Monday, December 14, 2009

Gustav Klimt

This living room is inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt and, in turn, is also inspired by the Art Nouveau period. I created this room per the request of reader legerdemain but I also happen to like the aesthetic of that time period. The first aspect of the room I selected was the artwork. I knew I was going to include Klimt paintings so I selected two peices and worked around their colors and images. The first piece I chose was "Nuda Veritas (Naked Truth)". I think it's an unconventional Klimt work because it lacks color but at the same time is very much in line with his aesthetic because it features a woman. I really wanted to use different Klimt works than what everyone is used to seeing. I based the room's main color scheme off the the second painting called "Music". Much like the painting the room features golds and turquoise with a hint of purple.

In designing this room I discovered that Art Nouveau is not an easily accessible movement for which to find decorative items. Because of this, the Gustav Klimt room is probably the most expensive room I have put together to date. The furniture played a big role in racking up the bill. The pricey, but beautiful, couch and chair are reminiscent of the era but also have a modern twist to them. The walnut armoire is an antique from 1890 with an Art Nouveau influence and is also very beautiful yet pricey. The copper side table and glass top coffee table have the curves of the Art Nouveau period but also incorporate modern lines and materials.

The french wool gold rug anchors the room and goes well with the style and colors of Klimt's paintings. The pillow in the chair brings the gold up to the furniture. The chandelier, while not Art Nouveau per se, reminds me of one of Klimt's most famous paintings "The Kiss" . The cascading gold squares on the fixture look like the gold squares on the blanket wrapped around the lovers in the painting. The Dancing Maiden sculpture and Lady of the Lake Wall mirror are in homage to Klimt's favorite subject, the female form. An Art Nouveau room wouldn't be complete without the appearance of stained glass. I chose a nice understated floral green window panel so I wouldn't overwhelm the room with a large pattern. I think the curtains bring more violet into the room without being in-your-face purple. Finally I included the clock because I thought its shape added interest.

Paint color is Peace and Happiness from Benjamin Moore.

Nuda Veritas (Naked Truth) Print (framed- $119.99) from
Music by Gustav Klimt (framed- $248.95) from Bellacor
Turquoise Leather Chair ($2399) from Horchow
Annie Selke Home Sofa ($3339) from Horchow
c.1890 French Louis XV Walnut Armoire ($9,850) from 1st dibs
Tristan side table ($299) from Crate and Barrel
Eva Zeisel Coffee Table ($1500) from DWR
Louverne Rug (7'6" x 9'6" - $1199) from Ballard Designs
Gold Suzani Pillow ($175) from Jayson Home and Garden
Lady of the Lake Wall Mirror ($29.95) from Design Toscano
Dancing Maiden Sculpture ($39.95) from Lamps Plus
Stained Glass Tiffany Window ($162) from Lighting Direct
Avignon Curtains ($248 a panel) from Anthropologie
Metro Clock ($109.99) from Target
Gold Capiz Hanging Lamp ($349) from ZGallerie


  1. you're right, this style is an enormous challenge to do on a budget, but I think you picked up some great, less pricey accent pieces that I might actually use when I move.. you did an amazing job! thanks. on which site did you find that light? it's very unusual.

  2. Ooops, I forgot to list the resource for the lamp! *fixed*
    It's the Gold Capiz lamp from ZGallerie: