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I Decorated My Doors in an Art Nouveau Style: Case Study

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
Art Nouveau Art Nouveau Style Paint

Rachel Flack has always been creative and tries to bring something unique into her home. One of these touches has seen her paint her kitchen doors in an Art Nouveau style.

Rachel says: “I am passionate about home decoration. I love bringing my own style to different rooms and spaces. I love finding old pieces of furniture at auction or in junk shops, stripping them down and then repainting them to suit the part of my home I am working on.

A Country Style

I moved into my country cottage two years ago and immediately started redecorating. The kitchen already had cupboards and work surfaces. Its sink unit was fitted and it had a tiled floor. Other than that I had to bring everything else in. Luckily there’s a utility room where I have been able to put my fridge, freezer, washing machine and dishwasher to keep them out of the way.

I bought an old table and chairs, a dresser and some plate racks through the small ads in the newspaper, stripped them down and repainted them in soft greens, blues and creams. I then repainted the cupboard doors in a china blue, lime washed them and then distressed them slightly.

Painted Doors

It all looked great and I was really pleased with it but suddenly my large doors in and out of the room seemed to look bare. There are three doors in the kitchen – one into the hall, one into the utility room and one on to the garden. I began to think it might be nice to feature some kind of decoration on their panels and flat surfaces and so began to flick through some of my art books.

The summer before I had been to Scotland where I had visited the Charles Rennie Mackintosh house in Glasgow. I’ve always loved early 20th century art. Many people found it ground-breaking – even shocking – at the time but I just love its modern lines, its delicate beauty and its elegance.

Art Nouveau

I decided to do each door in a slightly different pattern. I gave the door on to the hall a light taupe undercoat and then went for a real Charles Rennie Mackintosh tribute pattern. I brought in long oblongs and straight lines, just going for a slightly curving decoration on the corner.

The door into the utility room was painted in a light blue. This door has more prominence when you walk into the kitchen so I wanted it have an immediate “wow factor.” Here I came up with a pattern that featured flowers and peacock feathers. There were curving lines and twists that again had that early 20th century feel.

Simple Patterns

Finally, I painted the door on to the back garden. Here I went for a leafier pattern. The undercoat here was in an olive green and then I brought more colour into the pattern. Again I did keep it simple, Art Nouveau was not lavish. The pattern again featured twisting stalks, as well as long oval leaves and the odd very simple flower.

I’m pleased with what I have done on the kitchen doors and am now contemplating doing something similar elsewhere. I may opt for another style, however, people love looking at the paintings and they certainly brighten the place up.”

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