Studio Celeste’s Interior Designer in Denver creates historically correct interiors.
Sally Everett specializes in Art Nouveau, Glasgow School,
Arts and Crafts, Early Modern, International Style, Mid Century Modern, and Contemporary.
Check them out. Which style will enhance your environment, your art collection, and you.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau

In the late nineteenth century, Art Nouveau designers created interiors that evoke the energy and continuity of nature. Inspired by the new science of Physics, designers created dynamic energy with lines and flowing shapes.

Characteristic of an Art Nouveau interior is organic vitality and a feeling of airiness. Flowing lines unite furniture, murals and decorative objects. These small objects include bronze sculpture and art pottery with colorful glazes. At the turn of the century, electric light was limited to candle watts. In an Art Nouveau room, one can find small sculptures with tiny light bulbs, stained glass lamps, and chandeliers. All create ambience but little illumination.

Interior colors are bronze, dark wood and muted pastels. The materials of Art Nouveau include dark or light carved fruitwood furniture, upholstery with organic patterns, carved frames around mirrors and pictures, and occasionally curving vertical wood battens. All lines from upholstery to mural and furniture are coordinated.

Glasgow School

Art Nouveau is the beginning of Modern design. Another forerunner is the Glasgow School, which began in the early 20th century. Considered part of the Art Nouveau movement, Glasgow designers emphasized continuity and energy. However, in contrast to mainstream Art Nouveau, they used strong dark brown or black colors contrasted with white, repeated geometric patterns and high ceilings.

Design motifs are a checkerboard pattern and abstract roses. The roses twine into knotted lines that resemble willow branches. Their blossoms and leaves are pale pink and mint green. Furniture is tall and delicate reiterating the interior sense of attenuated height. Vertical edges with battered lines are reminiscent of Castle Walls. These lines increase the sense of height in, fireplace surrounds, chimneys, table legs and tall chair backs. In a Glasgow interior, one sees high ceilings, the pastel accents of the Celtic rose motif, and eye catching black and white checkerboard patterns. The mannerisms of the Glasgow School inspired the Post World War I designers of the International Style.

In a Glasgow interior, one sees high ceilings, the pastel accents of the Celtic rose motif, and eye catching checkerboard patterns.

Arts and Crafts

By far the most popular early modern style, Arts and Crafts, has its roots in mid 19th century London politics. For political reasons Conservatives, Socialists and Anarchists sneered or lauded. The political ruckus increased the visibility of Arts and Crafts designers, who associated cozy cottages with a return to a Utopian Middle Ages.

Characteristics of Arts and Crafts interiors are low ceilings and sturdy hand-crafted furniture. The furniture can be red oak or wood fumed to dark brown. By the late 19th Century, Arts and Crafts design appeared in the eastern United States. From there, it spread to the Midwest, then to the West Coast. In the 1920’s a second phase of the style gained popularity. By then there were Arts and Crafts Societies across the United States.

It was Everyman’s interior design. Do-it-yourselfers could read how- to literature and buy kits for making furniture and decorative items for the home. Fortunately, there were trained architect-designers in each region who made integrated arrangements of cohesive masses and volumes of space. Although each region has its variants, in general, one sees dark oak or red oak furniture and horizontal wood molding or ceiling beams. Vertical strips of wood batten secure linen or wallpaper under a horizontal chair rail. Looking up, one sees a decorative border between the ceiling and the picture molding or plate rail.

Interiors have colorful, often floral, area rugs and exposed hard wood floors. Arts and Crafts designers lighten the warm but dark interiors with colorful art pottery, hand crafted textiles, and natural light from oak framed windows.

Art Deco

After World War I, the fast pace of the modern city inspired designers to create sleek streamlined architecture and interiors. Designers used the new industrial materials like Plexiglas, chrome, and glass bricks, which they combined with mirrors, marble inlays, and floral and African patterns. To create geometric shapes and patterns, Art Deco designers used compass and straight edge.

Over all, an Art Deco interior conveys a feeling of exquisite luxury. One can expect graceful arcs, delicate furniture, indirect electric lighting, light reflective surfaces, mirrors, abstract wall papers, and colors of silver, gold, and beige, with accents of black.

International Style

After World War I, speeding automobiles, fast trains, and mass-produced materials inspired both The International Style and Art Deco. Here our comparison ends. The International Style artists were Utopians. They created furniture and products for mass production. A feature that made it possible for more people to live in an International Style house or apartment. In The International Style interior, one can find comfortable materials where supple leather, cool marble, and deep pile area rugs create sensual contrasts. International Style spaces flow. There are no rooms with four walls. Instead, each area has a function, designated by its shelves, counters, plants, or room dividers. Expect comfortable chrome furniture with black or tan leather upholstery. Neutral colors dominate, but one can find an occasional red, blue or yellow accent.

Mid Century Modern (1950)

After World War II, factories produced materials for the home, like wood laminates, rolls of linoleum and plastics. For apartments, ranch houses, and modern offices, interior designers focused on domestic coziness and efficiency. They designed laterally flowing spaces, low- heat efficient-ceilings, insulated glass sliding doors, and natural stone walls.

In Mid Century Modern interior, one can expect low chairs and horizontal buffets, with tiny tapered legs. These legs lift cabinets and buffets about six inches above the floor, creating the effect of floating. In the case of coffee tables, a wood amoeboid shape can form the top, or a glass top can reveal a curved wood base. Sometimes bent woods or chrome legs form curved supports for chairs and tables.

Walk in look around. Mid Century Modernism is the most colorful style on this page. You will see bright colors: pink, red, blue, yellow and purple. These are counter balanced by wood hues varying from warm brown to light blond, and the colors of natural stonewalls.


Although The international Style continues as a contemporary design style, around 1990, some contemporary architects and interior designers re examined the concepts of The International Style. These Postmodern designers, felt that smooth simplicity was inappropriate. Utopia was a myth of the past, out of place in the age of baby boomers. The characteristics of the new Contemporary Style are visual metaphors, non-contiguous space, and reinterpretations of art historical motifs and furniture.

Postmodern designers break the International Style rules. One might find that a foyer is missing leaving a visitor in the middle of the kitchen. Looking for the piano? It could be in the middle of an undifferentiated area about ten feet from the sound system.

Contemporary designers combine decorative styles, like Greek, Chinese, and Rococo. Visual puns are frequent. In this drawing, the designer created a grand entrance with a Renaissance broken pediment. The clear Plexiglas chairs are in the style of Louis XIV, and the coffee table is an inverted giant Plexiglas coffee cup.

One does not see integrated spaces. Motifs do not unite the whole. Continuity occurs with color. Instead of space, colors fuse the interior design into a whole. The colors are deep lavish hues like purples and blues, or blue marble and pale pinks. One will not find chrome, black, or white here

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