Styles in interior design and architecture throughout the ages. 20th Century design.

During 20th century art, design and architecture were greatly influenced by politics. Modernism in design and architecture emanate in the repercussion of the First World War, “a period when the artistic avant-garde dreamed of a new world, free of conflict, greed and social inequality”.

Art Nouveau style was the first attempt into the world to create a modern style, which appeared first in France in 1890th. Its distinctive features were: elegant forms, curved lines, and natural forms with more angular contours. Designers and artists seek for inspiration in botanical life, like flowers, foliage, as well as Rococo-style with its asymmetrical curves.  Art Nouveau style was reviled in architecture, art, sculpture, jewellery making and glass design.Its predominant colours were earthy colours, such as olive green, mustard, salmon, yellow and beige. Architect Gaudi (1) in Spain, designer Charles Rannie Macintosh (2) in Scotland, poster designer Alphonse Mucha- are the most leading names in the Art Nouveau epoch. The style went out of fashion in 1920th and gave it the way to Art Deco style, and revealed its popularity in the 1960s.

Art deco style arose in the 1930s, first in France, and rapidly spread throughout Europe, Britain and America in the 20th century. Deco kept the nature motif of its Nouveau predecessor, like shells, flowers, plants; however, it became more geometrical. Curved lines altered into straight, repetitive forms (3). The style became fashionable in all forms of the design and art – architecture, interior design, fashion, photography, decorative art etc. Typical Art Deco design would comprise of geometrical shapes, like zig-zags, chevrons, sunbursts, the finest quality glossy materials and stylised images of cars, aeroplanes, and cruise liners. Fashionable Art Deco colour palette was red, yellow, cream, beige, salmon, mint green, metallic, and black and white. Interiors of the Art Deco houses were elegant, glamorous and sleek. Its distinctive features were highly polished wood, glossy black lacquer (4), use of mirrors (5) and mirror tiles, brushed still finishes and glass. Carpets and rugs were with either geometrical patterns or zebra motif. The French furniture designer Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann’s luxurious designs are the most well known and significant in the Art Deco style.

Modernism became popular in the 20th century in Europe. (1918-1950). It was a completely new approach to design, art and architecture based on functionality, use of new materials, structural innovations, preference for abstraction, cubism, elimination of decorative mouldings and ornament. Bauhaus (6) became the leading school for art, design and architecture. It was established in 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius, whose aim was to “reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts.” Bauhaus combined art education, as well as sculpture, design, architecture and united it into “single creative expression.”The key architects-designers of the modernist style were Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray (7), Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Miles van der Rohealongalong with Walter Gropius.

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