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Interior Design Trends from the 1900s: How to Get the Look Today

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

If you're looking for a little inspiration to add some vintage flair to your home décor, look no further than the interior design trends of the 1900s!

This era was all about natural materials and simple designs, with Art Nouveau statement pieces to add a touch of luxury. While the overall aesthetic has remained popular throughout the years, there are definitely some ways to modernize it, so it doesn't feel dated.

Let's explore some key elements of 1900s interior design and show you how to get the look in your home today.

1900s Architecture and Interior Design

Craftsman-Style Homes

The Arts and Crafts movement was in full swing during the early 1900s, focusing on handcrafted items and simple, functional designs. This was also the era of the Craftsman-style home, which is characterized by its use of natural materials, earth tone colors, exposed beams, and woodwork.

One of the most iconic features of Craftsman-style homes is built-in storage and shelving, which helped to maximize space and keep the overall look clean and clutter-free. Built-in bookshelves were a common feature in living rooms and bedrooms and were often used to showcase collections of art, books, and other objects.

Art Nouveau Style

While the Craftsman style dominated early 1900s interior design, there was also a strong influence from Art Nouveau. The style is known for its opulent furniture, lavish fabrics, and intricate decorative pieces. It was often used to make a statement in otherwise simple rooms.

This style is characterized by its use of organic shapes, curvy, sinuous lines, and patterns that emulate flowers and other nature-inspired forms. The illustrations from this time are also incredibly distinctive, focusing on flowing forms and stylized plants and flowers. Designs often featured women with long, cascading locks or animals in unique, curved forms, surrounded by mosaic patterns, flowers, and plants.

How to Get the 1900s Look Today

If you'd like to incorporate some of the 1900s interior design trends into your home, here are some clever ways to do it that will make your space feel elevated instead of outdated.

Choose an earth tone palette. The paint colors of the time were made using raw pigments and organic materials found in nature. This resulted in a subdued palette of yellows, greens, and browns. Get some inspiration from this 1820-1920 color palette from Sherwin Williams.

Incorporate built-ins. If you don't have the budget for built-ins, try using a freestanding bookshelf or cabinet to get a similar look. You can also create the illusion of built-ins by painting them the same color as your walls.

Choose Art Nouveau-inspired accent pieces. To get a touch of luxury without going overboard, look for Art Nouveau-inspired accent pieces like decorative vases, art pieces, lamps, and mirrors. These can be found at antique stores or online retailers that sell vintage-inspired décor. If you've got a mantle or empty wall space, try hanging a large, ornate mirror to really make a statement.

Embrace the 1900s Design Trends!

Whether you're looking for a way to add some vintage charm to your home or you're simply curious about design trends from the past, the interior design trends of the 1900s are a great place to start.

By incorporating some of the key features from this era, like earth tone colors, built-ins, and Art Nouveau accents, you can create a space that feels both stylish and unique.

Visit my blog for more interior design tips, and stay tuned for the next part of the series, where I'll be covering the Art Deco trends of the 1910s!


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