French Design: Inspiring us for Years!

When looking at any form of art, whether it be furniture or fine art, you tend to focus on the overall lines  the final piece creates.  One of my favorite genres of design is Art Nouveau because of its fluid lines and the organic quality it has.  Originally created by the French as the “New Art”, this particular style was represented from the years of 1890- 1910.  It emerged as  a movement which gave extra importance to ornamental features and these techniques influenced how designers approached the aesthetics of design and art at that time.

Unlike the current more simple, straighter lines of today , interiors from this period were created with detail in mind.  Many original rooms had wood paneled walls and staircases which featured ornate hand carved designs.  Art Nouveau rooms were not the only things that were influenced by this style. The furniture pieces themselves usually were their own piece of art which added to  the organic quality of the room.  Check out some images below to understand how rooms and furniture from the Art Nouveau movement may have looked.

Tassel House Staircase by Victor Horta which was built in 1893. This particular staircase is known to some as the first expression of Art Nouveau.

Traditional Art Nouveau furniture from 1890-1910. Many original pieces of furniture would have the organic lines in the details of the wood incorporated into the design.

Since Art Nouveau was a dramatic and inspirational period in design, many interiors have developed a more modern twist to the initial look. Leaving some of most important architectural structural qualities of the look, like the staircase and blending more contemporary colors and design in the scheme.

Art during this period followed the same ornate quality.  A particular French artist who pronounced this movement in his designs was Toulouse Lautrec.  Known for his Post-Impressionist paintings and Art Nouveau illustrations, he created a look that most would recognize in modern day aesthetics.  Don’t be fooled into thinking he was the only one who was creating this type of design since other artists such as Manuel Orazi and Theophile Steinlen also produced pieces which influenced this period in France as well.

Moulin Rouge: La Goulue
Toulouse Lautrec

La Maison Moderne
Manuel Orazi

La Tournee du Chat Noir avec Rodolphe Salis
Theophile Steinlen

Although this look seems to be dated  for those who have contemporary tastes in interiors, there is very much a contemporary flare to the design concept.  Created in a world where it was racy to “step out of the box”, the  artists created a new movement which implemented movement in design. Today’s current designers feature these designs on fabrics and wallpapers to create a more eclectic look for the modern interior.

Robert Allen: Wanaque/ Chocolate

Wing Chair Upholstered in Flocked Linen Blend Fabric from Robert Allen: Wanaque/ Chocolate.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we pay attention to detail, making us very similar to the designers who originally designed Art Nouveau interiors and art.  We are proud to be very detail- minded and innovative when it comes to upholstery and design.  Many things in the world have changed throughout time, but for almost 35 years we have stayed consistent in our desire to produce a quality product which will be able to withstand decades of use, much like the design work of the Art Nouveau movement.  If you have enjoyed learning about this movement and wish to further your education in art, I recommend visiting the Dallas Museum of Art: Poster of Paris: Toulous- Latrec and his contemporaries exhibition.  There you will find many posters which were created during this movement in art.  This particular exhibition is great place to bring the whole family because once you have completed the tour, there is a “create your own poster” section which the whole family can enjoy!

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:

We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog, and or follow us on Facebook!

Written by: Erica Guajardo

Edited by: Linda Decuir

For More Information about the Poster of Paris Exhibition, please refer to the following link:


6 thoughts on “French Design: Inspiring us for Years!

  1. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However imagine if
    you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this website could undeniably
    be one of the most beneficial in its niche. Awesome blog!

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