Art Nouveau Versus Art Deco: What is the Difference?

This image features the well-known “Art Deco” interior design style

Many interior design names are used interchangeably; however, they can have very different key features. Art Deco and Art Nouveau are both popular designs used today. Besides both having the word “Art” in the name, these designs are far from similar. They are still both sophisticated looks, but both have entirely different approaches. We explored both of these designs to see their similarities and differences. Knowing their key attributes can help you easily distinguish one from another and even use them in your own home or business décor.

Art Nouveau

This design style was created in Europe at the end of the 19th century as a response to many radical designs used in that century. Many designers wanted to create a new world design that had never been created. It is easily recognized by its dramatic curvature in the architect. It feels almost phantasmagorical and unearthly in a sense. Art Nouveau took an extreme in being completely opposite to Art Deco. Where Art Deco would incorporate hard lines and geometrical patterns, Art Nouveau would use the opportunity to use more whimsical and unorthodox curves. The French helped with the movement by emphasizing a more sophisticated look into the design. This style is luxurious but strays from any hard cut or sleek lines, finding more value in curves and asymmetry.

Art Deco

Art Deco is still a very ornate design; however, it is influenced more by geometrical patterns. It will involve hard lines and shapes yet avoid complexity. This design is still a very lavish look which embraces rich décor and visual drama. While also feeling a tad futuristic, Art Deco will use metallics trims to add a visual “pop” to the room. Art Deco is heavily rooted in the 1920s and 1930s and has a daring contemporary feel. Many retro attributes and visible luxuries help add depth and attention to the design. Large, daring décor has made a trademark in this extravagant styling.

Both these stylings can be recognized by their attempt for a contemporary influence on a more antique styling. Architecture, textiles, and simple décor can help embrace these diverse looks in your home. For more insight on design comparisons, make sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading!