A good way to describe Art Nouveau design may be to call it a seductive dance. With its intertwining lines and undulating curves, softly rounded shapes and wave-like forms, Art Nouveau is the opposite of straight lines, flat surfaces, and symmetry. What made the Movement radical—and beautiful—was how it was a loosening of the constrictive shapes and forms that came before it. Art Nouveau was a sharp break from the classical styles that dominated the 19th century, and it modernized design.

Though short-lived—its heyday was 1890-1910—Art Nouveau was a new and somewhat risqué decorative style, inspired by organic elements of nature: climbing vines, flowering tendrils, insects, and peacocks, with a premium placed on structural openings that allow light and air to circulate. Art Nouveau also took inspiration from the flowing styles of the Pre-Raphaelite painters. It is immensely decorative, bold, ornamental, and unlike anything seen before or since, and it never quite goes away entirely. With the allure of its inherently sensual and seductive shapes, perhaps it’s no surprise that Art Nouveau-inspired design is once again making a comeback! Here are some great current examples.


ART NOUVEAU PEACOCK TIFFANY STYLE LAMP
Inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained-glass style, this modern table lamp features hand-cut glass, with a peacock feather and dragonfly motif and a metal base. designtoscano.com


ALPHONSE MUCHA PEONIES SQUARE THROW PILLOW FROM TRADEMARK FINE ART
This beautiful throw pillow, featuring a design of Art Nouveau peonies, will add a touch of fin-de-siècle style to the couch. bedbathandbeyond.com


DEBORAH SHARPE FOR NEUE NOW TABLE LINENS
Featured at the Neue Galerie, a small museum in New York City with one of the premier collections of fin-de-siècle Austrian and Art Nouveau art, this beautiful Italian linen embroidered set with a napkin and placemat is inspired by a 1910 Wiener Werkstätte textile design. shop.neuegalerie.org


CLAUS PORTO VOGA ACACIA TUBEROSE SOAP SET
A three-piece set for the home, with hand cream and two mini soaps, in beautiful Art Nouveau–inspired paper. shop.nordstrom.com


KIM SEYBERT ART NOUVEAU TABLE RUNNER
Made with gorgeous glass and metal beads, this handcrafted table runner is a splurge but will bring Art Nouveau to the table. neimanmarcus.com


ANTHROPOLOGIE ART NOUVEAU JEWELRY STAND
This gold metal stand for jewelry, with plenty of space for necklaces, bracelets, and rings is inspired by sinuous Art Nouveau lines. anthropologie.com

Art Nouveau, Enchanted Living Magazine, Alphonse Mucha, Prague, Czech

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Rona Berg is the former editorial director of Elle, deputy lifestyle editor and beauty columnist for the New York Times Magazine and best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes. Berg has been cited as an industry expert by New York magazine and was called the “Russell Simmons of the Wellness Industry” by the Huffington Post. Working on “Medieval Beauty” for Faerie was “a different type of writing,” she says, “that expanded my heart and mind. As much as beauty ideals change through the ages, what’s remarkable is how much they stay the same.”

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