the task of which is to lighten darkened corners of the room. Lighting devices can be of non-standard form and made of wood, porcelain and thin glass, as well as have metal elements.
  • Chic classic modernist style is characterized by walls of soft colors and lack of texture. If you choose gray or graphite color for walls, you can decorate them with floral ornament to avoid gloom. Wood panels made of natural wood with a light shade are also allowed.

Modernist apartment design

Want your apartment to combine elegant style, comfort and sophistication? Modernist style in interior design will help create a cozy atmosphere with soft lines and neutral colors, especially since this design is an excellent ground for experiments with decor. The main rule is to be inspired by nature, its ornate forms and natural colors. Symmetry is not common in this style, therefore in an apartment it is important to strive for pronounced arcuate forms. This can be expressed in arched door and window openings, volume ornaments on the walls, a fireplace and its framing, as well as used in decorating the stairs and its elements.

The floor in the modern style should not be a bright accent in the room. To do this, it is recommended to use parquet or laminate in the color of wood covering, which would play in bright contrast with the walls or in harmony with the shades of light wood on the walls. It is also undesirable to use ceramic tiles because of its strict geometric shapes.

Modernist furniture

The lounge living area can be represented by a dark wood sofa with fabric covering to match the interior. The sofa is usually bought complete with a pair of chairs, since it is important that all the furniture have a frame of the same wood type. Chase arm sofa is possible, but it is desirable to arrange a seating composition in the center of the room in the form of “P” or “G”. The basis of the selection of colors should be the color of the walls, which can be diluted with colorful accessories. Upholstered furniture in modern style is characterized by compactness and functionality. It contains materials such as wood, glass and metal fittings.

Кухня в стиле модерн - фото

Kitchen in the style of Art Nouveau and its design options

If you want to follow modernist style in interior desig, then the kitchen should be spacious. If you have a small kitchen, but you chose a modernist style design, you can recreate the style with the help of decorative elements.



The walls are the main basis and background for furnishing in the style. To achieve this effect, you can use a non-textured material or paint the walls in a muted monochromatic color. Wallpaper or paneling is not recommended, and elegance in design can be achieved with glass wall covering or medium-sized ceramic tiles. The tile must be without a pattern, and the use of grout between the seams is a must.



Kitchen set should be an integral part of the wall and have a geometric shape of a monochrome color. Furniture composition should be located in the center of the kitchen, led by a massive table with legs extended upwards. The table can be as a bright element, and be chosen to match the color of the floor. The chairs are soft, having upholstery with an interesting ornament. Kitchen furniture should convey stylistic features, so choose models with soft lines: monophonic or with floral patterns.



Special colors and ornate forms in the decoration of the kitchen will help to completely recreate the idea of this design style in your kitchen. It is enough to decorate the kitchen with small details, such as straight long curtains, vases, flowers in the center of the table, stylized kitchen utensils and china.

оформление и деков кухни в стиле модерн - фото

Modernist bedroom

The interior decoration of the bedroom in Art Nouveau style is usually means a pair of primary colors, several elements of decor and soft ambient lighting.



Plastering and painting are the most popular solutions for wall decoration. You can also choose a neutral wallpaper without a large pattern or a bright pattern. It is not recommended to use plastic when decorating walls.



The ideal material for the bedroom floor will be hardwood or laminate of a single color, which can be diluted with carpet. It is not recommended to use carpets with thick pile, as well as to cover the floor with cold materials such as stone or ceramics. The floor of a dark color or with the effect of bleaching will perfectly fit.



The focus in the bedroom is on the bed with a luxurious wooden headboard. You can also purchase a nightstand with low legs and a small coffee table. It is recommended to buy a massive cabinet and select the farthest corner for it or purchase a wardrobe with doors in the form of a stained-glass window. Accessories for the bedroom should be consonant with the tone of the walls and floor. It is imperative that all bedroom furniture be selected in the spirit of minimalism.

мебель для спальни в стиле модерн - фото

Modernist living room


The wall color should be in harmony with all the scheme of the whole interior. Paint them evenly in one of the primary colors of the style or combine several neutral colors to highlight all the protruding parts of the wall. An alternative to coloring will be liquid wall covering with a transparent low-key pattern. It should be remembered that the design of the living room does not tolerate plastic, plaster, as well as paper wallpaper, as they are extremely difficult to fit into the style of this design.



For a cozy and comfortable atmosphere in the living room, the best choice would be single-color parquet or laminate flooring, on which you can put one or several rectangular carpets. For the sake of recreating design ideas, it is better to abandon ceramic tiles, carpet and linoleum.

Living room furniture in Art Nouveau style

Remember that the less furniture, the better the idea of style is embodied. Recreation area is represented by a soft part with upholstery in one light. An excellent choice would be a sofa with a frame of dark wood and a light cloth on the seats, as well as a couple of soft chairs. In the center of the room you can arrange a table with a low landing. It is desirable that the wooden elements of all furniture were made of the same type of wood. Furniture can be placed on a plain carpet. The interior of the living room will complement the bright accents in the form of accessories.


Modernist bathroom: how to decorate


First of all, you need to create a background-base by painting the walls in one tone. In addition, you can apply a ceramic tile or plaster. They put mosaic decoration on the base or put a pattern with acrylic paint. The colors of the background and decor should differ by no more than 2-3 tones.



The interior of the bathroom in the Art Nouveau style is represented by a self-leveling floor with a complex pattern. Preference can be given to ceramics, since the laminate and linoleum basically do not have heat-resistant features. The color scheme of the floor includes different shades: from light beige to deep gray.

интерьер ванной комнаты в стиле модерн - фото


For the bathroom, you should choose furniture from one collection, which may include a cabinet, a table for cosmetic accessories and a chair with fancy-shaped legs. Headset must be selected to match the floor. Mixers in the spirit of this style has glass and metal fittings.


Modernist decor

Decorating modernist room implies the presence of textiles and can be represented by carpets of geometric shapes, luxurious curtains, sofa cushions, and also include paintings in modern style. Wrought iron jewelry, glass and wooden accessories of intricate shapes add a special charm.

Chandelier or lamp is a separate element of the decor. It will look beautiful crystal chandelier with a metallic coating, which will create a lot of glare. As a decoration and a separate light source, you can choose sconces with round shades.

декор в модерне - фото

Country or town house in the style of modernism

The Art Nouveau house design offers straight lines, simple proportions and rich natural light. The houses of the modernist style that we see today are descendants of the International style of architecture, which was developed in the 1920s. This style is characterized by subtle plastic and the harmony of all the details in the space of the house. Flat and shallow roofs, large glass constructions, harmonious connection with the rest of the open space and often unpainted walls – the interior of the house in Art Nouveau style is easily recognizable by its unique aesthetics.

Let’s take a video tour of the apartment designed in modernist style:

See also some of our photo stories:

Grandeur Beekman hotel in New York

Bright modernist apartment in Barcelona

About Author:
Serge Pufik is the founder and mastermind of blog. Sergiy is an economist by profession, he worked in real estate and from childhood was fond of interior magazines. Together with his wife Anna they run design studio PH Studio, managing projects in Ukraine and far beyond.
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