Decoration Inspired By the Works of Gustav Klimt

November 30, 2019
Taking inspiration from the works of famous artists can help you to achieve a rich and sophisticated aesthetic. Despite what many people may think, this idea goes far beyond simply hanging a few paintings on the walls.

Whether modernist or classical, contemporary or surrealist, artists have had a huge influence on interior design over the years. Decor inspired by the works of Gustav Klimt is just one example of this.

Gustav Klimt was an artist. Part of the symbolism art movement, he is considered one of the most influential modernist or Art Nouveau painters of all time.

Klimt’s style had a certain air of romanticism. At the same time, however, his works were intense, richly detailed, and sumptuously decorated in gold.

With the help of Klimt and other artists, the innovative designs and unique aesthetic that characterized the modernist movement had a huge impact on the world of interior design. Even today, taking inspiration from art is an easy and original way to decorate your home.

Who was Gustav Klimt?

Klimt was the son of artists. It is this, in part, that lead him to dedicate his life to art from a young age. He graduated from the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts as a painter and interior decorator.

Over time, Klimt’s artistic personality began to evolve, and his style and technique took on a unique signature. One of his greatest sources of inspiration was the female body, as shown by the sensual nature of his works.

Today, we can see that Klimt’s artwork is marked by an eclectic and dynamic style. He took inspiration from different sources – the art of Ancient Greece to the Japanese Rinpa school.

Decoration inspired by the works of Gustav Klimt

"The Kiss" wall art.

This type of decor takes different designs and patterns from some of Klimt’s most famous works, like the flowers from the painting “The Kiss”. Alternatively, you could take inspiration from patterns elsewhere in the painting, or use the spirals and curves found in the “Tree of Life”.

Artwork for every room

  • The Kiss: with its intimate, tender nature, this piece would work really well in the master bedroom.
  • The Three Ages of Woman: this would look perfect in a mother or baby’s room.
  • Water Serpents: this painting has a more intense aesthetic, which could work well in the living room or bathroom.
  • The Tree of Life: this hypnotic painting would look fantastic in a library, living room, or another communal area.

If you want to avoid falling into the trap of simply decorating your home with replica prints, you could use other types of Klimt-inspired accessories, such as those you’ll find in souvenir and art museum stores.

Other decorative objects

Klimt-inspired decor also includes a range of decorative objects, such as cushions, figurines, vinyl decals, tea sets, vases, dinnerware, candy boxes, ashtrays, fans, lampshades and so much more.

"The Kiss" dinnerware set.

If you’re looking for a more refined look, it’s important not to include too many objects in the same space. For example, if you decide to buy a tea set, you shouldn’t include any other accessories, especially those featuring the same piece of work. This would look over the top and tacky.

If you decide to go for textiles, try incorporating them into minimalist rooms featuring earth tones, like beige.

Things to keep in mind

In many cases, objects inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt don’t feature complete reproductions of his work, but will instead include small details. For example, it’s common to find textiles decorated with the swirling branches seen in “The Tree of Life”.

These small details will allow you to incorporate Klimt’s work into your home without going over the top. In fact, doing it this way can help to create an even more fun and dynamic effect, inviting viewers to discover or rediscover the origins of the pattern.

Voyage, an English design firm, has developed a collection, entitled “Gustav”, with curtains, table cloths and bed sheets inspired by the artist and his works. The collection features metallic colors and an array of shapes and textures.

Gottfried, Friedl: Gustav Klimt 1862-1918. El mundo con forma de mujer, Alemania, Taschen, 2004.