Charles Rennie Mackintosh – The Nouveau Kid on the Block

Born in Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an influential Scottish designer, watercolourist, architect and artist. He designed in the post-impressionist movement and was also the biggest advocate of Art Nouveau in the UK. His work had a number of influences – from his home town Glasgow, in the throes of the Industrial Revolution, to elegant Japanese design.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh  Charles Rennie Mackintosh

He respected the oriental design because of its simple, paired back style. He appreciated the shapes, use of textures, light and shadows and organic appearance. It was this style that guided him through his architecture and design career, helping him shape his contributions to Art Nouveau.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

References to the natural world, uncomplicated shapes and textures are the main features of the Art Nouveau movement and are all elements that can be featured within your home. Don’t be afraid to play with textures. Glass art allows such intricate patterns and expression, so place stained glass lamps, bowls and vases around the room for subtle bursts of colour. Feature pieces that are decorated with florals, feathers or insects to encapsulate the look.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh  Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Ceramics also contribute to a tactile living space. Make the most of the different glazes, finishes and decoration styles by dotting this type of item around the room. A large floor vase in a bold block colour, filled with reeds or bamboo, can make an eye-catching feature. Alternatively, ceramic oil burners are a delicate finishing touch, and create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Althrough Mackintosh designed furniture that was geometrical and more military in shape, Art Nouveau furniture was typically curved and elaborate. Fill your home with pieces that feature ornate detailing, such as carved feet on coffee tables, decorated mirror frames and unusual ornaments that can be placed on bookshelves, mantels or window sills. These unpredictable pieces make a room look finished and add a sense of expression and whimsy to your home.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh  Charles Rennie Mackintosh

For more ideas of how to adorn your space with Art Nouveau, be inspired by our Natural World Pinterest board.

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